Fragments Of Ancient Poetry, Fragment X

A poem by James Macpherson

It is night; and I am alone, forlorn
on the hill of storms. The wind is
heard in the mountain. The torrent
shrieks down the rock. No hut receives
me from the rain; forlorn on the hill of
winds.

Rise, moon! from behind thy
clouds; stars of the night, appear!
Lead me, some light, to the place where
my love rests from the toil of the chase!
his bow near him, unstrung; his dogs
panting around him. But here I must
sit alone, by the rock of the mossy
stream. The stream and the wind
roar; nor can I hear the voice of my
love.

Why delayeth my Shalgar, why the
son of the hill, his promise? Here is
the rock; and the tree; and here the
roaring stream. Thou promisedst with
night to be here. Ah! whither is my
Shalgar gone? With thee I would fly
my father; with thee, my brother of
pride. Our race have long been foes;
but we are not foes, O Shalgar!

Cease a little while, O wind! stream,
be thou silent a while! let my voice be
heard over the heath; let my wanderer
hear me. Shalgar! it is I who call. Here
is the tree, and the rock. Shalgar, my
love! I am here. Why delayest thou
thy coming? Alas! no answer.

Lo! the moon appeareth. The
flood is bright in the vale. The rocks
are grey on the face of the hill. But
I see him not on the brow; his dogs
before him tell not that he is coming.
Here I must sit alone.

But who are these that lie beyond
me on the heath? Are they my love
and my brother?--Speak to me, O my
friends! they answer not. My soul is
tormented with fears.--Ah! they are
dead. Their swords are red from the
fight. O my brother! my brother!
why hast thou slain my Shalgar? why,
O Shalgar! hast thou slain my brother?
Dear were ye both to me! speak to me;
hear my voice, sons of my love! But
alas! they are silent; silent for ever!
Cold are their breast of clay!

Oh! from the rock of the hill;
from the top of the mountain of winds,
speak ye ghosts of the dead! speak,
and I will not be afraid.--Whither
are ye gone to rest? In what cave of
the hill shall I find you?

I sit in my grief. I wait for morning
in my tears. Rear the tomb, ye
friends of the dead; but close it not
till I come. My life flieth away like a
dream: why should I stay behind?
Here shall I rest with my friends by the
stream of the founding rock. When
night comes on the hill: when the wind
is up on the heath; my ghost shall stand
in the wind, and mourn the death of
my friends. The hunter shall hear
from his booth. He shall fear, but
love my voice. For sweet shall my voice
be for my friends; for pleasant were
they both to me.

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