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From the wood-skirted waters of Lego
Is swimming through its folds. In some of these lines the harmony is superior, in others, again, it is inferior, in English, as the expression is abridged ; but, in general, the measure, or recitative of the two versions (From the wood-skirted waters of Lego; O linna doir choille na Leigo), is almost identical ; without any greater difference ihan such additional ease, or constraint, as is introduced into the different copies, or forms, of the Six Bards. The execution of the two versions by the same person, upon the same principle of parallelisms, and nearly, perhaps, at the same period, can alone account for the exact coincidence of cach line in Earse, both in sense and cadence, with the corresponding clause of each sentence in the English original.
It was dark !
'S dolloir so!
Lumon of the streams !
Lumon na sruth!
Lumon of foamy streams !
Lunion na sruth !
Ullin, Carril, and Ryno !
Ullin, a Charril, a Raono !
Agus mosglibhse anam nan dan! In these specimens, the cadence and length of the line are exactly suited and adapted to the sense ; for which the reason is sufficiently obvious. Verse alone can sustain a regular cadence distinct from the sense; but where there is no regular return of numbers, the sense and cadence, as in every prose composition, must always coincide. But it is not difficult to determine, whether these expressions, “ It is dark ;" “ Lumon of the streams ;" “ Ullin, Carril, and Ryno," are translations of such fantastic lines, as “ S dolloir so;" “ Lumon na sruth;" “ Ullin, a Charril, a Ra. ono;" or whether the latter are not short clauses of sentences literally translated from the English original, and printed like verse.
Come melancholy, soul-o'erwhelming power!
i The two first poems, entitled Death, and the HUNTER, are printed from a manuscript in Macpherson's hand-writing, discovered in the Highlands many years ago, and most liberally communicated to me by the Rev. Mr Anderson, minister of Kingussie. They are published, not on account of their poetical merit, but as Macpherson's first rude essays in English poetry, and as historical evidence that he was a heroic poet from his earlier years. The manuscript is evidently the first rough draught of his compositions ; and contains memorandums concerning his school and house-keeping at Ruthven, in Badenoch, with a few dates, from which the Hunter appears to have been written towards the end of the year 1756. The poem upon Death is an earlier and worse composition ; but they are both marked with the same extravagance of sentiment and diction that prevails in Ossian ;