Fragments Of Ancient Poetry, Fragment I

A poem by James Macpherson

SHILRIC, VINVELA.

VINVELA

My love is a son of the hill.
He pursues the flying deer.
His grey dogs are panting
around him; his bow-string sounds in
the wind. Whether by the fount of
the rock, or by the stream of the
mountain thou liest; when the rushes are
nodding with the wind, and the mist
is flying over thee, let me approach
my love unperceived, and see him
from the rock. Lovely I saw thee
first by the aged oak; thou wert returning
tall from the chace; the fairest
among thy friends.

SHILRIC.

What voice is that I hear? that
voice like the summer-wind.--I sit
not by the nodding rushes; I hear not
the fount of the rock. Afar, Vinvela,
afar I go to the wars of Fingal. My
dogs attend me no more. No more
I tread the hill. No more from on
high I see thee, fair-moving by the
stream of the plain; bright as the
bow of heaven; as the moon on the
western wave.

VINVELA.

Then thou art gone, O Shilric!
and I am alone on the hill. The
deer are seen on the brow; void of
fear they graze along. No more they
dread the wind; no more the rustling
tree. The hunter is far removed;
he is in the field of graves. Strangers!
sons of the waves! spare my
lovely Shilric.

SHILRIC.

If fall I must in the field, raise high
my grave, Vinvela. Grey stones, and
heaped-up earth, shall murk me to future
times. When the hunter shall sit by
the mound, and produce his food at
noon, "some warrior rests here," he
will say; and my fame shall live in his
praise. Remember me, Vinvela, when
low on earth I lie!

VINVELA.

Yes!--I will remember thee--indeed
my Shilric will fall. What shall I do,
my love! when thou art gone for ever?
Through these hills I will go at noon: O
will go through the silent heath. There
I will see where often thou sattest returning
from the chace. Indeed, my Shilric
will fall; but I will remember
him.

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