James Macpherson

1736 - 1796


Fragments of Ancient Poetry

Collected in the Highlands of Scotland













WHO cometh from the hill, like a cloud tinged with the beam of the weſt? Whoſe voice is that, loud as the wind, but pleaſant as the harp of Carryl? It is my love in the light of ſteel; but ſad is his darkened brow. Live the mighty race of Fingal? or what diſturbs my Connal?



THEY live. I ſaw them return from the chace, like a ſtream of light. The ſun was on their ſhields: In a line they deſcended the hill. Loud is the voice of [p.20] the youth; the war, my love, is near. To-morrow the enormous Dargo comes to try the force of our race. The race of Fingal he defies; the race of battle and wounds.



CONNAL, I ſaw his ſails like grey miſt on the ſable wave. They came to land. Connal, many are the warriors of Dargo!



BRING me thy father's ſhield; the iron ſhield of Rinval; that ſhield like the full moon when it is darkened in the ſky. [p.21]



THAT ſhield I bring, O Connal; but it did not defend my father. By the ſpear of Gauror he fell. Thou mayſt fall, O Connal!



FALL indeed I may: But raiſe my tomb, Crimora. Some ſtones, a mound of earth, ſhall keep my memory. Though fair thou art, my love, as the light; more pleaſant than the gale of the hill; yet I will not ſtay. Raiſe my tomb, Crimora.



THEN give me thoſe arms of light; that ſword, and that ſpear of ſteel. I ſhall meet Dargo with thee, and aid my [p.22] lovely Connal. Farewell, ye rocks of Ardven! ye deer! and ye ſtreams of the hill!—We ſhall return no more. Our tombs are diſtant far.