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. 30


Storms rend the lofty tower in twain,
And bow the poplar to the plain;
The hills are wrapt in clouds on high,
And feel th' artillery of the sky;
When not a breath the valley wakes,
Or curls the surface of the lakes.

When storms on Fortune's ocean lowr,
And rolling billows lash the shore;
When loved allies return to clay,
And paltry riches wing their way;
The faithless mobs, the perjured whore,
That hovered round thy pelf before,
Fall gradual down the ebbing tide;
Thy dog, the last, forsakes thy side:
Retire within; enjoy thy mind;
There, what they all denied thee, find.
When Fortune threats to fly, be gay,
And puff the fickle thing away.
Nor still it lowrs; the tempest flies,
The golden sun descends the skies ;
The gale is living in the grass,
In gentler surges roll the seas".
But wisely thou contract the sail,
And catch but half the breathing gale ;
Be cautious still of Fortune's wiles,
Avoid the siren when she smiles ;
With prudence laugh her gloom away,
And trust her least when she looks gay.




The tempest flies,
The golden sun descends the skies;
The gale is living in the grass,

In gentler surges roll the seas.] These lines alone would be sufcient to appropriate the poem to the father of Ossian, were it not evident that the piece proceeds from the same pen with the former translation.


Dip Fortune, what to few she'll give,
Allow me make my choice to live;
I would not seek an envied seat,
Or daily visits of the great;
Nor yet would my ambition fall
To meagre Want's deserted hall ? ;
To each extreme alike a foe,
Too low for high, too high for low.

For use, not shew, my house would stand
Amid a spot of fertile land;
A lake below ; around a wood ;
Here bend a rock; there rush a flood.
A mountain would in prospect rise,
And bear the grey mist to the skies.
When in some dark retreat I sit,
Be near a friend, a man of wit,



To meagre Want's deserted hall.] In this, as in the preceding poem, the phraseology of “ Want's deserted hall” is sufficient to authenticate the verses as Macpherson's ; independently of the following description, which is altogether Ossian's :

A lake below; around a wood;
Here bend a rock; there rush a flood.
A mountain would in prospect rise,
And bear the grey mist to the skies,


Of heart sincere, and converse free,
The lover of mankind and me;
Who, should the world tumultuous roar,
Could calmly see the storm ashore,
Nor e'er admit a longing sigh
To vex my privacy and I.

Here would I pass my blameless days,
Beloved of virtue, and of ease;
Here die in peace, and lie unknown
Without a monument or stone.
My friend might shed one pious tear;
My image in his bosom bear;
Might breathe, in verse, his tender moan,
But breathe unto himself alone ;
I envy to the world my name,
And puff away the strumpet Fame.




Alas the years ! how swift they roll,
How swift they fly to Death's dark goal!
And let them roll, and let them fly,
I die but once-and let me die.
Arrived at last at twenty-two',
What honours rise upon my brow?
What have I done to raise my name,
And send to future times my fame ?
No matter what for this consoles,
That fame is but the breath of fools.
And what, alas ! a name can do,
When I am cold, when I am low?
Shall I come back to hear my lays
Excite the critic's after-praise ?
Behold me quoted in reviews,
Or posted up to fame in news ?
Let Fame deny or grant the bays,
No censure I shall feel, nor praise.



1 Arrived at last at twenty-two.] Macpherson, in 1760, was just twenty-two when, on the publication of the Fragments, he resolved “ to send to future times his fame :” a phrase peculiarly his own, which he had not previously employed in the Fragments. VOL. II.

2 P


Why should I then destroy my peace,
Or purchase fame with loss of ease?
But still the soft Aönian maid
Invites me, smiling, to the shade :
“ One song ere you lay by the lyre,

Myself my poet will inspire.”
Away !-I own your power no more,
Away !-thou prostituted whore.
Your charming simpers, artful smiles,
Persuasive voice, and little wiles,
No more shall cause me hunt for fame,
Or seek that empty shade a name,




In vain we toil for lasting fame,
Or give to other times our name:
The bust itself shall soon be gone,
The figure moulder from the stone ;
The plaintive strain, the moving lay,
Like those they mourn, at last decay:
My name a surer way shall live,

A surer way, my fair can give :
In her dear mem'ry let me live alone ;
When Nisa dies, I wish not to be known.


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