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SENT TO A YOUNG LADY,
SOME TRANSLATIONS FROM THE ERSE.
Behold, fair maid, what Nature could inspire,
On rocks they lived among the savage kind,
When the loved youth appeared with manly charms,
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.
To meet his generous flame the maid would fly,
In thee, blest nymph, indulgent Nature joined
Too oft, in times of old, did war's alarms
When Time itself shall bid that beauty fly,
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,
I see, I see the shivers Ay.
Some rural maid, with apron full,
Brings fuel to the homely flame;
And through the chinky hut the beam'.
Beside a stone o'ergrown with moss,
Two well-met hunters talk at ease;
One bleeding deer is stretched on grass.
A lake, at distance, spreads to sight,
Skirted with shady forests round,
Sustains a ruin once renowned.
One tree bends o'er the naked walls,
Two broad-winged eagles hover nigh,
As blows the blast along the sky?.
! I see the smoky columns roll,
At length from his low roof black columns rise,
The turfy hut, &c.
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.