SON of the noble Fingal, Oscian, Prince of men! what tears run down the cheeks of age? what shades thy mighty soul?

MEMORY, son of Alpin, memory wounds the aged. Of former times are my thoughts; my thoughts are of the noble Fingal. The race of the king return into my mind, and wound me with remembrance.

ONE day, returned from the sport of the mountains, from pursuing the sons of the hill, we covered this heath with our youth. Fingal the mighty was here, and Oscur, my son, great in war. Fair on our sight from the sea, at once, a virgin came. Her breast was like the snow of one night. Her cheek like the[Page] bud of the rose. Mild was her blue rolling eye: but sorrow was big in her heart.

FINGAL renowned in war! she cries, sons of the king, preserve me! Speak secure, replies the king, daughter of beauty, speak: our ear is open to all: our swords redress the injured. I fly from Ullin, she cries, from Ullin famous in war. I fly from the embrace of him who would debase my blood. Cremor, the friend of men, was my father; Cremor the Prince of Inverne.

FINGAL's younger sons arose; Carryl expert in the bow; Fillan beloved of the fair; and Fergus first in the race. Who from the farthest Lochlyn? who to the seas of Molochasquir? who dares hurt the maid whom the sons of Fingal guard? Daughter of beauty, rest[Page] secure; rest in peace, thou fairest of women.

FAR in the blue distance of the deep, some spot appeared like the back of the ridge-wave. But soon the ship increased on our sight. The hand of Ullin drew her to land. The mountains trembled as he moved. The hills shook at his steps. Dire rattled his armour around him. Death and destruction were in his eyes. His stature like the roe of Morven. He moved in the lightning of steel.

OUR warriours fell before him, like the field before the reapers. Fingal's three sons he bound. He plunged his sword into the fair-one's breast. She fell as a wreath of snow before the sun in spring. Her bosom heaved in death; her soul came forth in blood.


OSCUR my son came down; the mighty in battle descended. His armour rattled as thunder; and the lightning of his eyes was terrible. There, was the clashing of swords; there, was the voice of steel. They struck and they thrust; they digged for death with their swords. But death was distant far, and delayed to come. The sun began to decline; and the cow-herd thought of home. Then Oscur's keen steel found the heart of Ullin. He fell like a mountain-oak covered over with glistering frost: He shone like a rock on the plain. Here the daughter of beauty lieth; and here the bravest of men. Here one day ended the fair and the valiant. Here rest the pursuer and the pursued.

SON of Alpin! the woes of the aged are many: their tears are for the past. This raised my sorrow, warriour; memory[Page] awaked my grief. Oscur my son was brave; but Oscur is now no more. Thou hast heard my grief, O son of Alpin; forgive the tears of the aged.


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Title (in Source Edition): [FRAGMENT] VI.
Genres: prose poem; imitation; translation; paraphrase; fragment

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Macpherson, James, 1736-1796 Fragments of ancient poetry, collected in the Highlands of Scotland, and translated from the Galic or Erse language. Edinburgh: printed for G. Hamilton and J. Balfour, 1760. 70p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T83707; OTA K068251.000) (Page images digitized by National Library of Scotland — licensed under a CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 UK: Scotland license.)

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