It is night; I am alone
Language: English 
It is night; I am alone, 
forlorn on the hill of storms. 
The wind is heard on the mountain. 
The torrent pours 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 arise! 
Lead me, some light, 
to the place, where my love 
rests from the chase alone! 
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 aloud. 
I hear not the voice of my love! 
Why delays my Salgar, 
why the chief of the hill, his promise? 
Here is the rock, and here the tree! 
here is the roaring stream! 
Thou didst promise with night to be here.
Ah! whither is my Salgar gone?
With thee, I would fly, from my father;
with thee, from my brother of pride. 
Our race have long been foes; 
we are not foes, O Salgar!

Cease a little while, O wind!
stream, be thou silent a while!
let my voice be heard around.
Let my wanderer hear me! 
Salgar! it is Colma who calls.
Here is the tree, and the rock. 
Salgar, my love! I am here. 
Why delayest thou thy coming? 
Lo! the calm moon comes forth.
The flood is bright in the vale. 
The rocks are gray on the steep.
I see him not on the brow. 
His dogs come not before him, 
with tidings of his near approach.
Here I must sit alone!

Who lie on the heath beside me? 
Are they my love and my brother? 
Speak to me, O my friends! 
To Colma they give no reply. 
Speak to me: I am alone! 
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 Salgar?
why, O Salgar! hast thou slain my brother?
Dear were ye both to me!
what shall I say in your praise?
Thou wert fair on the hill among thousands!
he was terrible in fight.
Speak to me; hear my voice; 
hear me, sons of my love!
They are silent; silent for ever!
Cold, cold, are their breasts of clay!
Oh! from the rock on the hill;
from the top of the windy steep,
speak, ye ghosts of the dead!
speak, I will not be afraid!
Whither are ye gone to rest?
In what cave of the hill 
shall I find the departed?
No feeble voice is on the gale:
no answer half-drowned in the storm!

I sit in my grief; 
I wait for morning in my tears! 
Rear the tomb, ye friends of the dead. 
Close it not till Colma come. 
My life flies away like a dream: 
why should I stay behind? 
Here shall I rest with my friends, 
by the stream of the sounding rock. 
When night comes on the hill; 
when the loud winds arise;
my ghost shall stand in the blast, 
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:
pleasant were her friends to Colma!

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 207-209.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

    [ None yet in the database ]

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Ludwig Gottlieb Crome (1742 - 1794) , "Episode", subtitle: "aus dem altschottischen Gedichte Fingal" ; composed by Karl Friedrich Zelter.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist [an adaptation] ; composed by Johann Friedrich Reichardt, Franz Peter Schubert.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Edmund von Harold, Baron (1737 - 1808) , no title ; composed by Ferdinand von Hiller, Vinzenz Lachner.

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

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

This text was added to the website: 2004-01-18
Line count: 86
Word count: 540