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Fragments Of Ancient Poetry, Fragment II

James Macpherson 1736 (Ruthven) – 1796 (Inverness)



I sit by the mossy fountain; on the
top of the hill of winds. One tree is
rustling above me. Dark waves roll
over the heath. The lake is troubled
below. The deer descend from the
hill. No hunter at a distance is seen;
no whistling cow-herd is nigh. It is
mid-day: but all is silent. Sad are my
thoughts as I sit alone. Didst thou
but appear, O my love, a wanderer on
the heath! thy hair floating on the
wind behind thee; thy bosom heaving
on the sight; thine eyes full of tears
for thy friends, whom the mist of the
hill had concealed! Thee I would comfort,
my love, and bring thee to thy
father's house.

But is it she that there appears, like
a beam of light on the heath? bright
as the moon in autumn, as the sun in
a summer-storm?--She speaks: but
how weak her voice! like the breeze
in the reeds of the pool. Hark!

Returnest thou safe from the war?
"Where are thy friends, my love? I
heard of thy death on the hill; I heard
and mourned thee, Shilric!"

Yes, my fair, I return; but I alone
of my race. Thou shalt see them no
more: their graves I raised on the plain.
But why art thou on the desert hill?
why on the heath, alone?

Alone I am, O Shilric! alone in the
winter-house. With grief for thee I
expired. Shilric, I am pale in the tomb.

She fleets, she sails away; as grey
mist before the wind!--and, wilt thou
not stay, my love? Stay and behold
my tears? fair thou appearest, my love!
fair thou wast, when alive!

By the mossy fountain I will sit; on
the top of the hill of winds. When
mid-day is silent around, converse, O
my love, with me! come on the wings
of the gale! on the blast of the mountain,
come! Let me hear thy voice, as
thou passest, when mid-day is silent around.
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

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James Macpherson

James Macpherson was a Scottish writer, poet, literary collector and politician, known as the "translator" of the Ossian cycle of poems. more…

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