James Macpherson Poems >>
Fragment XIV

DUCHOMMAR, MORNA.

DUCHOMMAR.

Morna, thou fairest of women,
daughter of Cormac-Carbre!
why in the circle of stones, in the cave
of the rock, alone? The stream murmureth
hoarsely. The blast groaneth
in the aged tree. The lake is troubled
before thee. Dark are the clouds of
the sky. But thou art like snow on
the heath. Thy hair like a thin cloud
of gold on the top of Cromleach. Thy
breasts like two smooth rocks on the hill
which is seen from the stream of Brannuin.
Thy arms, as two white pillars
in the hall of Fingal.

MORNA.

Whence the son of Mugruch, Duchommar
the most gloomy of men? Dark
are thy brows of terror. Red thy rolling
eyes. Does Garve appear on the
sea? What of the foe, Duchommar?

DUCHOMMAR.

From the hill I return, O Morna,
from the hill of the flying deer. Three
have I slain with my bow; three with
my panting dogs. Daughter of Cormac-Carbre,
I love thee as my soul. I
have slain a deer for thee. High was
his branchy head; and fleet his feet of
wind.

MORNA.

Gloomy son of Mugruch, Duchommar!
I love thee not: hard is thy heart
of rock; dark thy terrible brow. But
Cadmor the son of Tarman, thou art
the love of Morna! thou art like a sunbeam
on the hill, in the day of the
gloomy storm. Sawest thou the son of
Tarman, lovely on the hill of the chace?
Here the daughter of Cormac-Carbre
waiteth the coming of Cadmor.

DUCHOMMAR.

And long shall Morna wait. His
blood is on my sword. I met him by
the mossy stone, by the oak of the noisy
stream. He fought; but I slew him;
his blood is on my sword. High on
the hill I will raise his tomb, daughter
of Cormac-Carbre. But love thou the
son of Mugruch; his arm is strong as a
storm.

MORNA.

And is the son of Tarman fallen;
the youth with the breast of snow! the
first in the chase of the hill; the foe
of the sons of the ocean!--Duchommar,
thou art gloomy indeed; cruel is
thy arm to me.--But give me that
sword, son of Mugruch; I love the
blood of Cadmor.

[He gives her the sword, with which she instantly stabs him.]

DUCHOMMAR.

Daughter of Cormac-Carbre, thou
hast pierced Duchommar! the sword is
cold in my breast; thou hast killed the
son of Mugruch. Give me to Moinic
the maid; for much she loved Duchommar.
My tomb she will raise on the
hill; the hunter shall see it, and praise
me.--But draw the sword from my
side, Morna; I feel it cold.--

[Upon her coming near him, he stabs her. As she fell, she plucked a stone
from the side of the cave, and placed it betwixt them, that his blood
might not be mingled with hers.]