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Fragments Of Ancient Poetry, Fragment V

James Macpherson 1736 (Ruthven) – 1796 (Inverness)

Autumn is dark on the mountains;
grey mist rests on the hills. The
whirlwind is heard on the heath. Dark
rolls the river through the narrow plain.
A tree stands alone on the hill, and
marks the grave of Connal. The leaves
whirl round with the wind, and strew
the grave of the dead. At times are
seen here the ghosts of the deceased,
when the musing hunter alone stalks
slowly over the heath.

Who can reach the source of thy
race, O Connal? and who recount thy
Fathers? Thy family grew like an oak
on the mountain, which meeteth the
wind with its lofty head. But now it
is torn from the earth. Who shall supply
the place of Connal?

Here was the din of arms; and
here the groans of the dying. Mournful
are the wars of Fingal! O Connal!
it was here thou didst fall. Thine arm
was like a storm; thy sword, a beam
of the sky; thy height, a rock on the
plain; thine eyes, a furnace of fire.
Louder than a storm was thy voice,
when thou confoundedst the field. Warriors
fell by thy sword, as the thistle by
the staff of a boy.

Dargo the mighty came on, like a
cloud of thunder. His brows were contracted
and dark. His eyes like two
caves in a rock. Bright rose their
swords on each side; dire was the clang
of their steel.

The daughter of Rinval was near;
Crimora, bright in the armour of man;
her hair loose behind, her bow in her
hand. She followed the youth to the
war, Connal her much beloved. She
drew the string on Dargo; but erring
pierced her Connal. He falls like an
oak on the plain; like a rock from the
shaggy hill. What shall she do, hapless
maid!--He bleeds; her Connal dies.
All the night long she cries, and all the
day, O Connal, my love, and my
friend! With grief the sad mourner

Earth here incloseth the loveliest
pair on the hill. The grass grows between
the stones of their tomb; I sit in
the mournful shade. The wind sighs
through the grass; and their memory
rushes on my mind. Undisturbed you
now sleep together; in the tomb of the
mountain you rest alone.
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:56 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,937
Words 387
Stanzas 6
Stanza Lengths 11, 7, 11, 6, 14, 8

James Macpherson

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

All James Macpherson poems | James Macpherson Books

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