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VERSES

SENT TO A YOUNG LADY,

WITH

SOME TRANSLATIONS FROM THE ERSE.

Behold, fair maid, what Nature could inspire,
When Albion's lovely dames confessed their fire;
When love was stranger to the guise of art,
And 'virgins spoke the language of the heart;
When sweet simplicity, with charms displayed,
Confirmed the bands which beauty first had made.

On rocks they lived among the savage kind,
But little of the rock was in their mind;
They felt the call of nature in their heart',
And Pity wept when Beauty shot the dart:
Each maid, with sorrow, saw her conquests rise,
And drowned with tears the lightning of her eyes. -

When the loved youth appeared with manly charms,
And called the blooming beauty to his arms;

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1 But little of the rock was in their mind;

They felt the call of nature in their heart.] The same conceit is repeated in Oithona : “My heart is not of that rock; nor my soul careless as that sea.” Vol. I. p. 525. The preceding short poem, " The Monument,” is indisputably Macpherson's. See Vol. I. p. 196.

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away;

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SO

To meet his generous flame the maid would fly,
Nor did the tongue, what eyes confessed, deny.
No toils could her from his dear side remove;
She shared his dangers, as she shared his love.
With him against the chace she bent the bow;
In fields of death with him she met the foe;
If pierced with wounds, a mournful sight he lay,
With tears she washed the

gory

tide
And decent in the tomb her hero laid,
And as she blessed him living, mourned him dead.

In thee, blest nymph, indulgent Nature joined
The face of beauty with the tender mind;
In thee the present virtues we behold,
With all the charms of Albion's dames of old:
But be their sorrow to themselves alone,
As thine their beauty, be their woes their own.

Too oft, in times of old, did war's alarms
Tear lovely Youth from Beauty's folding arms!
Too oft the early tears of spouses flow,
And blooming widows beat their breasts of snow.
But when the happy youth of form divine,
At once the fav’rite of the world and thine,
Enjoys unrivalled all that heaven of charms,
Death, late descend !- Avoid him, hostile arms!
Let growing pleasures crown each rising year,
Still be that cheek unsullied with a tear;
That heart no pang but of affection know;
That ear be stranger to the voice of woe.

When Time itself shall bid that beauty fly,
And lightning arm no more that lovely eye;
May the bright legacy successive fall,
And thy loved sons and daughters share it all;
Thy sons be every virgin's secret care,
Thy lovely daughters like the mother fair;
The first in prudence emulate their sire;
The last, like thee, set all the world on fire.

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THE CAVE.

WRITTEN IN THE HIGHLANDS.

Tie wind is up, the field is bare ;

Some hermit lead me to his cell, Where Contemplation, lonely fair',

With blessed Content has chose to dwell,

Behold! it opens to my sight,

Dark in the rock; beside the flood; Dry fern around obstructs the light;

The winds above it move the wood 2.

Reflected in the lake I see

The downward mountains and the skies, The flying bird, the waving tree,

The goats that on the hills arise.

The grey-cloaked herd drives on the cow;

The slow-paced fowler walks the heath ; A freckled pointer scours the brow;

A musing shepherd stands beneath.

1 Where Contemplation, lonely fair.] In Macpherson's poem ofi Death,

Come Contemplation, then, my lonely fair! 2 The description

the Cave has been so repeatedly introduced into Ossian, I. 174. II. 234. that is almost unnecessary to authenticate the poem any fartber.

Curve o'er the ruin of an oak,

The woodman lifts his axe on high,
The hills re-echo to the stroke;

I see, I see the shivers Ay.

Some rural maid, with apron full,

Brings fuel to the homely flame;
I see the smoky columns roll,

And through the chinky hut the beam'.

Beside a stone o'ergrown with moss,

Two well-met hunters talk at ease;
Three panting dogs beside repose;

One bleeding deer is stretched on grass.

A lake, at distance, spreads to sight,

Skirted with shady forests round,
In midst an island's rocky height

Sustains a ruin once renowned.

One tree bends o'er the naked walls,

Two broad-winged eagles hover nigh,
By intervals a fragment falls,

As blows the blast along the sky?.

! I see the smoky columns roll,
And through the chinky but the beam.] Hunter, vii. 137.

At length from his low roof black columns rise,
Of pitchy smoke, and gain on evening skies;

The turfy hut, &c.
Idem viii. 76.

Dart through a rocky chink a livid ray. " The columns of smoke pleased mine eye as they rose above my waves." Vol. I. p. 330. Shewing their pale forms through the chinky rocks." II. 60. 2 By intervals a fragment falls, As blows the blast along the sky.] Death, 71.

When from a tottering roof a fragment falls. Highlander, v. 70.

A fragment falls with each invading blast.

Two rough-spun hinds the pinnace guide,

With lab’ring oars, along the flood; An angler, bending o'er the tide,

Hangs from the boat th' insidious wood.

Beside the flood, beneath the rocks,

On grassy bank two lovers lean; Bend on each other amorous looks,

And seem to laugh and kiss between.

The wind is rustling in the oak ;

They seem to hear the tread of feet; They start, they rise, look round the rock;

Again they smile, again they meet.

But see! the grey mist from the lake

Ascends upon the shady hills; Dark storms the murmuring forests shake,

Rain beats,-resound a hundred rills.

To Damon's homely hut I fly;

I see it smoking o'er the plain : When storms are past,—and fair the sky,

I'll often seek my cave again.

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