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Fragments of Ancient Poetry

The following is from Fragments of Ancient Poetry by James Macpherson:

Fragment I

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.

Fragment II


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