I sit by the mossy fountain
Language: English 
 I sit by the mossy fountain,
 on the top of the hill of the winds.
 One tree is rustling above me.
 Dark waves roll over the heath.
 The lake is troubled below.
 The deer descend from the hill.
 No hunter at a distance is seen.
 It is mid-day: but all is silent.
 Sad are my thoughts alone.
 Didst thou but appear, O my love,
 a wanderer on the heath!
 thy hair floating on the wind behind thee;
 thy bosom heaving on the sight;
 thine eyes full of tears for thy friends,
 whom the mist of the hill had concealed.
 Thee I would comfort, my love,
 and bring thee to my father's house!
 But is it she that there appears,
 like a beam of light on the heath?
 bright as the moon in autumn,
 as the sun in a summer storm, comest thou,
 O maid, over rocks, over mountains to me.
 She speaks: but how weak her voice,
 like the breeze in the reeds of the lake.
 Returnest thou safe from the war?
 Where are thy friends, my love?
 I heard of thy death on the hill;
 I heard and mourned thee, Shilric!

 Yes, my fair, I return;
 but I alone of my race.
 Thou shalt see them no more;
 their graves I raised on the plain.
 But why art thou on the desert hill?
 Why on the heath alone?
 Alone I am, O Shilric,
 alone in the winter-house.
 With grief for thee I fell.
 Shilric, I am pale in the tomb.
 She fleets, she sails away,
 as mist before the wind!
 and, wilt thou not stay, Vinvela?
 Stay and behold my tears!
 fair thou appearest, Vinvela!
 fair thou wast, when alive!

 By the mossy fountain I will sit;
 on the top of the hill of winds.
 When mid-day is silent around,
 O talk with me Vinvela!
 come on the light-winged gale,
 on the breeze of the desert, come!
 Let me hear thy voice, as thou passest,
 when mid-day is silent around!

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with The Poems of Ossian. Translated by James Macpherson, Esq; Vol.I. A new edition, carefully corrected, and greatly improved. London, MDCCLXXIII, pages 58-59.


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Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2003-11-06
Line count: 57
Word count: 336