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Title: Ossian in Germany
       Bibliography, General Survey, Ossian's Influence upon
              Klopstock and the Bards

Author: Rudolf Tombo

Release Date: September 18, 2012 [EBook #40784]

Language: English

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Bibliography, General Survey, Ossian’s Influence upon Klopstock and the Bards


1966 [ii]

Copyright 1901, Columbia University Press,
New York

Reprinted with the permission of the Original Publisher, 1966

New York, N.Y. 10003

Manufactured in the United States of America


Meinen lieben Eltern



When the subject of Ossian’s influence in Germany first occurred to me, it seemed a simple matter to exhaust the topic in the limits set by a work of this character. A little search, however, revealed that if the entire field were to be covered, the different authors could not be discussed with any degree of completeness. Another obstacle stood in the way of the fulfilment of the original scheme. The amount of material discovered at the outset in the British Museum led to the preparation of a card index of German Ossianiana; in Germany each library furnished additions at such a rapid rate, that the idea of a chronological bibliography soon suggested itself. The latter developed into such proportions, that it seemed advisable to publish it as an introduction to the literary material to follow. Nothing remained, therefore, but to confine the literary discussion to a certain period, and in order to retain the chronological sequence, as well as in consideration of the difficulty of obtaining material on the bardic poets in this country, the beginning was made with Klopstock and the “bards.” It is the intention of the writer to discuss in later publications Ossian’s influence upon Herder, Goethe, and Schiller, as also upon the poets of the Storm and Stress, of the Göttinger Hain, and of the Romantic School, some of the material for which has been collected. A short bibliography of Ossianic material in other languages has also been prepared, which will gladly be placed at the disposal of any one desirous of working up the subject. The author will be pleased to receive any corrections or additions to the bibliography that may suggest themselves to the reader.

It is fitting that I should here acknowledge my indebtedness to the men who made this thesis possible. Prof. Wm. H. Carpenter, Prof. Calvin Thomas, and Prof. A. V. W. Jackson have been true and untiring guides and a never–failing source of inspiration, and I shall ever consider it a most rare privilege to have been enabled to carry on the major part of my advanced studies under their direction. My gratitude is due also to the men who contributed to make my stay abroad such a pleasant and profitable one, to the professors under whom I studied at the University of Leipzig, as well as to the several librarians who were of service to me, and whom I always found most courteous and accommodating.



Chapter I. Bibliography of German Translations, Imitations, Critical Reviews, etc.1
Chapter II. General Survey and First Notices.
§1. General Considerations upon the Reception of the Ossianic Poems in Germany66
§2. Earliest Notices and Translations75
Chapter III. Ossian’s Influence upon Klopstock and the Bards.
§1. Klopstock82
§2. The Bards.—Gerstenberg103
§3. Denis119
§4. Kretschmann139
§5. Minor Bards149




The following bibliography makes no claim to absolute completeness. The material required was in some instances so difficult of access, that exact data could not everywhere be given, but most of the entries are based upon personal investigation. Most of the short bibliographies that have hitherto appeared go back directly or indirectly to those of Denis[1] and Gurlitt,[2] both of which are incomplete and not without errors; the former contains less than thirty titles that come into question here.

A few words as to the composition of this bibliography may not be amiss. The pivot of the whole is that collection of the so–called Poems of Ossian published by James Macpherson from 1760 to 1763, and as the titles of the different portions of this collection are frequently misquoted, I have deemed it advisable to prefix them to the German bibliography, together with the most important later editions. As to the German material, we have in the first place to consider the German translations of the whole or a part of these poems, together with the English reprints made in Germany, as well as the translations into other tongues published in Germany.[3] Several other collections, however, are so closely bound up in their influence in Germany with that of Macpherson, that I have not hesitated to include them. In the second place there are the critical essays upon the poems of Ossian, together with the historical and geographical treatises bearing upon the authenticity of the poems. Thirdly, we have an immense category of German imitations, in which department the drawing of strict lines has been most[2] difficult; here the few epigrams and other poems in praise of Ossian may also be inserted. In the department of music I have given a number of compositions that have come directly to my notice. Several paintings and illustrations of scenes from the poems of Ossian are also mentioned, but in neither of these fields is any pretension made to completeness. In both it has been found difficult to observe the exact chronological order, for which reason the works under these headings have been arranged at the end alphabetically according to authors. Finally, we are to regard the critical reviews and notices of all the above categories in periodicals and newspapers published in Germany. The reviews and notices are not given in strict chronological order, but are in almost every case inserted directly below the work to which they refer. Advance notices when long are frequently given separately. During the years in which the influence of Ossian was at its height, everything has been given in the latter department that could be found, whereas in later years most reviews and short notices are omitted. As a rule the pages given in the reviews refer to those portions only that deal with Ossian.

Abbreviations have been but rarely used and never at the sacrifice of clearness and convenience. In cases where various editions come into consideration, the general rule has been observed to mention all where it seemed requisite, as e. g., in the case of translations; of less important works, only the first and the standard editions have been mentioned. It would, for example, be impossible to include an exhaustive list of the various editions of Werthers Leiden within the limits of this bibliography.


Important English Works.

Gentleman’s Magazine, June, 1760, pp. 287–8: Two Fragments of Ancient Poetry collected in the Highlands of Scotland, and translated from the Gallic or Erse Language.

Fragments of Ancient Poetry, Collected in the Highlands of Scotland, and Translated from the Galic or Erse Language. Edinburgh. 1760.

The same. The Second Edition. Edinburgh. 1760. One entire poem is added, which stands No. 13 in this edition.

Fingal, an Ancient Epic Poem, In Six Books: Together with several other Poems, composed by Ossian the Son of Fingal. Translated from the Galic Language, By James Macpherson. London: 1762.[4]

Temora, an Ancient Epic Poem, In Eight Books: Together with several other Poems, composed by Ossian, the Son of Fingal. Translated from the Galic Language, By James Macpherson. London: 1763.

The Works of Ossian, the Son of Fingal. In Two Volumes. Translated from the Galic Language By James Macpherson. The Third Edition. London: 1765.

The Poems of Ossian. Translated by James Macpherson, Esq.; In Two Volumes. A new Edition, carefully corrected, and greatly improved. London: 1773.

Report of the Committee of the Highland Society of Scotland, appointed to inquire into the nature and authenticity of the Poems of Ossian. Drawn up, according to the direction of the committee by Henry MacKenzie, Esq. its convener and chairman, with a copious appendix, containing some of the principal Documents on which the report is founded. Edinburgh, 1805.

The Poems of Ossian, in the original Gaelic, with a literal Translation into Latin, By the late Robert Macfarlan, A.M. Together with a Dissertation on the Authenticity of the Poems, by Sir John Sinclair, Bart. and a Translation from the Italian of the Abbé Cesarotti’s Dissertation on the Controversy respecting the Authenticity of Ossian, with Notes and a supplemental Essay, By John M’Arthur, LL.D. Published under the Sanction of the Highland Society of London. 3 Volumes. London: 1807.



1762. Bremisches Magazin zur Ausbreitung der Wissenschaften Künste und Tugend Von einigen Liebhabern derselben mehrentheils aus den Englischen Monatsschriften gesammelt und herausgegeben. Bremen und Leipzig. Vol. 5, ii, pp. 448–52: Zwei Fragmenten der alten Dichtkunst von den Hochländern in Schottland, aus der alten Gallischen oder Ersischen Sprache übersetzet.

A prose translation of Carric–Thura, p. 152, l. 12–p. 153, l. 7, and of The Songs of Selma, p. 210, l. 28–p. 211, l. 34,[5] the originals of which had appeared in the Gentleman’s Magazine for June, 1760. Cf. infra, p. 76.

Bibliothek der schönen Wissenschaften und der freyen Künste. Leipzig. Vol. 8, ii, p. 349: Notice of Fingal. Cf. infra, p. 75.

1763. Hannoverisches Magazin. Erster Jahrgang vom Jahre 1763. Hannover, 1764. No. 92, pp. 1457–70: Nachricht von den Gedichten des Ossian, eines alten schottischen Barden; nebst einigen Anmerkungen über das Alterthum derselben.

Ibid., No. 94, pp. 1489–1504, No. 95, pp. 1505–20, No. 96, pp. 1521–34, No. 97, pp. 1534–46: Auszug und Uebersetzung des Fingal, eines alten epischen Gedichtes. Von R. E. R.

The author of both the article and the translation is Rudolf Erich Raspe, 1737–94. Cf. infra, pp. 76–7.

Bremisches Magazin. Vol. 6, ii, p. 461: Notice of Fingal. Cf. infra, p. 76.

Bibliothek der schönen Wissenschaften. Vol. 9, ii, pp. 315–6: Review of Temora. Cf. infra, p. 75.

1764. Fragmente der alten Hochschottländischen Dichtkunst, nebst einigen andern Gedichten Ossians, eines Schottischen Barden; aus dem Englischen übersetzt. Hamburg.


Weak prose translation by Joh. Andr. Engelbrecht of the original sixteen fragments together with Macpherson’s Preface; also of Comala, The War of Caros, Carthon, The Death of Cuthullin, Carric–Thura, and Berrathon from the first ed. of Fingal (1761). Instead of the 10th, 11th and 12th fragments, The Songs of Selma are given from the ed. of Fingal. The notes to Berrathon contain also the translation of Minvane’s Lament for Ryno, pp. 250–4. Denis, Bibliography, 1784, Ersch und Gruber, Allgemeine Encyklopädie, sub Ossian (p. 429), and others have 1763, but I have been unable to trace an edition published in that year. This and the following translation are sometimes given as one made by Engelbrecht and Wittenberg, e. g., Saunders, The Life and Letters of James Macpherson, p.236, etc. They were, however, published as two distinct and separate books. Cf. infra, p. 77.

Fingal, ein Helden–Gedicht, in sechs Büchern, von Ossian, einem alten schottischen Barden. Nebst verschiedenen andern Gedichten von eben demselben. Hamburg und Leipzig.

Literal prose translation by Albrecht Wittenberg, 1782–1807, of Fingal together with Macpherson’s Preface to the same; also of Comala, The War of Caros, The War of Inisthona, The Battle of Lora, Conlath and Cuthona, and Carthon.—Vorrede des deutschen Uebersetzers: 8 pp. The translation is not by Engelbrecht and Wittenberg, as stated in Kürschner’s Dtsche Nat.–Litt., Klopstock, iv, p. ii, in Hofmann–Wellenhof’s biography of Denis, pp. 165, 194, Knothe’s biography of Kretschmann, etc. Cf. infra, p. 77.

Bremisches Magazin. Vol. 7, i, p. 227: Notice of the Dissertation on the Poems of Ossian, the Son of Fingal. Ibid., p. 229: Notice of Temora. Cf. infra, p.7 6.

1765. Mémoire de M. de C. au Sujet des Poëmes de M. Macpherson. Köln. Cf. infra, pp. 77–8.

An essay throwing doubt upon the authenticity of the poems of Ossian, reprinted from Le Journal des Sçavans, Paris, May–December, 1764. Amsterdam reprint, June–August, October, 1764, and February, 1765.

Göttingische Anzeigen von gelehrten Sachen. Göttingen. i, pp. 129–31: Review of Fingal.

The author of the review is Albrecht von Haller, 1708–77; cp. ibid., 1767, and cf. his Tagebuch (1787); for contents cf. infra, p. 78.

1766. Neues Bremisches Magazin. Bremen. Vol. I, i, pp. 1–54: Fragmente der Alten Dichtkunst in den Hochländern von Schotland, gesammelt und aus dem Englischen übersetzet.


Prose translation of the first sixteen fragments together with Macpherson’s Preface.—A separate reprint of this translation was published in Bremen in the same year. Cf. infra, p. 80.

Briefe über Merkwürdigkeiten der Litteratur. Erste Sammlung. Schleswig und Leipzig. Achter Brief: Memoire eines Irrländers über die ossianischen Gedichte...

An account of the above Mémoire (1765) by Heinrich Wilhelm Gerstenberg.—A reprint of the Schleswigische Litteraturbriefe appeared as No. 29 of the Deutsche Litteraturdenkmale des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts; the notes with regard to the Mémoire are found on pp. 56–7 (cf. also p. lxxii). Cf. infra, pp. 105–6

Review: Neue Bibl. der schönen Wissenschaften, Vol. 3, ii, pp. 308–9 (1767).

Unterhaltungen. Hamburg. Vol. I, No. 4, pp. 329–40: Aufsatz des Herrn von C. über die Gedichte des Herrn Macpherson.

Ibid., No. 5, pp. 420–36: Fortsetzung des Aufsatzes über Herrn Macphersons Gedichte.

Ibid., No. 6, pp. 504–23: Beschluss des Aufsatzes über Herrn Macphersons Gedichte.

An account and partial translation of the Mémoire mentioned above (1765).

Neue Bibliothek der schönen Wissenschaften und der freyen Künste. Leipzig. Vol. i, ii, p. 387: Review of Cesarotti’s Italian translation of the poems of Ossian. Cf. infra, p. 79.

Ibid., Vol. 2, ii, pp. 245–61: Review of the Works of Ossian, Third Edition, 1765 (cf. English Bibliography).

Ibid., Vol. 3, i, pp. 13–38: Continuation and conclusion of the Review.

The author of the review of the Works of Ossian is Christian Felix Weisse, 1726–1804; cp. Gött. gel. Anz., 1768, Von den Barden ... (1770), Gallische Alterthümer (1781), and cf. infra, pp. 79–80.

1767. Unterhaltungen. Hamburg. Vol. 4, No. i, pp. 617–20: Episode aus dem altschottischen Gedichte Fingal.

Iambic translation by Ludwig Gottlieb Crome, 1742–94, of the song of the unfortunate Colma, The Songs of Selma, p. 209, l. 3–p. 210, l. 12, being Fragment X of the first edition of the Fragments (1760). The translation is reprinted in Schmid’s Zusäzze (1769), in Ursinus’s Balladen und Lieder (1777), and in Crome’s Gedichte (1795). Cf. infra, p. 80.


Ibid., Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 688–91: Derwins Thränen, aus dem alten Cornischen.

A lament, Ossianic in spirit, translated into rhythmic prose from the Royal Magazine, May, 1767, pp. 264–6. Reprinted in Schmid’s Zusäzze (1769).

Ibid., Vol. 4, No. 6, pp. 1001–8: Armyns Klage an Kirmor. Ein altes schottisches Gedicht.

Free translation in rimed stanzas by L.G. Crome of the Lament of Armyn, The Songs of Selma, p. 212, l. 8–p. 213, l. 31, being Fragment XI of the first edition (1760). Reprinted in Schmid’s Zusäzze (1769), in the Musenalmanach (Göttingen, 1772), in Ursinus’s Balladen und Lieder (1777), in Crome’s Gedichte (1795), and in Matthisson’s Lyrische Anthologie (1804). Cf. infra, p. 80.

Göttingische Anzeigen von gelehrten Sachen. ii, pp. 1132–4, 1137–40: Review of the Works of Ossian, Third Edition, 1765 (cf. English Bibliography).

The author of the review is Albrecht von Haller; cp. ibid., 1765, and cf. his Tagebuch (1787); for contents cf. infra, pp. 78–9.

Theorie der Poesie ... von M. Christian Heinrich Schmid. Leipzig, p. 75: Ossian is designated as the Scotch Homer and the authenticity of the poems is stated in emphatic terms.—Cp. Zusäzze, 1769. Litteratur der Poesie, 1776.

1768. Göttingische Anzeigen von gelehrten Sachen. i, pp. 361–71: Review of John Macpherson’s Critical Dissertations on the Origin, Antiquities, Language, Government, Manners and Religion of the ancient Caledonians ...—pp. 367–8: The Bards. Cf. infra, p. 85, and cp. Von den Barden ... (1770), etc.

Die Gedichte Ossians eines alten celtischen Dichters, aus dem Englischen übersetzt von M. Denis, aus der G. J. (Gesellschaft Jesu.) Vols. 1 and 2. Wien. 4o.

1769. The same, Vol. 3, containing Dr. Hugh Blair’s Critical Dissertation, pp. i–cxliv.

[Pp. 182–5: Mors Oscaris, Filii Carvthi, a translation of the Death of Oscar in Macpherson’s Notes to Temora into Latin hexameters; cp. Carmina quaedam (1794) and for German translations cf. Der Tod Oskars (1772), Deutsches Museum (1783), and Nachlese zu Sineds Liedern (1784)].—A translation of Ossian’s poems in hexameters, which appeared in 1768–9, not in 1767–9, as Gurlitt (April 9, 1802, p. 6) and others[8] have it. An octavo edition appeared synchronously. Cp. Ossians und Sineds Lieder (1784; 1791–2). Cf. infra, pp. 120–6. To Vol. 1 a translation of Macpherson’s first dissertation was prefixed, to Vol. 2 the second.[6]

Reviews: Göttingische Anzeigen von gelehrten Sachen, 1768, ii, pp. 1281–5 (Vol. 1 only).

Staats– und Gelehrte Zeitung des Hamburgischen unpartheyischen Correspondenten, 1768, No. 202 (Vol. 1 only). At the close an anecdote in proof of the genuineness of the works of Ossian is related.

Neue Bibliothek der schönen Wissenschaften. Leipzig, Vol. 8, i, pp. 99–112 (1769): Review of Vols. 1 and 2.

Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek, Vol. 10, i, pp. 63–9 (1769): Review of Vol. 1; Vol. 17, ii, pp. 437–47 (1772): Review of Vols. 2 and 3. Johann Gottfried Herder is the author of these reviews, the first of which was reprinted in Herder’s Lebensbild (1846), Vol. 1, iii, 2, pp. 119–28, and in the Sämmtliche Werke, ed. Suphan, Vol. 4, pp. 320–5, and the second in the Sämmtliche Werke, ed. Suphan, Vol. 5, pp. 322–30, where the first draft without the ending is given on pp. 416–20. The Frankfurter gelehrte Anzeigen for 1772 contains a notice of Herder’s review of Vols. 2 and 3 on p. 811.

Almanach der deutschen Musen auf das Jahr 1770. Leipzig, pp. 113–4: Review of Vols. 2 and 3. In the second edition of the Almanach (Leipzig, Berlin und Frankfurt) the review is found on pp. 123–4.

Erfurtische gelehrte Zeitungen für das Jahr 1769, pp. 27–9: Review of Vol. 1; pp. 417–9: Vol. 2; pp. 713–7: Vol. 3.

M. Christian Heinrich Schmids Zusäzze zur Theorie der Poesie und Nachrichten von den besten Dichtern. Dritte Sammlung. Leipzig. pp. 218–30: Ossian.

Pp. 218–20 contain a review of the first volume of Denis’s translation, pp. 220–2 a reprint of the Episode aus dem altschottischen Gedichte Fingal, Unterhaltungen, Vol. 4, No. 1, (1767), pp. 223–5 a reprint of Derwins Thränen, ibid., No. 2, and pp. 225–30 a reprint of Armyns Klagen an Kirmor, ibid., No. 6. Cp. Theorie der Poesie, 1767, Litteratur der Poesie, 1776.

Unterhaltungen. Hamburg. Vol. 8, No. 1, p. 76: Nachricht von einer lateinischen poetischen Uebersetzung der Ossianischen Werke.

Ibid., Vol. 8, No. 6, pp. 541–2: Probe der lateinischen Uebersetzung des Ossian.

Latin translation of an extract from Temora, Book i, taken from Robert Macfarlan’s Temoræ Liber Primus versibus latinis expressus (London, 1769), of which the above is a notice. Cp. Neue Bibliothek, 1770.


Kritische Wälder. Oder Betrachtungen die Wissenschaft und Kunst des Schönen betreffend, nach Maasgabe neuerer Schriften. Erstes Wäldchen, pp. 38–41: Sentiments of the people of Ossian.

These notes are found on pp. 27–9 of Vol. 3 of Herder’s Sämmtliche Werke, ed. Suphan.

Comala. Ein dramatisches Gedicht von Johann Joachim Eschenburg, dem Geburts–Feste der Durchl. Erbprinzessinn von Braunschweig Königl. Hoheit unterthänigst gewidmet; vorgestellt von der Ackermannischen Gesellschaft den 12ten August 1769. Braunschweig.

A free rendering of Comala in three scenes, mainly in iambic pentameters, with a happy ending substituted for Comala’s tragic death as narrated by Macpherson. The subject is not taken from an episode in Fingal, as stated in Ersch und Gruber, Encyklopädie, sub Eschenburg (p. 53). Cp. Letter of Boie to Raspe, dated Göttingen, Aug. 29, 1769, in the Weimarisches Jahrbuch für deutsche Sprache, Litteratur und Kunst. iii. Hannover, 1855, pp. 13–5. Eschenburg (1743–1820) edited the first four volumes of the Unterhaltungen, also the Brittisches Museum, e. g. under 1777.

Reviews: Staats– und Gelehrte Zeitung des Hamburgischen unpartheyischen Correspondenten, 1769, No. 150.

Almanach der deutschen Musen auf das Jahr 1770, p. 82. Second Edition, pp. 87–8.

1770. Almanach der deutschen Musen auf das Jahr 1770. Leipzig.[7] pp. 194–204: Comala. Ein dramatisches Gedicht von Eschenburg, d. 12. Aug. dem Geburtsfeste der Erbprinzessinn von Braunschweig gewidmet.

A reprint of the above, which appeared also in the Zwote, verbesserte und vermehrte Auflage of the Almanach, Leipzig, Berlin und Frankfurt, pp. 198–208.

Von den Barden, nebst etlichen Bardenliedern aus dem Englischen. Leipzig.

A translation by Christian Felix Weisse of John Macpherson’s Critical Dissertations on the Origin, Antiquities, Language, Government, Manners, and Religion of the ancient Caledonians (London, 1768), to which are added prose translations of four so–called bardic songs, none of which, however, is taken from Ossian. Cp. Göttingische gelehrte Anzeigen (1768), Gall. Alterthümer, 1781, etc.


Neue Bibliothek der schönen Wissenschaften. Leipzig. Vol. 9, ii, pp. 344–9: Review of Robert Macfarlan’s Temorae Liber Primus versibus latinis expressus. Cp. Unterhaltungen, 1769.

1771. Silbernes Buch. MS. in the Berlin Royal Library. p. 103: Todeslied auf einen Helden. p. 104: Todeslied auf ein Mädchen. p. 105: An den Mond. p. 106: Trauergesang eines Mädchen.

The first is a translation of Dar–Thula, p. 287, ll. 10–18, the second of Dar–Thula, p. 288, l. 31–p. 289, l. 3 (cp. Volkslieder, 1779), the third of Dar–Thula, beginning, p. 278–p. 279, l. 13 (cp. Vom Geist der Ebräischen Poesie, 1782), and the fourth of Temora, Book iv, p. 339, ll. 20–end. The first extract is translated in rimed couplets, the others in free meter.—For these and the translations from Ossian given in the Volkslieder, cf. Waag, Über Herders Übertragungen Englischer Gedichte, Heidelberg, 1892.—The first and the last two of these are found on pp. 549–51 of the Suphan ed., Vol. 25.

Göttingische Anzeigen von gelehrten Sachen, i, pp. 630–1: A resentment of Voltaire’s derogatory criticism of Ossian in his Questions sur l’Encyclopédie (1770), in a review of the first volume of that work.

Der Wandsbecker Bothe. No. 187. Freytags, den 22. November: Ich wüsste nicht warum.

An epigram in praise of the poetry of Ossian as contrasted with that of the Greeks. The author of the poem is Matthias Claudius, 1740–1815. It was written in answer to an epigram by Klopstock, entitled Sitt’ und Weise der Neuern (Göttinger Musenalmanach, 1773, p. 176, and elsewhere). Reprinted in the Almanach der deutschen Musen, 1773, and in the Sämmtliche Werke des Wandsbecker Bothen (1775).—Cf. Die poetischen Beiträge zum Wandsbecker Bothen, gesammelt und ihren Verfassern zugewiesen von Dr. Carl Christian Redlich. (Programm.) Hamburg, 1871. p. 20.

Klopstocks Oden. Hamburg, 1771. Drittes Buch, p. 244: Two stanzas in the ode Unsre Sprache relating to Ossian. Cf. infra, p. 91.

1772. Musenalmanach. Göttingen. pp. 209–18: Armyns Klagelied an Kirmor. Ein altschottisches Gedicht. Cf. Unterhaltungen, Vol. 4, No. 6 (1767).

Der Tod Oskars, des Sohns Karuths. Aus dem Lateinischen des Herrn Denis. Prag.


A German hexameter version of Denis’s Latin translation, for which cf. Die Gedichte Ossians, Vol. 3, (1769). The author of the German version, which appeared anonymously, is Fr. Expedit, Edler von Schönfeld. Meusel’s Lexikon (sub Denis, Vol. 2, p. 327) states the facts in a very vague manner, so that we are led to believe that Denis made a German translation from the Latin of Schönfeld, instead of vice versa.

Die Lieder Sineds des Barden mit Vorbericht und Anmerkungen von M. Denis, aus der G. J. Wien. pp. 1–4: An Ossians Geist.

A poem addressed to the spirit of Ossian, which appeared also in the new edition of the poems (1782), and in Ossians und Sineds Lieder (1784, Vol. 4, pp. 1–4; 1791, Vol. 5, pp. 3–5).

Reviews: Göttingische Anzeigen von gelehrten Sachen, 1773, ii, pp. 1181–4.

Frankfurter gelehrte Anzeigen, 1773, pp. 477–81. Cf. Goethe’s Works, Ausgabe letzter Hand, Vol. 33, pp. 68–73; ed. Weimar, Vol. 37, pp. 242–6. The review is not by Goethe, but by Herder.

1773. Works of Ossian. Vol. 1. Darmstadt.

This, the first English reprint of Ossian’s Poems in Germany, was published at the suggestion of Johann Heinrich Merck, 1741–91. Volume 2 appeared in 1775.

Notices: Frankfurter gelehrte Anzeigen, 1775, p. 7. Anhang zu dem 13. bis 24. Bande der allg. deutschen Bibl., 2. Abth., p. 950 (1777).

Meine Philosophie, aus dem Französischen des Herrn Dorat. 38 pp.—pp. 39–48: Ossians Klage aus dem[8] Englischen.

Neither author nor place of publication is mentioned, and the lament has no possible connection with the preceding philosophical treatise.

Von Deutscher Art und Kunst. Einige fliegende Blätter. Hamburg, pp. 1–70: Auszug aus einem Briefwechsel über Ossian und die Lieder alter Völker. pp. 113–8: Nachschrift.

The author of the essay is Herder. It is reprinted in No. 40 of the Deutsche Litteraturdenkmale des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts, pp. 3–50, 76–80. Cf. also Herder’s Sämmtliche Werke, ed. Suphan, Vol. 5, pp. 159–207.

Reviews: Frankfurter gelehrte Anzeigen, 1773, pp. 529–31. Anhang zu dem 13. bis 24. Bande der allg. deutschen Bibl., 2. Abth., pp. 1169–74 (1777).

Neue Bibliothek der schönen Wissenschaften, Vol. 14, i, p. 188: Notice of an English verse rendering of Fingal, Rivington, 1772.


Almanach der deutschen Musen auf das Jahr 1773. Leipzig. (Gedichte.) p. 137: Ich wüsste nicht warum.

Reprinted from the Wandsbecker Bothe, 1771, e. g.

1774. Die Leiden des jungen Werthers. Zweyter Theil. Leipzig. pp. 193–205: A beautiful translation in rhythmic prose by Goethe of The Songs of Selma as far as p. 213, l. 30 (Tauchnitz). p. 206: Translation of a short extract from Berrathon, p. 374, l. 5–p. 375, l. 1.—pp. 151–3: (Oct. 12.) Description of the world of Ossian, beginning: “Ossian hat in meinem Herzen den Homer verdrängt.”

Goethe had made a translation of The Songs of Selma in Strassburg and given it to Friederike Brion. Cf. Weimar edition, Vol. 37, pp. 66–77, which gives the entire songs to the end (p. 214, Tauchnitz). Also Stöber, 1842.

An Ossianic imitation based upon Goethe’s translation is contained in a letter by Theodor Körner to Fritz Henoch, dated Freiberg, 1809. Cf. Theodor Körner. Zum 23. September 1891. Leipzig: F. A. Brockhaus, 1891. p. 58; also National–Zeitung, 1891, No. 525 (Sept. 13). For a comparison of Goethe’s translation with that of Lenz, cf. Zeitschrift für vergleichende Literaturgeschichte, 1896, pp. 108 and 110.—On p. 214, Vol. 8, of the Goethe–Jahrbuch, we are told that the Lament of Armin was translated from Werthers Leiden into French verse by A. P. Coupigny in the year 1795; the beginning of the free translation is quoted, which, however, is not the Lament of Armin, but Berrathon, p. 374, ll. 5–8. In the Ausgabe letzter Hand the portions mentioned are found on pp. 166–75, p. 176, pp. 125–6 resp. of Vol. 16 (1828), in the Weimar edition, Vol. 19, pp. 165–75, 175–6, 124–5. For other editions, reprints, etc., of Werthers Leiden cf. Goedeke’s Grundriss, 2d ed., Vol. 4, p. 650.

Allgemeine Theorie der Schönen Künste ... von Johann George Sulzer. 2 vols. Leipzig. 1771–4. Vol. 2, pp. 865–73: Critical article on Ossian with a number of quotations from Denis’s translation.

For other editions cf. 1775, 1779, 1787, 1793.

Die Deutsche Gelehrtenrepublik ... Herausgegeben von Klopstock. Erster Theil. Frankfurt und Leipzig, p. 178: Epigram in praise of Ossian. Cf. infra, p. 91.

Versuche über die Geschichte des Menschen von Heinrich Home. Aus dem Englischen übersetzt. Vol. 1. Leipzig, pp. 322–65: Discussion of the manners of the ancient Celts and Scandinavians, with numerous quotations from the poems of Ossian.

The translation was made by A. E. Klausing. Cp. 2d ed., 1783, English reprint, 1796. Vol. 2 appeared in 1775.


1775. The Works of Ossian. Volume 2. Darmstadt. Cf. Vol. 1, 1773.

Die Gedichte Ossian’s eines alten celtischen Helden und Barden. 3 vols. Düsseldorf.

German prose translation by Edmund von Harold. Cp. 2d ed., 1782, reprint, 1795. Cf. Rheinische Beiträge, 1778, 1780–1.

Review: Anhang zu dem 25.–36. Bande der allg. deutschen Bibl., 5. Abth., pp. 3008–11, (1780).

Iris. [Herausgegeben von Johann Georg Jacobi.] Düsseldorf. Vol. 3, pp. 163–92, Vol. 4, pp. 83–105: Ossian fürs Frauenzimmer. Fingal, ein alt Gedicht von Ossian.

A prose translation of the first two books of Fingal by Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz, 1751–92; the remaining books appeared in the following volumes, e. g. under 1776.

Allgemeine Theorie der Schönen Künste ... von Johann George Sulzer. Vol. 2, pp. 377–87: Ossian.

A reprint of the first edition of 1774, e. g. (Vol. 1 of the reprint had appeared in 1773.)

Dr. Samuel Johnson’s Reisen nach den Westlichen Inseln bey Schottland. Aus dem Englischen. Leipzig, pp. 189–93: Dr. Johnson’s diatribe against the authenticity of the poems of Ossian.

Translation of A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland, London, 1775.

Review: Zugabe zu den Göttingischen gelehrten Anzeigen, 1776, pp. cccxxi–vi.

Gothaische gelehrte Zeitungen, Gotha. pp. 318–9: Notice of the controversy between Dr. Johnson and Macpherson, with a translation of a letter in reference to same published in the St. James Chronicle.

ASMVS omnia sua SECVM portans, oder Sämmtliche Werke des Wandsbecker Bothen, I. und II. Theil. Bresslau.[9] p. 123: Ich wüsste nicht warum?

Cf. Der Wandsbecker Bothe, 1771.—For other editions and reprints cf. Goedeke’s Grundriss.

Miscellaneous Pieces in Prose by J. and A. L. Aikin. Altenburgh, pp. 34–42: Selama, an Imitation of Ossian.


A very close imitation in rhythmic prose (English). The names are borrowed from Ossian and there is nothing to distinguish this from one of Macpherson’s productions.

Notice: Allgemeine deutsche Bibliothek, Vol. 26, i, p. 282 (1775).

1776. Iris. Berlin. Vol. 5, pp. 87–107, Vol. 6, pp. 335–53, Vol. 7, pp. 563–80, Vol. 8, pp. 812–30.

Lenz’s translation of the last four books of Fingal; for the first two cf. Iris, Vols. 3 and 4, 1775.—A reprint of the six volumes appeared in Düsseldorf and Berlin, 1775–6.—For a criticism of the translation cf. Zeitsch. für vergl. Litteraturgesch., infra, 1896.

Review: Anhang zu dem 25. bis 36. Bande der allg. deutschen Bibl., 6. Abth., p. 3425 (1780).

Litteratur der Poesie von Christian Heinrich Schmid. Erster Theil. Leipzig. pp. 295–303: Article on Ossian. Cp. Theorie der Poesie, 1767, Zusäzze, 1769.

Deutsches Museum. Leipzig. pp. 62–6: Fingals Höle. Mit einem Kupferstich.

A description of Fingal’s Cave, not an Ossianic poem, as Nicolai, Herrigs Archiv, Vol. 58, p. 155 (1877), would lead us to suspect.

Ibid., pp. 763–9: Hellebeck, Eine Seeländische Gegend. An E.F. ... v. S. ... und seine Emilia. Von Friedrich Leopold Grafen zu Stolberg.

Friedrich Stolberg (1750–1819) was strongly influenced by Ossian and not a few of his poems show traces of this influence. This particular poem has been included here, because the dependence upon Ossian is striking. On pp. 764–6 he relates the story of Fingal’s courtship of Agandecca and the latter’s death (Fingal, Bk. iii, p. 236, l. 6–p. 238, l. 5), like the remainder of the poem in hexameters.—Cp. Gedichte, 1779.

1776–7. Litterarische Monate. Ein Journal von einer Gesellschaft zu Wien. Erster Band. [Oct. 1776 to Jan. 1777.] Wien.

The Journal was written under the guidance of Denis, and contains numerous bardic songs in the Ossian–Denis style.

1777. Works of Ossian. 4 vols. Francfort and Leipzig.

This edition contains the complete works, with arguments and notes. To Vol. 1 is prefixed Macpherson’s Dissertation on the Aera of Ossian. A specimen of the original of Temora, Bk. vii, is given at the end of Vol. 4, pp. 183–204.—Edited by Merck, cp. Works, 1773.—New edition, 1783.

Review: Allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 36, ii, p. 603 (1778).


Balladen und Lieder altenglischer und altschottischer Dichtart. Herausgegeben von August Friedrich Ursinus. Berlin. pp. 136–55: Armyn an Kirmor. Ein altschottisches Gedicht. Von Crome. pp. 290–9: Colma. Ein altschottisches Fragment. Von Crome.

Both are reprinted from the Unterhaltungen, 1767, e. g. The English originals are given on the pages opposite.

Deutsches Museum. Leipzig, i, pp. 214–5: Notice of the MSS. of the poems of Ossian in a letter [by Sturz]: Briefe eines Reisenden vom Jahre 1868. Erster Brief. London den 18ten Aug.

Helfrich Peter Sturz’s (1736–79) views on the authenticity of the works of Ossian. Macpherson showed him the alleged originals and he is convinced of the genuineness of the poems. Cp. Schriften, 1779.

Brittisches Museum für die Deutschen. Leipzig. Vol. I, i, pp. 136–7: Review of The Fingal of Ossian, ... rendered into Heroic Verse, by Ewen Cameron, Warrington, 1776.

Der Teutsche Merkur vom Jahr 1777. Weimar, ii, pp. 196–8: Comala, eine Celtische Geschichte, von B. G. B.

A poem in rimed quatrains, based upon the episode of Comal and Galvina, Fingal, Bk. ii, pp. 234–5.

Ibid., iii, pp. 193–8: Colma, eine Kantate. (Nach dem Ossian.) Von Dt.

A free rendering in rimed verses by Clamor Eberhard Karl Schmidt, 1746–1824, of the song of the unfortunate Colma, The Songs of Selma, p. 209, l. 3–p. 210, l. 12.

Leipziger Musenalmanach aufs Jahr 1777. Leipzig. pp. 174–81: Fingal und Daura. (Ein musikalisches Drama.) von Ryno.

A dramatic poem based upon Macpherson’s Comala, the beginning of the story being identical with Comala, and its language and spirit Ossianic throughout. The ending is happy, as in Eschenburg’s dramatization (1769). For some reason the author has changed the names of two of the dramatis personæ: Comala has become Daura and Hidallan Ulfadha; both of the new names occur in the poems of Ossian.

Auszug aus Eduard Blondheims geheimen Tagebuche. Leipzig.

An imitation of Werthers Leiden, containing occasional traces of Ossianic influence.—pp. 50–3: Ossian bey Hidallahs Grabe. An Ossianic lament in rhythmic prose.

Review: Der Teutsche Merkur, 1778, i, p. 82.


1778. Wodan. Erster Band. Hamburg. No. 1, pp. 23–4: An die Sonne. Nach dem Ossian, im Schlusse seines Gedichts: Carthon, genannt. Von Opin.

A rimed translation in eight–line stanzas of the Apostrophe to the Sun, Carthon, p. 163, l. 32–p. 164, end.

Ibid., No. 4, pp. 197–200: Probe einer neuen Uebersetzung der Temora des Ossian. von F. L. Epheu.

F. L. Epheu is the pseudonym of Garlieb Hanker, 1758–1807. The translation is in iambic measure, and the specimen is concluded in the 2d vol. of Wodan (1779), e. g.

Review: Allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 37, i, pp. 283–4 (1779).

Rheinische Beiträge zur Gelehrsamkeit. Ersten Jahrgangs zweiter Band. Mannheim, pp. 202–13: Evirallin. Ein Gedicht.

An imitation of Ossian in rhythmic prose, giving a different account of Fingal’s courtship of Evirallin from that related in Fingal, Bk. iv, pp. 245–6.

Ibid., pp. 289–302: Sulmora. Ein Gedicht.

Also an imitation of Ossian in rhythmic prose.

Ibid., pp. 359–69: Malvina. Ein dramatisches Gedicht.

A poem in dramatic form, based upon Malvina’s lament over the death of her lover Oscar. Cp. Croma, pp. 177–8.

All three imitations are by Edmund von Harold, who published a translation in 1775 and a collection of his own in 1787, e. g. Cp. Rheinische Beiträge for 1780 and 1781.

1779. Deutsches Museum. Leipzig, i, pp. 534–49: Karrikthura. Probe einer neuen Uebersezung Ossians, von Gottfried August Bürger.

Rhythmic prose translation of Carric–Thura. Cp. his Vermischte Schriften, 1802.—For Bürger’s estimate of the translations of Denis, Harold, Lenz, and Wittenberg, cf. letter to Goeckingk, Jan. 25, 1779: Vierteljahrsch. für Litteraturgesch. Vol. 3, p. 422 (1890).

Volkslieder. Nebst untermischten andern Stücken. Zweiter Theil. Leipzig. [Herder’s collection.] p. 130: Darthula’s Grabesgesang. Aus Ossian.[10]

Translation of Dar–Thula, p. 288, l. 31–p. 289, l. 3. Cp. Silbernes Buch, 1771. The poem was set to music by Johannes Brahms, e. g., sub Music, infra, p. 63.


Ibid., pp. 131–7: Fillans Erscheinung und Fingals Schildklang. Aus Ossian.

Translation of Temora, Bk. vii, p. 354–p. 356, l. 27.

Ibid., pp. 138–9: Erinnerung des Gesanges der Vorzeit. Aus Ossian.

Translation of Temora, Bk. vii, p. 360, l. 28–p. 361, l. 5. This and the preceding fragment are ‘attempts at a translation from the specimens of the original of Temora published by Macpherson.’ The three fragments are translated in free measures.

All three translations are by Herder, although they were for a long time ascribed to Goethe and inserted in various collections of Goethe’s works, e. g. in the Hempel edition of the Poems, Vol. 3, pp. 3, 373–8; Goedeke’s Complete Edition in Ten Volumes, Vol. 1, pp. 910–3; etc., etc. In the Deutsche National–Litteratur edition of Goethe, iii, 2, Düntzer inserts the last two (pp. 187–92), but does not allot the first (Dar–Thula) to Goethe.—Cp. Herder’s Werke, 1807. In the Suphan ed. these poems are found in Vol. 25, pp. 423–30.

Wodan. Zweiter und letzter Band. Hamburg. No. 5, pp. 256–61: Conclusion of the Probe einer neuen Uebersetzung der Temora begun in Vol. 1, 1778, e. g.

Ibid., No. 8, pp. 469–75: Konnal und Krimora. von Epheu. Nach dem Ossian. An**.

A free translation—rhythmic prose with metrical passages interspersed—of Carric–Thura, p. 151, l. 12–p. 153, l. 7. With an introductory dedication to a lady. Cp. Wodan, 1778.

Taschenbuch für Dichter und Dichterfreunde. Zehnte Abtheilung. Leipzig. pp. 80–2: Der Schild. Nach einem Fragmente Ossians. Von Kretschmann.

A poem by Karl Friedrich Kretschmann (1738–1809) based upon an episode in Carric–Thura, p. 151. Cp. his Works, 1784, and cf. infra, p. 139. Another poem by Kretschmann appeared in the Taschenbuch for 1780.

Die Schreibtafel. Siebente Lieferung. Mannheim, pp. 92–7: Ueber Ossian. An Herrn von Dalberg. von Mathias Herrmann Dühn.

A poetic eulogy of Ossian. The author was a carpenter’s apprentice from Hamburg employed in Mannheim.

Notice: Allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 44, ii, p. 470 (1781).

Ueber Sprache und Dichtkunst. Fragmente fon Klopstock. Hamburg. pp. 117–9: Klopstock’s views as to the[18] metrical system of Ossian laid down in his essay Fom deutschen Hexameter.

These remarks are found on pp. 165–6, Vol. 15, of Klopstocks Sämmtliche Werke ... herausgegeben von Back und Spindler. Leipzig, 1823–30.

Allgemeine Theorie der Schönen Künste ... von Johann George Sulzer. Zweyte verbesserte Auflage. 4 vols. Leipzig, 1778–9. Vol. 3, pp. 377–87: Article on Ossian. Cf. 1st ed., 1774.

Schriften von Helfrich Peter Sturz. Erste Sammlung. Leipzig, p. 6: Remarks on the authenticity of Ossian’s poems.

Cf. Deutsches Museum, 1777. In the München edition of 1785 the passage is given on pp. 7–8.—Cf. Helferich Peter Sturz nebst einer Abhandlung über die Schleswigischen Literaturbriefe ... von Dr. Max Koch. München 1879, p. 120, note 4, where mention is made of No. 13 of the Reichs–Postreuter for 1780, which I was unable to procure.

Review: Beytrag zum Reichs–Postreuter, 1780, 10tes Stück.

Die Werke der Caledonischen Barden aus dem Gallischen ins Engländische und aus diesem ins Deutsche übersetzt. Erster Band. Leipzig.

Prose translation of John Clark’s Works of the Caledonian Bards translated from the Galic, Edinburgh and London, 1778. pp. iii–xx: Vorrede. 1–12: Einleitung des englischen Uebersetzers ein Gedicht. Then the poems: Morduth, ein altes heroisches Gedichte in drey Büchern. Der Heerführer von Scarlaw. Der Heerführer von Feyglen. Die Höhle von Creyla. Colmala und Orwi. Des alten Barden Wunsch. Duchoil’s Elegie. Sulvinas Elegie. Oran–Molla. Die Worte des Wehes. Die Annäherung des Sommers. Der alte Fürst.

Reviews: Allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 39, i, pp. 161–2 (1779).

Of the English original: Neue Bibl. der schönen Wissenschaften, Vol. 22, ii, pp. 334–5 (1779).

Göttingische Anz. von gel. Sachen, 1779, i, pp. 51–6.

Rheinische Beiträge zur Gelehrsamkeit. Mannheim, ii, pp. 222–30: Teutharts Trauern um Minna. Elegie.

A servile imitation of an Ossianic lament, which appeared anonymously.

Gedichte der Brüder Christian und Friedrich Leopold Grafen zu Stolberg. herausgegeben von Heinrich Christian Boie. Leipzig, pp. 161–74: Hellebek, eine seeländische Gegend.


Cf. Deutsches Museum, 1776. The episode of Fingal and Agandecca is contained on pp. 164–7.—In the Gesammelte Werke der Brüder Christian und Friedrich Leopold Grafen zu Stolberg (20 vols., Hamburg 1820–5), Hellebek appears in Vol. 1, pp. 135–45. For other editions cf. Goedeke’s Grundriss. Cp. Werke, Vol. 2 (1821).

1780. Taschenbuch für Dichter und Dichterfreunde. Eilfte Abtheilung. Leipzig, pp. 7–13: Fingal und Hloda. Nach Ossian. Von Kretschmann.

A poetical rendering of the episode of Fingal’s battle with the Spirit of Loda, Carric–Thura, p. 146, l. 22.–p. 148, l. 11. Cp. Kretschmann’s Works, 1784.

Review of this and of Kretschmann’s Der Schild in the Taschenbuch for 1779: Neue Bibl. der schönen Wissenschaften, Vol. 31, i, pp. 70–1 (1785).

Wienerischer Musenalmanach. Wien. pp. 1–?: Darthula, ein Trauerspiel nach Ossian. Von Friedrich Saam.

A dramatization of Macpherson’s Dar–Thula.

Rheinische Beiträge zur Gelehrsamkeit. Mannheim. i, pp. 199–213: Sitrik, ein Gedicht aus dem englischen übersetzt. Von Herrn Obristwachtmeister von Harold.

Rhythmic prose, in imitation of Ossian. Cf. Rheinische Beiträge for 1778.

Leipziger Musenalmanach auf das Jahr 1780. Leipzig. pp. 106–7: Die Rache. Von Stz.

An appeal for revenge in free imitation of Ossian.

Teudelinde; dem Grafen Friedrich Leopold zu Stolberg gewidmet. Hamburg.

A tale with lyric passages in the manner of Ossian, closing with a panegyric on the bard. The author is Gerhard Anton von Halem (1752–1819). Cp. Poesie und Prose (1789).

Review: Allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 44, i, pp. 103–4 (1780).

Buchhändler Zeitung, No. 4: doubts the genuineness of the poems of Ossian.

A copy of this paper was not to be had; the article in question is mentioned in the Beytrag zum Reichs–Postreuter, 1780, 10tes Stück.

1781. Zustand der Wissenschaften und Künste in Schwaben. Erstes Stück. Augspurg. [Herausgegeben von Balthasar Haug.] pp. 34–56: Ossians Karrik–Thura. Aus dem Englischen, von H.


A translation of Carric–Thura in rhythmic prose, with lyrical passages in verse, by Friedrich Wilhelm von Hoven (?). Cf. Arch. für Litteraturgesch., 1879, p. 537.—Cp. Anthologie, 1782.

Gallische Alterthümer oder eine Sammlung alter Gedichte aus dem Gallischen des Ullin, Ossian, Orran, u. s. w. von John Smith ins Engländische und aus diesem ins Deutsche übersetzt, benebst einer Geschichte der Druiden hauptsächlich der Caledonischen und einer Abhandlung über die Aechtheit der Ossianischen Gedichte. 2 vols. Leipzig.

Translation of John Smith’s Galic Antiquities, Edinburgh and London, 1780, by Christian Felix Weisse. Cp. Neue Bibl. der schönen Wissenschaften, 1766; Von den Barden, 1770.

Review of English translation: Neue Bibl. der schönen Wissenschaften, Vol. 25, i, pp. 172–3 (1780).—For reviews of the Gaelic originals cf. 1787–8.—A review of an Italian translation of the History of the Druids and of several of the poems appeared in the Gött. Anz. von gel. Sachen, 1788, i, p. 412.

D. Christian Heinrich Schmids Professors zu Giessen Anweisung der vornehmsten Bücher in allen Theilen der Dichtkunst. Leipzig. pp. 120–3, 376: List of the works of Ossian and of a few treatises and translations.

Rheinische Beiträge zur Gelehrsamkeit. Mannheim, i, pp. 117–29: Die Lieder von Tara. Vom Hrn. Obristwachtmeister von Harold.

Another of Harold’s rhythmic prose imitations. Cf. Rheinische Beiträge for 1778.

1782. Die Gedichte Ossians des Celtischen Helden und Barden. Aus dem Englischen und zum Theile der Celtischen Ursprache übersetzt von Freyherrn von Harold. Zweyte verbesserte mit vielen bisher unentdeckten Gedichten vermehrte Auflage. 3 vols. Mannheim.

Vorbericht of 6 pp. by the publishers.—Fragment einer nordischen Geschichte in prose, 4 pp.; the same translated by Denis in hexameters, 4 pp.—Ueber Ossians Genie und Geist. Aus Hugo Blairs Abhandlung, 4 pp.—Then follow the poems in prose translation with arguments and notes. Vol. 2, pp. 285–7 (293): Der Tod Oscars (from Macpherson’s Notes to Temora). Vol. 3, pp. 275–314: Anhang einiger neu aufgefundener Gedichte. (Bosmina, Ossians letztes Lied, Ossians Lied nach der Niederlage der Römer.)—Kayser, Bücher–Lexicon, gives 1822 as the date of this edition. Cf. 1st ed., 1775, and Rheinische Beiträge, 1778, 1780, 1781.


Die Gedichte Ossians neuverteutschet. Tübingen.

Prose translation by Johann Wilhelm Petersen, with some notes from Macpherson and others added by the translator. Vorbericht, pp. iii–xiv.—pp. 441–508: Anhang. pp. 443–8: Kolna–Dona, placed here in the appendix because Petersen considers it far too unimportant to be given a place among the others. pp. 449–54: Der Tod Oskars, assigned to the appendix because he considers it unauthentic. pp. 455–68: Bosmina. pp. 469–78: Ossians letztes Lied. The last two from von Harold (cf. supra). pp. 479–501: Macpherson’s first dissertation translated. pp. 502–8: Anhang des teutschen Uebersetzers zu vorstehender Abhandlung: account of the strife over the authenticity.—The translation of The Songs of Selma is Goethe’s, as is the passage from Berrathon given in Werthers Leiden.—Second edition: 1808.

Reviews: Allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 56, i, pp. 118–20 (1783).

Frankfurter gelehrte Anzeigen, 1782, pp. 241–5, which for the sake of comparison quote the beginning of Fingal (to p. 216, l. 21) in Petersen’s, in Denis’s, and in Lenz’s translations.

Anthologie auf das Jahr 1782. Gedrukt in der Buchdrukerei zu Tobolsko. [Herausgegeben von Schiller.] pp. 112–4: Ossians Sonnengesang aus dem Gedichte Karthon. (In Musik zu haben beim Herausgeber.) von H ...

Translation in rimed verses of the Apostrophe to the Sun, Carthon, p. 163, l. 32–p. 164, end. The translator is Friedrich Wilhelm von Hoven; cp. Zustand der Wissenschaften etc., 1781, and cf. Arch. für Litteraturgesch., 1879, p. 537. The poem was set to music by Johann Rudolf Zumsteeg (1760–1802); cf. infra, p. 64.—A new edition of the Anthologie appeared in 1798, e. g. Cf. also Schiller’s sämmtliche Schriften, ed. Goedeke (Stuttgart), Erster Theil, Jugendversuche, pp. 265–6; Schiller’s letter to von Hoven, establishing the latter’s authorship of the translation is given on p. 196.

Vom Geist der Ebräischen Poesie. Eine Anleitung für die Liebhaber derselben, und der ältesten Geschichte des menschlichen Geistes, von J. G. Herder. 2 vols. Dessau. 1782–3. p. 115: Ossians Anrede an die untergehende Sonne. pp. 115–6: An die Morgensonne. pp. 117–8: An den Mond. pp. 118–9: An den Abendstern.

Metrical translations of four of Macpherson’s apostrophes to illustrate Ossian’s personifications and nature poetry. The first is a translation of the beginning of Carric–Thura, p. 143, first paragraph; the second of Carthon, p. 163, l. 32–p. 164, end; the third of Dar–Thula, p. 278–p. 279, l. 13 (cf. Silbernes Buch, 1771), and the last of the beginning of The Songs of Selma, p. 208, first nine lines. Cp. ed. Leipzig, 1787, and[22] Album des lit. Ver. in Nürnberg für 1854, and cf. the editions of Herder’s works. In Suphan’s edition the translations are found in Vol. ii, pp. 297–300.

Der Teutsche Merkur. Weimar. ii, pp. 12–17: Metrical translation of the Presages of Ossian’s Death, Berrathon, p. 380, l. 17–p. 382, end. pp. 17–22: Elegy on the Death of Malvina, Berrathon, beginning, p. 374–p. 376, l. 14. p. 24: Translation of the War of Inis–Thona, p. 205, ll. 7–11.

These translations are by Herder, being inserted in his essay Hades und Elysium, oder Meinungen und Dichtungen verschiedner Völker vom Zustande der Menschen nach diesem Leben, in order to serve as an illustration of the ideas of the Celts on the subject, pp. 11–24.—Cp. Zerstreute Blätter, 1797. In Suphan’s edition of Herder’s Works the Celtic conception of the Land der Seelen is given on pp. 323–33 of Vol. 16 (1887.)

Bibliothek der schönen Wissenschaften und der freyen Künste. Leipzig. Vol. 27, i, pp. 146–7: Review of Shaw’s Enquiry into the Authenticity of the Poems ascribed to Ossian, London, 1781, and of John Clark’s Answer to Mr. Shaw’s Inquiry into the Authenticity of the Poems ascribed to Ossian, Edinburgh, 1781.

Fingal in Lochlin. Ein Schauspiel in fünf Aufzügen. Nach Ossian. Dessau.

A dramatization in prose with several lyric passages in verse based upon the story in Fingal, Book iii, p. 236, 16–p. 238, l. 5, and upon Cath–Loda, while an episode in Act iii, 3, is based upon Carric–Thura (Fingal’s battle with the Spirit of Loda). The drama was reprinted in Vol. 272 of the Deutsche Schaubühne, Wien. Another edition appeared in 1787, e. g. Gurlitt (1802, April 9, p. 8), Nicolai (1877) and others give the date of the first appearance as 1783, which is incorrect. The author of this and the drama Inamorulla (1783) is Karl Heinrich Wachsmuth, born 1760.

Review: Göttingische Anzeigen von gelehrten Sachen, 1782, ii, pp. 1245–6.

Wienerischer Musenalmanach auf das Jahr 1782. Wien, pp. 141–51: Das Grabmahl in Caracthuna. 1781. von Joseph Blodig v. Sternfeld.

A free invention in the Ossianic style.

Die Lieder Sineds des Barden ... von M. Denis ... Wien. Cf. 1772.


1783. Works of Ossian. 4 vols. Francfort and Leipzig.

Edited by Merck; cf. 1st ed., 1777. This edition contains Clark’s Answer to Shaw’s Inquiry (for a review of which cf. Bibl. der schönen Wissenschaften, 1782), as well as Macpherson’s Dissertation concerning the Aera of Ossian in Vol. 1. At the end of the fourth volume an Alphabetical Index of Names and Things is given, the specimen of Temora’s original added to the English edition being omitted.

Preliminary Notice: Gothaische gelehrte Zeitungen, 1783, p. 278.

Deutsches Museum. Leipzig. i, pp. 176–81: Der Tod Oscars, des Sohns Caruth. Aus dem Lateinischen.

Metrical translation from Denis’s Latin version of The Death of Oscar, by K. F. Trost. Cp. Der Tod Oskars, 1772.—pp. 176–8: An Denis.

Ibid., i, pp. 185–7: Ueber die Aechtheit Ossians.

A letter from a correspondent with reference to an article entitled The Ossian Controversy stated, London Magazine, Nov. 1782.

Ibid., ii, pp. 191–2: Anecdotes told by a correspondent in substantiation of the authenticity of the poems of Ossian.

Bodmers Apollinarien. Herausgegeben von Gotthold Friedrich Stäudlin. Tübingen. pp. 357–66: Zweifel gegen die Aechtheit der Kaledonischen Gedichte erhoben.

An expression of the doubts as to the authenticity of Macpherson’s poems entertained by Johann Jakob Bodmer.

Vermischte Aufsätze zum Nachdenken und zur Unterhaltung. Erster Theil. Dessau und Leipzig, pp. ?–?: Homer und Ossian.

I was unable to procure a copy of the Aufsätze, which are reviewed in the Allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 56, i, pp. 121–2 (1783), where the essay in question is referred to as a Raisonnement über Homer und Ossian and severely criticized.

Versuche über die Geschichte des Menschen von Heinrich Home. Vol. 1, 2d Edition. Cf. 1st ed., 1774, and English ed., 1796.

Inamorulla, oder Ossians Grosmuth. Ein Schauspiel in fünf Aufzügen. Nach Ossian. Dessau.

A prose drama with occasional lyric passages, based upon Macpherson’s Croma and Oina–Morul. Reprinted in Vol. 272 of the Deutsche Schaubühne, Wien, and in Vol. 46 of the Theatralische Sammlung, Wien, 1793, e. g. The author is K. H. Wachsmuth; cp. Fingal in Lochlin, 1782. Goedeke, Grundriss., 2d ed, Vol. 5, p. 393, has Inamoralia. Another edition was issued at Leipzig in the year 1787.


Deutsches Museum. Leipzig. i, pp. 116–8: Die Klage Lesbana’s. Nach dem Celtischen von v. H.—i, pp. 279–81: Klage. Nach dem Celtischen. von v. H.

Two metrical imitations of an Ossianic lament by G. A. von Halem. Cp. Poesie und Prose, 1789. Reprinted in Vol. 5 (1807) of his Schriften (Münster), pp. 20–4, 11–14.

1784. Ossians und Sineds Lieder. 5 vols. Wien.

Denis’s translation of Ossian (revised with reference to the last English edition, 1773) and a collection of his own poems, most of which are contained in Die Lieder Sineds des Barden, 1772. New edition, 1791–2, e. g. Lowndes, Bibliographer’s Manual, London (Bohn), Part vi, sub Ossian, p. 1738, mentions one edition only and dates it 1799. Cf. infra, p. 135. Vol. 1 contains a translation of Macpherson’s first, Vol. 2 of his second dissertation, Vol. 3 of Dr. Blair’s. Macpherson’s, Cesarotti’s and original notes are found at the foot of the page. Vol. 4 opens with the Vorbericht von der alten vaterländischen Dichtkunst. Vol. 5 with a Gespräch von dem Werthe der Reime, with an appendix on the use of the hexameter. In the 1791–2 ed. this appendix is inserted in Vol. 4 under the title Von dem Gebrauche des Hexameters. In the latter ed. the translation is contained in the first 4 vols. and the poems of Denis in Vols. 5 and 6.

Review: Allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 60, ii, pp. 410–6.

Nachlese zu Sineds Liedern. Aufgesammelt und herausgegeben von Joseph von Retzer. Band 6. Wien. pp. 200–9: Mors Oscaris, Filii Caruthi. (Denis.) Der Tod Oscars. Des Sohnes Karuths. von Anton Freyh. v. Rebbach.

Denis’s Latin hexameter version of The Death of Oscar, with a German translation in hexameters on the opposite pages. Cp. Der Tod Oskars (1772) and Deutsches Museum (1783).

Review: Allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 69, i, pp. 96–7 (1786).

Ungedruckte Reste alten Gesangs nebst Stücken neurer Dichtkunst. von A. Elwert. Giesen und Marburg. pp. 23–4: Klage der Barden bei Darthulas Grab. Aus dem Ossian. von S——a. pp. 25–8: Schilriks Gesang. Aus dem Ossian. von S——a. pp. 65–9: Allins Trauergesang über den Tod der Liebenden. Aus dem Ossian. von S. pp. 70–1: Trauergesang über Malvinas Tod. Aus dem Ossian. von S.

All four are poetic translations, the first of Dar–Thula, p. 288, l. 31–p. 289, l. 3; the second of Carric–Thura, p. 145, l. 27–p. 146, l. 20; the third of Carric–Thura, p. 152, l. 12–p. 153, l. 7; the fourth of Berrathon, p. 374, beginning–p. 375, l. 1. The editor is Anselm Elwert, 1761–1825.

Review: Allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 59, ii, pp. 413–5 (1784).


Tales of Ossian for Use and Entertainment. Ein Lesebuch für Anfänger im Englischen. Mit beigefügten historischen und lokalen Erläuterungen &c. Nürnberg.

The editor of the Tales is J. Balbach. They are taken exclusively from the epics of Fingal and Temora: Morna, and Cairbar and Grudar from Fingal, Book i; Cuchullin to Connal, and Comal and Galvina from Bk. ii; The Song of Tura, and Fingal to Oscar from Bk. iii; Ossian and Evirallin from Bk. iv; Fingal and Orla, and Ryno’s Death from Bk. v; Trenmor and Inibaca from Bk. vi; Oscar’s Death, and The Tale of Fallen Cormac from Temora Bk. i; Fingal and Roscrana from Bk. iv; Sulmalla and Cathmor from Bk. vii, and Cathmor’s Death, and Sulmalla from Bk. viii. Copious notes are provided. A second edition appeared in 1794, a third in 1822, e. g.

Review: Allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 61, ii, pp. 608–9 (1785).

Karl Friedrich Kretschmans sämtliche Werke. 6 vols. Leipzig. 1784–99. Vol. 1, pp. 235–48: Zwey Fragmente nach Ossian. I. Fingal und Hloda. II. Der Schild. Cf. Taschenbuch, 1779–80.

Review of the first two volumes: Neue Bibl. der schönen Wissenschaften, Vol. 31, i, pp. 57–87 (1785); pp. 70–1: Review of the fragments.

Von dem Einflusse der Wissenschaften auf die Dichtkunst. Aus dem Französischen des Herrn Merian, ..., übersetzt von Jakob Bernoulli. [1759–89.] 2 vols. Leipzig. 1784–7. Vol. 1, pp. 25–36: Poesie der Celten, pp. 31–6: Poems of Ossian. Note, pp. 36–9: Authenticity of the poems.

A translation of Johann Bernhard Merian’s (1723–1807) Comment les sciences influent–elles sur la poësie?

1785. Doctor Blairs ... Critische Abhandlung über die Gedichte Ossians, des Sohnes Fingals. Aus dem Englischen übersetzt von Otto August Heinrich Oelrichs. Hannover und Ossnabrück.

This translation appeared in 1785 not in 1786, as stated by Gurlitt (April 9, 1802, p. 15), in Fingal, Göttingen, 1788, etc. A notice of Dr. Hugh Blair’s death appeared in the Intelligenzblatt der Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1801, No. 92.

Reviews: Allg. Literatur Zeitung, 1785, iii, pp. 44–5.

Allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 65, i, pp. 124–6 (1786).

K. G. Küttners Briefe über Irland an seinen Freund, den Herausgeber [M. Schenk]. Leipzig, pp. 248–58, 309–10, 441–2: Macphersons fruchtlosse Bemühungen Schottlands Alterthum zu retten.—Unächtheit der Ossianischen Gesänge.

Review: Allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 65, ii, pp. 495–6.


Magazin für Wissenschaften und Litteratur. I. Bandes II. Theil. Herausgegeben von Otto von Gemmingen. Wien. pp. 135–41: Das Orakel der Deutschen, oder gesammelte Urtheile deutscher Kunstrichter über die Denisische Uebersetzung Ossians.

A collection of opinions expressed by different critics in regard to Denis’s translation, written on occasion of the publication of Ossians und Sineds Lieder (1784). Reprinted in the Nachlass (1801).

Minona, oder die Angelsachsen. Ein tragisches Melodrama in vier Akten. Von Heinrich Wilhelm von Gerstenberg. Hamburg.

A prose drama in the Ossianic spirit with poetic passages interspersed. Cp. Schriften, 1794, 1815, and cf. infra, pp. 112–9.

Reviews: Gothaische gelehrte Zeitungen, 1786, No. 85, pp. 709–11.

Allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 77, i, pp. 116–8 (1787).

Neue Bibl. der schönen Wissenschaften, Vol. 34, i, pp. 121–42 (1787), ii, pp. 279–99, Vol. 35, ii, pp. 217–35 (1788).

Der Teutsche Merkur, 1788, iv, pp. 201–24.

Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1789, i, pp. 716–20, etc.

Beiträge zum Theater, zur Musik und der unterhaltenden Lektüre überhaupt. Erster Band. Stendal. pp. 224–8: Chelims Klage. von C. Meissner.

A story in the Ossianic manner; rhythmic prose with a metrical complaint.

Musenalmanach. (Poetische Blumenlese. Auf das Jahr 1785.) Göttingen. pp. 70–2: Gaul an den Geist seines Vaters, als er hinging das Schwert desselben aus seinem Grabe zu holen. von J. A e. Klöntrup.

A free imitation of Ossian in quatrains.

Lehrreiche Nebenstunden. Eine Wochenschrift für die Jugend beyderley Geschlechts. Vol. 1, Berlin, pp. ?–?: Fingals Höhle.

I was unable to find this volume, a notice of which appeared in the Allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 69, ii, pp. 613–4 (1786).

1787. Poems of Ossian lately discover’d by Edmond Baron de Harold. Dusseldorf.

An English version of seventeen little Caledonian poems purporting to have been discovered by the translator, all but two of which are ascribed to Ossian.


Neuentdeckte Gedichte Ossians, übersetzt von Edmund Freiherrn von Harold. Düsseldorf.

Same as above. Second edition 1798.

Reviews: Gött. Anz. von gel. Sachen, 1787, ii, p. 1248.

Supplemente zur Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1787, v, pp. 22–3.

Anhang zu dem 53. bis 86. Bande der Allg. deutschen Bibl., 3. Abth., pp. 1847–8 (1791).

Vom Geist der Ebräischen Poesie ... von J. G. Herder. 2 vols. Leipzig. Vol. 1, p. 115: Ossians Anrede an die untergehende Sonne, pp. 115–6: An die Morgensonne, pp. 117–8: An den Mond. pp. 118–9: An den Abendstern.

Cf. 1st ed., 1782. In the 3d ed., edited by Justi, Leipzig, 1825, the fragments are found in Vol. 1, pp. 103–6.

Albrechts von Haller Tagebuch seiner Beobachtungen über Schriftsteller und über sich selbst. 2 vols. Bern. Vol. 1, pp. 265–8, 288–96, (368); (Vol. 2, pp. 44–6): Laudatory criticism of the Works of Ossian.

The first passage consists of Haller’s review of Fingal, Gött. Anz. von gel. Sachen, 1765, the second of his review of The Works of Ossian, ibid., 1767; the remarks in Vol. 2 refer to the article on Ossian in Sulzer’s Theorie.

Allgemeine Theorie der Schönen Künste ... von Johann George Sulzer. Neue vermehrte Auflage. 4 vols. Leipzig. 1786–7. Vol. 3, pp. 516–27: Article on Ossian. 1st ed. 1774, e. g.

Fingal in Lochlin. Dessau. Cf. 1782.

Inamorulla. Leipzig. Cf. 1783.

Both these dramas by Wachsmuth were reprinted in this year.

Allgemeine Literatur Zeitung. Jena und Leipzig. iv, pp. 431–2: Notice of the originals of John Smith’s Galic Antiquities (Sean Dana etc.). Cf. Gallische Alterthümer, 1781.

1788. Fingal an epic poem in six books, taken from Ossian’s Works. Gottingue.

A somewhat inaccurate, cheap reprint. The date of publication is not 1798, as occasionally given.

Deutsches Museum. Leipzig. ii, pp. 512–27: Komala, ein Singspiel nach Ossian. Von Friedr. Boutterweck.

A Singspiel in three scenes, a free rendering of Comala with the original ending unchanged. The recitatives are in blank iambic verse. The[28] author is Friedrich Bouterwek, 1766–1828; cf. his Geschichte der Poesie und Beredsamkeit, 1810.

Der Zustand des Staats, der Religion, der Gelehrsamkeit und der Kunst in Grosbritannien gegen das Ende des achtzehnten Jahrhunderts von D. Gebh. Friedr. Aug. Wendeborn. 4 vols. Berlin. 1785–8. Vol. 4, pp. 141–2: A diatribe against the genuineness of the poems of Ossian.

Henrici Alberti Schultens Oratio de Ingenio Arabum. Lugduni Batavorum. pp. 11–2: declares the poems of Ossian to be authentic.

Neue Bibliothek der schönen Wissenschaften, Vol. 35, ii, p. 332: Notice of the originals of Smith’s Galic Antiquities. Cf. Gallische Alterthümer, 1781.

Musen Almanach für 1788. herausgegeben von Voss und Goeking. Hamburg. pp. 50–2: Urrins Preis. Nach dem Wallischen des Barden Taliesin.

Translated by von Halem in rimed verses from Edward Jones’s Musical and Poetical Relics of the Welsh Bards, London, 1786, a notice of which had appeared in the Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1786, ii, p. 203. Cp. Poesie und Prose, 1789.

1789. Essai d’une Traduction d’Ossian en vers françois. Par J. Lombard, Secrétaire privé au cabinet du Roi. Berlin.

Metrical translation of Carthon. pp. 7–16: Preliminary essay. This translation is erroneously referred to by Gurlitt (April 9, 1802, pp. 4–5), Ersch und Gruber, Encyklopädie, sub Ossian (p. 429) and others as being one of Fingal instead of Carthon. The translator’s full name is Jean Guillaume Lombard.

Reviews: Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1789, iv, pp. 81–4.

Allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 97, i, pp. 151–3 (1790).

La Prusse Littéraire sous Fréderic II. Par Mr l’Abbé Denina. 3 vols. Berlin, 1790–1. Vol. 2, pp. 422–4, sub Lombard. On p. 422 Denina mentions a German prose translation by one Jani, which I have not been able to locate.

Musenalmanach. Göttingen, pp. 214–6: Minvane, ein Bruckstück aus einem verlornen Gesange von Ossian. von Georg Friedrich Nöldeke.

A free invention in the style of Ossian (in verse).

Poesie und Prose von G.A. von Halem. Hamburg. pp. 226–7: Urrins Preis. Nach dem Wallisischen des Barden Taliesin, 1787. pp. 318–9: Harlechs Preis. Nach dem[29] Wallisischen Mirvans mit dem rothen Haare, 1783. pp. 320–2: Die Klage Lesbana’s. Nach dem Celtischen, 1783. pp. 344–7: Klage. Nach dem Celtischen, 1782. pp. 353–79: Teudelinde. An drey Schwestern, 1780.

For the first cf. Musen Almanach, 1788, for the third and fourth Deutsches Museum, 1783, for the last 1780. Cp. Irene, 1804.

1790. Beispielsammlung zur Theorie und Literatur der schönen Wissenschaften von Johann Joachim Eschenburg. 8 vols. Berlin und Stettin. 1788–95. Vol. 5, pp. 304–7: Extract (in English) from Fingal, Bk. iii (The Death of Agandecca, p. 237, l. 27–p. 240, l. 10), with a short preliminary notice.

Musen Almanach. Göttingen. pp. 83–7: Ossians Gebet. Hochländisches Volkslied.

Translated in meter by Friedrich Ludwig Wilhelm Meyer, 1759–1840. A dialog between Ossian and St. Patrick, the original of which appeared in the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, 1787. Cp. Neuaufgefundene Gedichte Ossians, 1792, Spiele des Witzes, 1793, Adrastea, 1802.

Alfonso, ein Gedicht in acht Gesängen. Göttingen.

An epic poem by Friedrich August Müller, 1767–1807, in which the imitation of Ossian is remarkably striking.

Review: Allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 99, i, pp. 112–7 (1790).

1791. Bragur. Ein Litterarisches Magazin der Deutschen und Nordischen Vorzeit. Herausgegeben von Böckh und Gräter. Leipzig. Vol. 1, pp. 379–80: Von der Uebersetzung Ossians und der Sean Dana aus dem Original. Von Gräter.

Other notices of Friedrich David Gräter’s (1768–1830) proposed translation (which never appeared) are given in the Neue Bibl. der schönen Wissenschaften, Vol. 49, ii, p. 327 (1793), in Schubart’s Chronik, Stuttgart, 1790, ii, p. 798, 1791, i, pp. 95–6, in the Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1791, iv, p. 648, in the Intelligenzblatt der allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1790, p. 1340, 1791, pp. 91–2, and in the Friedensnachrichten, Halle, 1795, No. 20, pp. 318–20.

Deutsche Monatsschrift. Berlin. i, pp. 177–8, note: Several quotations from the Poems of Ossian in an article Ueber den Wunsch, auf einer niedrigen Stufe der Kultur zu leben.

Ibid., ii, pp. 197–223: Ueber die Sitten der alten Schotten, von Hrn. Doktor Kramer.


An essay based upon Hugo Arnot’s History of Edinburgh from the earliest Accounts to the present Time, Edinburgh, 1788. References to the authenticity of the works of Ossian on p. 198.

Iwona, eine ossianische Skizze. Ludwig Tieck’s Handschriftlicher Nachlass, Royal Library, Berlin.

Cf. Arch. für Litteraturgesch., Vol. 15, pp. 316–22: Zu Ludwig Tiecks Nachlass. Von Adolf Hauffen.—The Nachlass also contains the Gesang des Barden Longal, another Ossianic imitation.—Three other Ossianic imitations were written by Tieck in the same year, viz., Ryno, Ullin’s Gesang, and Ullin’s und Linulf’s Gesang. The last two were printed in Die eiserne Maske, 1792, e. g., and are given on pp. 195–204 in the first volume of Ludwig Tieck’s nachgelassene Schriften, ed. Rudolf Köpke, Leipzig, 1855.

Feldblumen, gesammelt zum Besten einer Erziehungsanstalt für arme Kinder. Riga. pp.?–?: Colma.

Probably an Ossianic melodrama. Cf. review in the Allg. deutsche Bibl., Kiel, Vol. 116, ii, pp. 394–5 (1794).

1791–2. Ossians und Sineds Lieder. 6 vols. Wien. Cf. 1st ed., 1784.

(Vol. 6 = 1792.) Two editions, one in large 4^o (Alberti), the other in small 4o (Wappler). Cf. infra, p. 138.

Review: Neue allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 2, i, pp. 116–9 (1793).

1792. Neuaufgefundene Gedichte Ossians Aus dem Englischen Mit erläuternden Anmerkungen und einer Abhandlung über die Werke dieses celtischen Barden. Frankfurt und Leipzig.

Translation by Christoph Heinrich Pfaff (1773–1852) of the Ossianic poems published by the Irish Bishop of Clonfert, Arthur Young, in the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, 1787.

Reviews: Neue allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 7, ii, pp. 579–82 (1793).

Neue Bibl. der schönen Wissenschaften, Vol. 52, ii, pp. 297–301 (1794)

Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1795, ii, pp. 345–9 (by F. D. Gräter; cf. Bragur, Vol. 6, ii, pp. 237–8, note).

Deutsche Monatsschrift. Berlin. ii, pp. 313–32: Die Schlacht von Lava, oder das Lied vom Greise. Ein Celtisches Gedicht des dreyzehnten Jahrhunderts.

Metrical translation from Smith’s Galic Antiquities by F. L. W. Meyer. Cp. Spiele des Witzes, 1793.

Bragur ... Herausgegeben von Gräter. Vol. 2, pp. 56–7: References to Ossian, Orran and Ullin in an essay by[31] Gräter entitled Kurzer Begriff von den Druiden, Barden, Skalden, Minstrels, Minnesingern und Meistersängern.

Ideen zur Philosophie der Geschichte der Menschheit von Johann Gottfried Herder. Vierter Theil. Riga und Leipzig. 8o. pp. 14–5: References to Ossian.—pp. 12–? of the 4o ed. of 1791.

Die eiserne Maske, eine schottische Geschichte. Von Ottokar Sturm. Frankfurt und Leipzig.

A story by Friedrich Eberhard Rambach (1767–1826), the last chapter of which was written by Tieck. The names of the characters are Ossianic, and Tieck’s Ossianic imitations, Ullin’s Gesang and Ullin’s and Linulf’s Gesang, are included.

Review: Neue allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 3, i, pp. 285–6.

1793. Spiele des Witzes und der Phantasie. Berlin, pp. 147–53: Ossians Gebet. Hochländisch. pp. 154–78: Die Schlacht von Lava, oder das Lied vom Greise.

Translations by F. L. W. Meyer, the first of which appeared in the Göttinger Musen Almanach, 1790, and the second in the Deutsche Monatsschrift, 1792, e. g.

Allgemeine Theorie der Schönen Künste ... von Johann George Sulzer. Neue vermehrte zweyte Auflage. 4 vols. Leipzig, 1792–4. Vol. 3, pp. 631–43: Article on Ossian.—1st ed., 1774.

Theatralische Sammlung. Wien. Band 46, ii: Inamorulla, oder Ossians Grosmuth. Ein Schauspiel in fünf Aufzügen. Nach Ossian.—Cf. 1783.

1794. Tales of Ossian for Use and Entertainment. Ein Lesebuch für Anfänger im Englischen. Mit beigefügten historischen, statistischen und genealogischen Erläuterungen, ... Zwote, verbesserte und vermehrte Auflage. Nürnberg.—1st ed., 1784, e. g.

Michaelis Denisii Carmina quaedam. Vindobonae. pp. 132–4: Mors Oscaris.

Cf. Denis’s translation of Ossian. Vol. 3, 1769.

Review: Neue allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 15, ii, p. 339 (1795).

Schauspiele und Gemälde. Von Carl Reiner. Duisburg am Rhein. pp. 79–104: Calthon und Colmala, ein Gedicht von Ossian in Versen übersezt. pp. 223–34: Minonas Gesang, ein Gedicht von Ossian, in Versen übersezt.


The first is a translation of Calthon and Colmal, the second of The Songs of Selma, beginning, p. 208–p. 210, l. 15.

Review: Neue allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 23, ii, p. 321 (1796).

Bragur ... Herausgegeben von Hässlein und Gräter. Vol. 3, pp. 120–206: Translation of an article by William Tytler Ueber die alten Schottischen Balladen und Lieder und die Schottische Musik überhaupt.—pp. 120–2, 131–2: references to Ossian.

Ibid., p. 473: Notice of Alstrup’s Danish translation of Ossian.

Ibid., pp. 480–5: Letter of Prof. [Johann Christian Christoph] Rüdiger (1751–1822) of Halle to Gräter Ueber Ossian.

Ibid., pp. 485–91: Letter of L. Th. Kosegarten to Gräter, dated Wolgast, Sept. 16, 1791, Ueber Ossian, die Sean Dana u. s. w.

Sämmtliche Poetische Schriften von Joh. [sic!] Wilhelm von Gerstenberg. III. Theil. Erste vollständige Ausgabe. Wien. pp. 1–173: Minona, oder die Angelsachsen. Ein tragisches Melodrama in vier Akten.

Unauthorized edition. Cf. 1785, and infra, pp. 52–3.

Harald oder der Kronenkrieg. Eine nordische Erzählung. 2 vols. Kaschau in Ober–Hungarn.

A novel in the Ossianic vein, reprinted in the Nordische Geschichten der Vorzeit, 1798.

Review: Neue allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 23, i, p. 173 (1796).

1795. Ossians Gedichte, von Edmund von Harold in Prosa übersetzt. Münster. Cf. ibid., 1775.

Ludewig Gottlieb Cromens Gedichte. Leipzig, pp. 44–53: Armyns Klagelied an Kirmor. pp. 54–8: Fragment aus einem altschottischen Gedichte. Cf. Unterhaltungen, 1767.

Geschichte des Glaubens an Unsterblichkeit, Auferstehung, Gericht und Vergeltung von Christian Wilhelm Flügge. Leipzig. Vol. 2, pp. 149–210: Sechster Abschnitt. Lehren und Meinungen der alten Caledonier über Fortdauer nach dem Tode, nach Ossian und andern celtischen Gedichten.

Numerous quotations are made from Denis’s translation, some quite lengthy, as e. g., pp. 172–3: Carric–Thura, p. 147, ll. 5–25, p. 148, ll.[33] 1–9. pp. 174–5: Fingal, Bk. ii, p. 227, l. 5–bottom. pp. 176–7: The War of Caros, p. 191, l. 36–p. 192, l. 16. pp. 180–1: Temora, Bk. vii, beginning, p. 354–p. 355, l. 3. p. 187: Berrathon, p. 375, l. 22–bottom. There are also several quotations from the Galic Antiquities and from Macpherson’s and Blair’s Dissertations. On pp. 203–4 an extract from Gräter’s translation in the Nordische Blumen, pp. 371–2, Cath–Loda, Duan i, p. 130, ll. 20–30.

Review: Göttingische Bibl. der neuesten theologischen Literatur. Göttingen. Vol. 1, x, pp. 733–4 (1795).

Nachträge zu Sulzers allgemeiner Theorie der schönen Künste. 8 vols. Leipzig, 1792–1808. Vol. 3, ii, pp. 237–52: Ueber die Celtischen Barden. Nach Ossian, von Herrn W.N. Freudentheil.

The full name of the author is Wilhelm Nicolaus Freudentheil, 1771–1853. Cp. Vol. 8, 1808.

Die Horen eine Monatsschrift herausgegeben von Schiller. Vierter Band. Tübingen. Zehntes Stück, pp. 86–107: Homer und Ossian. von Herder.

A comparison of Homer and Ossian, contained on pp. 446–62 in Vol. 18 of the Suphan edition, where on pp. 462–4 is given an extract from the first draft: (Homer und Ossian, Söhne der Zeit.)—A similar comparison, consisting of three academic polemics, had appeared 1792–5 in Upsala: Gustav Rosen, Comparatio Homeri et Ossiani.

Ibid., Eilftes Stück, pp. 68–9, note: Characteristic of Ossian’s poetry in Schiller’s essay Ueber das Naive.

Ibid., Zwölftes Stück, p. 24: Reference to Ossian in the paragraph on Elegiac Poetry in Schiller’s essay Die sentimentalischen Dichter.

These references to Ossian in the essay Ueber naive und sentimentalische Dichtung are contained on pp. 444, note, and 467 of Schillers sämmtliche Schriften, ed. Goedeke, Zehnter Theil, Aesthetische Schriften.

Johann Lane Buchanans ... Reisen durch die westlichen Hebriden, während der Jahre 1782 bis 1790. Aus dem Englischen. Berlin.

Quoted from by Herder in his essay in the Horen, 1795, x, pp. 104–7.

1796. Der Neue Teutsche Merkur. Weimar. iii, pp. 121–33: Englische Hexameter. Von B.

A review of an article in the Monthly Magazine, June, 1796, containing a hexameter transversion of Ossian’s Apostrophe to the Sun, Carthon, p. 163, l. 32–p. 164, end. The English transversion is repeated in the review[34] on pp. 127–8 and preceded by a literal prose translation of the Apostrophe into German, pp. 126–7.—p. 129: Criticism of the English transversion. pp. 130–1: Denis’s translation of the passage, added for the sake of affording a comparison.

Ibid., iii, pp. 213–4: Notice of the Gaelic original of the poems of Ossian about to be published.

Etwas über Caledonische und Scandinavische Dogmatik, mit Beziehung auf die Aechtheit der Gedichte Ossians, von Christian Wilhelm Flügge. Hannover.

This treatise is mentioned by Gurlitt (1804) and elsewhere, but I have not been able to trace it.

Sketches of the History of Man. Considerably enlarged by the last additions and corrections of the author. 4 vols. Basil. Vol. 1, pp. 315–72: Discussion of the Manners of the ancient Celts and Scandinavians.

Cf. German translation, 1774.

Allgemeiner Litterarischer Anzeiger. Leipzig. (July 15) p. 55, (Aug. 26) pp. 189–90: Einige biographisch–litterarische Nachrichten von James Macpherson, Esq.

Intelligenzblatt der Allgem. Literatur–Zeitung. No. 97, pp. 814–6:[11] Notice of James Macpherson’s death, with a short discussion of the poems of Ossian and the controversy they provoked.

Ibid., No. 146, pp. 1242–3: Notice of Hill’s French translation of the Galic Antiquities: Les poëmes d’Ossian, Orran, Ullin, etc., 3 vols. Paris, 1796, with references to Le Tourneur’s translation[12] and Arnault’s[13] dramatization: Oscar, fils d’Ossian, tragédie en cinq actes.

1797. Englische Blätter. Herausgegeben von Ludwig Schubart. Erlangen. pp. 1–20: Ossian. Proben aus Duffs Versuch etc. Vom Herausgeber. pp. 161–84: Ossian. (Beschluss.)

A discussion of the characteristics of Ossian and his poetry in his character as an original genius; with numerous quotations. A note on pp. 181–3 contains a prose translation of Fingal’s battle with the Spirit of Loda, Carric–Thura, p. 147, l. 9–p. 148, l. 6.—Cp. ibid., 1798.


Zerstreute Blätter von J.G. Herder. Sechste Sammlung. Gotha. pp. 95–142: II. Das Land der Seelen. Ein Fragment.

Pp. 111–29: ii. Celten, pp. 112–9: Translation of Berrathon, p. 380, l. 17–p. 382, end. pp. 119–25: Berrathon, beginning, p. 374–p. 376, l. 14. p. 128: The War of Inis–Thona, p. 205, ll. 7–11. Cf. Teutscher Merkur, 1782.

Friedrichs von Blankenburg Litterarische Zusätze zu Johann George Sulzers allg. Theorie der schönen Künste. 3 vols. Leipzig, 1796–8. Vol. 2, pp. 484–6: Article on Ossian. Cp. Sulzer’s Theorie, 1774.

1798. Neu–entdeckte Gedichte Ossians, übersetzt von Freiherr von Harold. Zweite Auflage. Düsseldorf.

1st ed. 1787, e. g.—Ersch und Gruber, Encyklopädie, sub Ossian (p. 429), has 1795.

Anthologie auf das Jahr 1782. Herausgegeben von Friedrich Schiller. Stuttgart, pp. 112–4: Ossians Sonnengesang aus dem Gedichte Karthon. (In Musik zu haben beim Herausgeber.) Von H.

Cf. 1782. The poem is given on pp. 82–3 of Bülow’s ed. of the Anthologie, Heidelberg, 1850.

Englische Blätter. Herausgegeben von Ludwig Schubart. Vol. 8. Erlangen, pp. 20–31: Der Krieg von Caros. Proben einer neuen Uebersezung Ossian’s. Vom Herausgeber.

Poetic prose translation, without argument or notes. The principles observed in the translation are laid down on pp. 16–19 in an article on the Geschichte der Uebersezkunst (pp. 1–19).

Ibid., Vol. 9, pp. 158–63: Proben aus dem Ossian II. Conlath und Cuthona. pp. 165–85: III. Carricthura.

Poetic prose translations by Schubart as above. Cp. also Der Neue Teutsche Merkur, 1799, and his translation, 1808.

Der Neue Teutsche Merkur. Weimar. ii, pp. 343–58: Ueber Ossian und den Karakter der Schottischen Hochländer, von James Macdonald. pp. 343–6: Introduction by Böttiger.

Ibid., ii, pp. 178–9: Letter—dated Oxford, April 25, 1798—from James Macdonald to the editor in reference to the forthcoming edition of the Gaelic originals of Ossian.


Nordische Geschichten der Vorzeit. Frankfurt und Leipzig, 1. u. 2. Theil—Harald oder der Kronenkrieg. Cf. 1794.

Review: Neue allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 57, i, pp. 93–4 (1801).

1799. Der Neue Teutsche Merkur. Weimar, ii, pp. 130–50: Proben aus dem Ossian, von Ludwig Schubart.

A rhythmic prose rendering of Carthon, numbered IV. Cp. Englische Blätter, 1798.

Deutsche Monatsschrift. Leipzig, iii, pp. 104–6: Malvina. Nach Ossian.

A metrical translation of Malvina’s Lament over the Death of Oscar, beginning of Croma, p. 177–p. 178, l. 9. The translation is one of a collection of poems entitled Phantasien, by Ch——, pp. 81–115.

Vindiciae Antiquitatis Carminum Ossiani. Disputatio Historico–Critica. Carolus Henricus Schundenius. Vitebergae.

Le Réveil, ouvrage périodique, moral et littéraire. Dans le genre anglais. Par M. de R.M. A Hambourg. No. 3, pp. 143–60: Observations sur les anciens Scandinaves, et sur les Poëmes d’Ossian. Par J. M——é.

Ibid., No. 4, pp. 222–41: Observations sur les Poëmes d’Ossian. Par J. M——é.

Notice: Neue allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 55, i, p. 247 (1800).

B. Faujas–Saint Fond Reise durch England, Schottland und die Hebriden ... aus dem Französischen übersetzt ... vermehrt von C. R. W. Wiedemann. 2 vols. Göttingen, pp. v–xvi: [James] Macdonalds Urtheil über diese Reisebeschreibung, nebst einigen Bemerkungen über Ossian und die Hochländer. (pp. vii–xii: Ossian.)

The original appeared at Paris in 1797 and was noticed in the Intelligenzblatt der allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1798, No. 7, p. 56. (A notice of the forthcoming Gaelic original is also given here.) The original and the translation were reviewed in the Gött. gel. Anz., 1799, iii, pp. 1507–12.

Der Neue Teutsche Merkur. Weimar. iii, pp. 40–1: Ossian.

A poem in praise of Ossian sent to the editor anonymously. The verses pay a glowing tribute to the boldness and tenderness of Ossian’s poetry.


1800. Ossian’s Gedichte. Rhythmisch übersetzt von J. G. Rhode. 3 Theile. Mit Vignetten und Titelkupfer. Berlin.

The author is Johann Gottlieb Rhode, 1762–1827. Reprint, 1801; 2d ed. 1817–8.

Notices: Neue allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 66, ii, p. 350 (1801).

Briefe an ein Frauenzimmer ..., herausgegeben von G. Merkel. Vol. 2, Berlin, 1801, pp. 493–4.

Ossian’s Fingal. Von Wilhelm Schröder. Erlangen.

A prose translation with arguments and scattered notes.

Reviews: Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1801, iii, pp. 700–4.

Neue allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 66, ii, pp. 349–50 (1801).

Berrathon. Ein Gedicht Ossians. Metrisch übersezt von J. H. Kistemaker. Münster.

The full name of the translator is Johann Hyacinth Kistemaker, 1754–1834; he was a Catholic theologian.—Vorrede, vii pp. Argument, pp. 1–7. pp. 2–3 note: Translation in iambic pentameters of the end of The Songs of Selma, p. 213, last line–p. 214. pp. 8–28: Iambic and trochaic translation of Berrathon. pp. 29–30: Argument of Carril’s Address to the Rising Sun, Temora, Bk. ii (p. 324); pp. 31–2: Translation of same. pp. 33–48: Notes.—Ersch u. Gruber, Encyklopädie, sub Ossian (p. 429), has Berenthon.

Review: Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1802, iii, p. 48.

Neue Lausizische Monatsschrift. Herausgegeben von der Oberlausizischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften. Görliz. i, pp. 403–4: Ossians Gesang an die Sonne. Aus dem Gedichte Karthon übersezt. Von Guido von Lilienfeld.

Translation in iambic pentameters of Carthon, p. 163, l. 32–p. 164, end.

Erholungen. Herausgegeben von W. G. Becker. Leipzig, ii, pp. 282–4: Homer, Ossian, Ramler und Rabener. von Kretschmann.

An imaginary conversation between these worthies in the realms of the dead.

Sebaldi Fulconis Joh. Ravii Orationes Duae ... Altera de Poeticae Facultatis Excellentia et Perfectione Spectata in Tribus Poëtarum Principibus, Scriptore Jobi, Homero et Ossiano. Lugduni Batavorum.

Der arme Görge vom Verfasser des Erasmus Schleicher. Leipzig, pp. 178–82: Ryno, der Barde, an Furas Hügel.

The author is Carl Gottlob Cramer, 1758–1817. The poem is interesting chiefly for its close imitation of Ossianic nature–description; the names (Anira, Arindal, Ryno, Salgar, Selma) are borrowed from Ossian.


Bergisches Taschenbuch für 1800. Zur Belehrung und Unterhaltung. Herausgegeben von W. Aschenberg. Düsseldorf. pp. 150–60: Selama, eine neu entdeckte, köstliche Reliquie Ossians von Edmund Freiherrn von Harold, kurpfalzbaierischen Generalmajor. Mit 3 Kupfern.

An imitation of Ossian in rhythmic prose, in the same style as von Harold’s other work in this field. Cp. ibid., 1801–2, etc.

Review: Neue allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 57, i, pp. 234–6 (1801).

Englische Miscellen. Tübingen. Vol. 1, pp. 181–2: Notice of the Gaelic originals of the Poems of Ossian to be published by the Highland Society of London.

Der Neue Teutsche Merkur. Weimar. ii, p. 257: Similar notice. Also a notice of Malcolm Laing’s Dissertation appended to his History of Scotland, 2 vols., London, 1800.

Gothaische gelehrte Zeitungen. Gotha. p. 840: Notice of poems by Ossian and other Celtic bards in the original in the possession of one Macnab.

Bragur. Herausgegeben von F. D. Gräter. Vol. 6, ii, pp. 231–53: Altteutsche Bardenliteratur. Von Gräter.

An appeal to search for the songs of the German bards, wherein frequent allusions are made to the poems of Ossian.

1801. The Poems of Ossian. Translated by James Macpherson, Esq. 4 vols. A new Edition. [With 4 cuts.] Vienna.

Macpherson’s notes are given at the end of each volume. Vol. 4 contains Macpherson’s Dissertations on the Aera and on the Poems of Ossian, as well as Dr. Blair’s Critical Dissertation.

Ossian’s Gedichte. Rhythmisch übersetzt von J. G. Rhode. 3 Theile. Prag.

Reprint of the first edition of 1800, e. g.

Comala. Ein dramatisches Gedicht von Ossian, übersetzt von J. F. Ludwig. Königsberg.

Blank verse translation of Comala (Heinsius, Bücher–Lexikon, has Camilla), mostly in iambic measure. The translation is preceded by a poem consisting of three eight–line stanzas An Ossian’s Geist, an appeal by the poet for assistance from the bard. pp. 26–31: Notes.

Review: Leipziger Jahrbuch der neuesten Literatur, 1801, i, p. 515.

Erholungen. Herausgegeben von W. G. Becker. Leipzig. iv, pp. 173–96: Berrathon, Ossians letzter Gesang. Von Gustav Scholz.


Rhythmic prose translation of Berrathon, with notes (pp. 191–6). pp. 193–6: Poetic translation of Minvana’s Lament over Ryno, contained in Macpherson’s notes to Berrathon.

Oster Taschenbuch von Weimar, auf das Jahr 1801. Herausgegeben von Seckendorf. Weimar, pp. 263–77: Der Tod Oskars. Aus dem ersten Gesang von Ossians Temora: Von S.

Rhythmic prose translation by Karl Siegmund Freiherr von Seckendorff, 1744–85, of Temora, Bk. i, p. 308, l. 7–p. 311, l. 30. Cp. sub Music, infra, p. 64.

Reviews: Neue allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 62, ii, pp. 539–41 (1801).

Briefe an ein Frauenzimmer ..., herausgegeben von G. Merkel. Vol. 2. Berlin, 1801. pp. 491–3.

Blumen. Von Ludwig Theoboul Kosegarten. Berlin. pp. 37–76: Tura, ein Gesang des Ossian.—pp. 137–8: Fragment.—pp. 139–71: Finan und Lorma. Ein Gesang des Ossian.—pp. 209–12: Des Barden Abschied. Fragment.—pp. 213–24: Umad und sein Hund. Episode eines grösseren Gesanges.

Translations from the Sean Dana (cf. Gallische Alterthümer, 1781) by Gotthard Ludwig Kosegarten, 1758–1818. Cp. Works, 1812, and Thomas Garnett’s Reise, 1802. The first and third are prose translations, the second and fourth are in blank trochaic pentameters, and the last is a prose translation with occasional passages in trochaic pentameters.

Ibid., pp. 181–9: Ekloge.

Translated in rhythmic prose from a poem by John Logan (or Michael Bruce), the spirit of which is intensely Ossianic. This translation appeared first in the Bergisches Taschenbuch, 1800, pp. 195–9, under the title Salgar und Mora.

Review: Neue allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 76, i, pp. 82–3 (1803).

Bergisches Taschenbuch zur Belehrung und Unterhaltung, auf das Jahr 1801. Düsseldorf. pp. 268–82: Finmara, eine alte celtische Reliquie. Von Frhr. von Harold, Generalmajor.

A rhythmic prose imitation of Macpherson’s Ossian. Cp. ibid., 1800 and 1802. It is entitled Finmara, not Timara, as Nicolai, 1877, p. 157, nor Fimara, as Gurlitt, April 9, 1802, p. 9.

Review: Neue allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 58, ii, pp. 536–7 (1801).

Flora. Neunter Jahrgang. Tübingen. iii, pp. 39–42: Celtische Gedichte. Nach dem Französchen. pp. 39–40: Comanna. pp. 40–42: Der Barde.


Two imitations of Ossian, translated in prose by Johann Friedrich Butenschön, 1764–1842.

Intelligenzblatt der Allg. Lit.–Zeitung. No. 92, pp. 739–42: Notice of the death of Dr. Hugh Blair (cf. 1785), with references to his Critical Dissertation on the Poems of Ossian.

Ibid., No. 123, p. 985: Notice of French translations.

Ibid., No. 158, p. 1275: Notice of Spanish translation (Montengon).

Gothaische gelehrte Zeitungen, p. 96, and Der Neue Teutsche Merkur, Weimar, i, pp. 152–3: Notices of the Gaelic originals to be published by the Highland Society.

Michael’s Denis Literarischer Nachlass. Herausgegeben von Joseph Friedrich Freyherrn von Retzer. 2 vols. Wien, 1801–2. Vol. 1, pp. 94–8: Das Orakel der Deutschen.

Appeared originally in Gemmingen’s Magazin für Wissenschaften und Litteratur, 1785, e. g.

1802. Handbuch der englischen Sprache und Literatur, oder Auswahl interessanter chronologisch geordneter Stücke aus den klassischen englischen Prosaisten und Dichtern. Nebst Nachrichten von den Verfassern und ihren Werken. von H. Nolte und L. Ideler. Poetischer Theil. Neue Auflage. Berlin. pp. 499–503: Macpherson. pp. 503–4: Morna. pp. 505–6: Comal und Galvina. pp. 506–13: The Songs of Selma.

Morna is an extract from Fingal, Bk. i, p. 219, l. 12–p. 220, l. 28, Comal and Galvina from Fingal, Bk. ii, p. 234, l. 9–p. 235, end.—The authors are J. W. H. Nolte and Christian Ludwig Ideler (1766–1846). The first edition does not contain the extracts from Ossian. 3d ed. 1811, 4th ed. 1832, e. g.

Review: Neue allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 77, i, pp. 212–4 (1803).

Ankündigung einiger Abschieds–Reden durch Christ. Wilhelm Ahlwardt. Voran Ossians Karthon, metrisch übersetzt; ein Versuch. Oldenburg.

A hexameter translation of Carthon by Christian Wilhelm Ahlwardt, 1760–1830. Cf. Translation, 1811.

Reviews: Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1863, i, pp. 215–6.

Gothaische gelehrte Zeitungen, 1802, pp. 910–1.

Gottfried August Bürger’s vermischte Schriften. Herausgegeben von Karl Reinhard. Zweiter Theil. Göttingen.[41] (Vol. 4) pp. 175–240: Proben einer Übersetzung von Ossian’s Gedichten.

Pp. 177–204: Karrik–Thura. Ein Gedicht. (Cf. Deutsches Museum, 1779). pp. 205–14: Komala. Ein dramatisches Gedicht (Aus der Handschrift). pp. 215–40: Kath–Loda. Ein Gedicht (Aus der Handschrift). All three specimens are in rhythmic prose. In Reinhard’s edition of the Sämmtliche Werke, they are found on pp. 95–144, Vol. 4, Hamburg, 1816, and on pp. 107–60, Vol. 5, Berlin, 1823. For reprints and other editions, cf. Goedeke’s Grundriss, 2d ed., Vol. 4, p. 392.—For August Wilhelm von Schlegel’s opinion of Ossian as expressed in connection with a notice of Bürger’s Proben, cf. Schlegel’s Sämmtliche Werke, ed. Böcking, Vol. 8, Leipzig, 1846, pp. 134–5, and cp. Friedrich Schlegels Briefe an seinen Bruder August Wilhelm, herausgegeben von Dr. Oskar F. Walzel, Berlin, 1890, p. 466.

Caledonia. Von der Verfasserin der Sommerstunden. 4 vols. Hamburg, 1802–4.

The author is Emilie von Berlepsch (Harmes), 1757–1830. The first two volumes (1802) contain frequent allusions to Ossianic scenery, e. g., Vol. 2, pp. 189, 233–6, etc., references to his poems with several extracts in her own translation, etc. Vol. 2, pp. 190–202: Translation of Dar–Thula, p. 286, l. 2–p. 289, l. 4; pp. 251–4: Fingal, Bk. iii, p. 244, l. 19–end; pp. 254–6: The Songs of Selma, p. 214, ll. 2–10; pp. 256–61; Berrathon, p. 380, l. 20–p. 382, end, in extracts; p. 263: The War of Inis–Thona, p. 203, ll. 1–5; pp. 266–9: Carthon, p. 163, l. 32–p. 164, end. The translations are made in “einem metrisch freien doch cadencirten Parallelismus.” Cf. Vol. 3, 1803.

Review: (Vols. 1 and 2) Gött. gel. Anzeigen, 1803, i, pp. 219–24.

Adrastea. Herausgegeben von J.G. v. Herder. 6 vols. Leipzig, 1801–3. Vol. 4, i, pp. 101–6: Ein Gespräch zwischen dem bejahrten Ossian und St. Patrik. Aus dem Englischen übersetzt.

Meyer’s translation with several changes by Herder; cf. Spiele des Witzes und der Phantasie, 1793. The variants are noted in Herder’s Works, ed. Suphan, Vol. 24, pp. 38–42.

Sulmora Tochter Cuthullins. Ein Drama in fünf Aufzügen. Nach Ossian bearbeitet vom Generalmajor Edm. Freiherrn von Harold. Düsseldorf.

A long prose drama (93 pp.) in line with von Harold’s other examples of Ossianic work. Cf. infra.

Review: Leipziger Literaturzeitung, 1802, ii, pp. 2026–7.

Bergisches Taschenbuch ... auf das Jahr 1802. Düsseldorf.[42] pp. 207–26: Musana, oder der Wehmuthsgesang; eine ersische Reliquie. Von Frhr. von Harold, Generalmajor.

Rhythmic prose imitation. Cp. ibid., 1800, and supra.

Über Ossian. (Programm) Von Johann Gurlitt. Magdeburg. (April 9.)

Pp. 3–8: Geschichte der Ausgaben, Uebersetzungen und Nachahmungen Ossians; pp. 8–12: Sammlungen Ossianischer und anderer Celtischer Gedichte nach der Macphersonschen; pp. 12–21: Streit über Aechtheit der Ossianischen Gedichte; pp. 26–7: Schriften zur Erläuterung und Beurtheilung des Ossian. pp. 28–9: Programm der Redeübung; No. 5 (p. 28): Ossian’s Bosmina.

Reviews: Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1802, iii, pp. 31–2.

Göttingische gelehrte Anzeigen, 1802, ii, p. 880.

Neue allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 73, ii, pp. 317–8 (1802).

Über Ossian. Erster Abschnitt. (Programm von) Johann Gurlitt. Hamburg. (Nov. 9.)

Pp. 3–32: Charakteristik Ossians, mit Hinsichten auf Homer, pp. 33–6: Zusätze zu dem zweiten Programm über Ossian. The author is Johannes Gottfried Gurlitt, 1754–1827. Cp. 1803–5.

Reviews: Göttingische gel. Anz., 1803, ii, p. 952.

Neue Leipziger Literaturzeitung, 1803, i, pp. 639–40.

Der Neue Teutsche Merkur. Weimar. iii, pp. 153–6: Ueber die Aechtheit der ersischen Gesänge und besonders der Lieder Ossian’s.

A letter from a correspondent in Edinburgh, dated Sept. 13, 1802, in which additional proofs of the authenticity are presented, based upon James Macdonald’s find of Gaelic MSS. in possession of Major Mac Lachan.

Englische Miscellen. Tübingen. Vol. 8, pp. 182–4; Intelligenzblatt der Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, p. 1544: Notices of the proofs of the authenticity of the poems of Ossian contained in Alexander Campbell’s Journey from Edinburgh through parts of North Britain, etc., 2 vols., London.

Gurlitt, Zwei Proben, 1803, p. 28, has MacDonald’s.

Thomas Garnett ... Reise durch die Schottischen Hochlande und einen Theil der Hebriden. Aus dem Englischen übersetzt und mit Alexander Campbells Abhandlung über die Dicht– und Tonkunst der Hochländer[14] wie auch über die[43] Aechtheit der dem Ossian zugeschriebenen Gesänge vermehrt von Ludwig Theoboul Kosegarten. 2 vols. Lübeck und Leipzig.

Translation by Kosegarten (cp. Blumen, 1801, Dichtungen, 1812) of Observations on a Tour through the Highlands and Part of the Western Isles of Scotland.... In Two Volumes. By T. Garnett, M.D., London, 1800.

Beschreibung derjenigen Kunstwerke, welche von der Königlichen Akademie der bildenden Künste und mechanischen Wissenschaften in den Zimmern der Akademie ... ausgestellt sind. Berlin. pp. 20–6: Prose translation of Comala explanatory of a painting by Weitsch. Cf. infra, p. 65.

Brennus. Eine Zeitschrift für das nördliche Deutschland. Berlin. December, pp. 631–2: Beschreibung und Würdigung der Comala, gemalt von Weitsch. Cf. supra.

1803. Zwei Proben von Uebersezungen aus Ossian, nebst Nachträgen zur Ossianischen Literatur. (Programm von) Joh. Gurlitt. Hamburg.

Pp. 1–8: Oithona, ein Gedicht des Ossian, übersezt von Herrn Birckenstädt, in Büzow. Translation in hexameters by Friedrich Birckenstädt.—pp. 9–24: Fingal. Erster Gesang; Probestück der Uebersezung des ganzen epischen Gedichts Fingal, von Herrn Doctor Neumann zu Meissen. Translation in hexameters (from Fingal, 1788) by Karl Georg Neumann, † 1850. (Cf. 1804–5 and 1838.)—pp. 25–7: Zusäze zu meinem Hamburgischen Programm über Ossian.—pp. 27–8: Zusäze zu den Uebersezungen des Ossian, welche in meinem Klosterbergischen Programm über die Literatur Ossians N. II. verzeichnet sind.—pp. 28–32: Zusäze zum vierten Abschnitt meines Programmes über die Literatur Ossians S. 12 f. über die Aechtheit der Ossianischen Gedichte.—pp. 32–3: Zusaz zu § VI. des angeführten Programms, wo die Schottischen Reisebeschreibungen verzeichnet sind.

Review: Neue allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 91, ii, pp. 316–8 (1804).

Notice: Gött. gel. Anzeigen, 1805, ii, p. 856.

Stichotvorenija Ossijana, syna Fingalova ... Najdennyja i izdannyja v svêt G–nom Garoldom. Perevod s Nêmeckago. Moskva.

A Russian prose translation of von Harold’s Neuentdeckte Gedichte, 1787.

Caledonia. Von der Verfasserin der Sommerstunden. Vol. 3. pp. 123–54: Die Schlacht von Lora.


Translation of The Battle of Lora, addressed to the Tochter des fernen Landes, not to the son of the distant land as in the original. Cf. Vols. 1 and 2, 1802.

Reviews: (Vols. 3 and 4) Gött. gel. Anz., 1804, ii, pp. 1209–14.

(Vols. 1–4) Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1804, ii, pp. 325–8.

Eudora. Band 1. Leipzig. No. 8. Comala, ein dramatisches Gedicht nach Ossian. Von Ludwig von Gohren.

Mentioned by Gurlitt; not to be found.

Adrastea. Herausgegeben von J. G. v. Herder. Leipzig. Vol. 5, ii, pp. 340–8: Vom Funde der Gesänge Ossians. pp. 349–56: Beilage. Volkssagen über Ossian, von einem gelehrten Hochländer.

The latter, by James Macdonald, with particular reference to the religion of Ossian. These selections are found on pp. 301–11 in Vol. 24 of the Suphan ed. of Herder’s Works.

Adrastea von J. G. v. Herder. Hgbn von dessen ältestem Sohn D. W. G. v. Herder. Vol. 6, ii, pp. 305–25: Ossians letzter Gesang. Von v. Knebel.

A prose translation of Berrathon by Karl Ludwig von Knebel, 1744–1834.

Englische Miscellen. Tübingen. Vol. 12, pp. 45–6: Notice of the Gaelic original, translated literally from the Monthly Magazine, June, 1803.

Ibid., pp. 108–9: Notice of the death of John Mackenzie and of the consequent delay in the publication of the Gaelic original.

Magazin für Religions– Moral– und Kirchengeschichte. Herausgegeben von D. Carl Fridrich Stäudlin. Vol. 2. Hannover. p. 211: Notice of Malcolm Laing’s Critical Dissertation. Cf. Merkur, 1800.

Zeitung für die elegante Welt, pp. 68–71: Criticism of Weitsch’s painting Comala by August Wilhelm von Schlegel in his article Ueber die Berlinische Kunstausstellung von 1802.

Cf. supra, p. 43, and infra, p. 65. Cp. Schlegel’s Works, Vol. 9, Leipzig, 1846, pp. 175–7.

1804. Ossians Gedichte. Rhythmisch übersetzt von J. G. Rhode. 3 Bände mit Kupfern. Reprint, cf. 1800.

Ossians Fingal, zweiter und dritter Gesang, verdeutscht von Herrn D. Neumann. Nebst Nachträgen zur Ossianischen Literatur. (Programm von) J. Gurlitt. Hamburg.


Pp. 1–24: Hexameter translation. pp. 25–35: Zusäze. Cp. Zwei Proben, 1803.

Review: Neue allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 100, ii, pp. 313–6 (1805) and Vol. 101, ii, pp. 266–7 (1805).

Notice: Gött. gel. Anzeigen, 1805, ii, p. 856.

Irene. Eine Monatsschrift, herausgegeben von G. A. von Halem. Münster. i, pp. 124–43: Die Lieder von Selma. Ein Gedicht Ossians.

A blank verse translation by Karl Curths.

Ibid., ii, pp. 1–30: Ossians Berrathon. pp. 81–113: Ossians Carthon.

Two translations in blank verse by von Halem. Cp. Poesie und Prose, 1789.

Review: Neue allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 104, ii, pp. 238–40 (1805).

Lyrische Anthologie. Herausgegeben von Friedrich Matthisson. 20 vols. Zürich, 1803–7. Vol. 7, pp. 93–101: Armyns Klagelied. Von Crome.—Vol. 8, pp. 96–8: Dauras Trauer. Von Siegmund Freiherr von Seckendorf.

For the former cf. Unterhaltungen, 1767, for the latter infra, p. 64. Another edition of the Anthologie appeared about the same time.

Der Neue Teutsche Merkur. Weimar, i, p. 233, iii, pp. 77–9: Advance notices of the Report of the Committee of the Highland Society of Scotland, 1805. (Cf. Engl. Bibliography.)

Intelligenzblatt der Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, No. 147, p. 1191: Notice of Jean–Joseph Taillasson’s (French) translation; No. 187, pp. 1507–8: Notice of Arbaud de Jongues’s translation.

Leben und Liebe Ryno’s und seiner Schwester Minona. Herausgegeben von Oscar. 2 vols. Züllichau und Freystadt. 1804–5.

A story by Johann Friedrich Kind, 1768–1843. pp. 19–20: Account of a Society called “die Schule Ossians,” the members of which give themselves Ossianic names.

1805. The Poems of Ossian. Translated by James Macpherson, Esq. In three volumes. Leipzick.

Macpherson’s two dissertations and Dr. Blair’s Critical Dissertation are given at the end of the third volume.

Review: Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1806, iv, p. 344.


Ossians Fingal, vierter, fünfter und sechster Gesang, übersezt von Herrn Dr. Neumann. Mit Anmerkungen und Literatur–Nachträgen. (Programm) von Joh. Gurlitt. Hamburg.

Pp. 1–34: Translation, pp. 35–7: Nachträge zur Ossianischen Literatur. Cp. Zwei Proben, 1803, also 1804.

Review: Neue allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 100, ii, pp. 313–6 (1805).

Notice: Gött. gel. Anzeigen, 1805, ii, p. 856.

Der Neue Teutsche Merkur. Weimar. i, pp. 258–63: Ossians letztes Lied. Berrathon. Probe einer metrischen Uebersetzung. Von Reyer.

Translation in rimed eight–line stanzas of the beginning of Berrathon, pp. 374–376, l. 24.

Erholungen. Herausgegeben von W. G. Becker. Leipzig. i, pp. 156–75: Karrikthura. Eine altschottische Sage. Frei nach Ossian. Von C. Schreiber.

A free rendering in rhythmic prose of Carric–Thura, beginning to p. 151, l. 2, by Christian Schreiber, 1781–1857. Cp. Taschenbuch, 1806.

Nordische Miszellen. Vierter Band. Hamburg. No. 45, pp. 289–93: Fragmente aus den Gedichten von Ossian dem Sohne Fingals. Nach dem Englischen des Herrn Macpherson ins Deutsche übersetzt von Friedrich Leopold Grafen zu Stollberg.

Pp. 289–91: Fingal, Bk. i, p. 218, l. 29–p. 220, l. 28. pp. 291–3: Carthon, p. 163, l. 32–p. 164, end. Specimens of the translation published in the following year, e. g.

Irene. Eine Monatsschrift, herausgegeben von G. A. von Halem. Oldenburg. iii, pp. 293–5: Orla’s Gattin. Von Luise Brachmann.

A poetic imitation of an Ossianic lament based upon the episode of Orla, Fingal, Bk. v, pp. 254–6. Quatrains in tetrameters without rime. Reprinted in the Erholungen, 1807.

Englische Miscellen. Tübingen. Vol. 19, p. 51, pp. 108–9. Notices of the Gaelic originals to be published by the Highland Society. p. 108: Advance notice of Malcolm Laing’s edition of Ossian.—Vol. 20, pp. 100–1: Notice of the Dissertation on the Authenticity of the Poems of Ossian to be included in the Gaelic original. pp. 125–53: Vergebliche Bemühungen der Hochländisch–Schottischen Gesellschaft, die Originale des Macphersonschen Ossians ausfindig zu machen.


The last is an essay reviewing the Report of the Committee of the Highland Society and Malcolm Laing’s edition of the Poems of Ossian, Edinburgh and London, 1805.

Intelligenzblatt der Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, p. 1304: Notice of the Report of the Committee of the Highland Society.

1806. Die Gedichte von Ossian dem Sohne Fingals. Nach dem Englischen des Herrn Macpherson ins Deutsche übersetzt von Friedrich Leopold Grafen zu Stolberg. 3 vols. Hamburg.

Two editions appeared simultaneously, one in 4^o, the other in 8^o. Perthes, the publisher, had given an order to the artist Philip Otto Runge (cf. infra, p. 65) to illustrate the translation. He in accordance therewith prepared the pictures and sketches mentioned below. There were to have been 100 illustrations in all, but Stolberg refused to have any and they were omitted. Cf. Nagler’s Künstler–Lexicon, Vol. 14, pp. 51–2. Runge seems to have been assisted by Gerat Hardorf. Cf. Gurlitt, 1805, p. 37.—Cp. specimens in the Nordische Miszellen, 1805. The translation is not rimed, but rhythmical. It contains neither dissertations nor introductory remarks, but at the end of each volume Verkürzte Anmerkungen des Herrn Macpherson nebst einigen des deutschen Übersetzers.

Reviews: Jenaische Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1806, iv, pp. 345–50.

Bibl. der redenden und bildenden Künste, Leipzig, Vol. 3, ii, pp. 393–402 (1807).

Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1808, i, pp. 177–81.

Neue Leipziger Literaturzeitung, 1808, iii, pp. 1345–57.

Erholungen. Leipzig. i, pp. 218–23: Fingals Kampf mit Loda. Aus dem Ossian. Von St. Schütze.

A poetic translation of Carric–Thura, pp. 147–8, by Johann Stephan Schütze, 1771–1839. Quatrains riming abab. Cp. Taschenbuch, 1808.

Taschenbuch zum geselligen Vergnügen. Hgbn von W. G. Becker. Leipzig. pp. 296–8: Die Brüder. Ballade nach Ossian. Von C. Schreiber.

A free rendering in rimed verse of the Episode of Colgorm and Strinadona, Cath–Loda, Duan ii, pp. 133–4.—Cp. Erholungen, 1805.

Aelteste Geschichte der Deutschen, ihrer Sprache und Litteratur, bis zur Völkerwanderung. Von Johann Christoph Adelung. Leipzig. pp. 391–4: Doubts thrown upon the authenticity of Ossian’s Poems. Cf. infra, p. 48.

Der Neue Teutsche Merkur. Weimar. i, pp. 87–8: Daura’s Trost. Ballade Von K. W. Justi.

An imitation of Ossian by Karl Wilhelm Justi, 1767–1846.


Ibid., ii, pp. 31–52, 116–45: Ueber den Ossian. Von J. C. Adelung.

An essay reviewing the controversy over the Poems of Ossian and disputing their authenticity. The life and customs of the ancient Caledonians are also discussed. Reprinted in Mithridates, 1809, e. g., and cp. supra.

Abend–Zeitung. Dresden. No. 10, pp. 37–8, No. 11, pp. 43–4, No. 12, pp. 46–7: Resultat der Untersuchungen über die Aechtheit Ossians. Von Hans Dippoldt.

A report of the reviews of the Report of the Committee of the Highland Society and of Laing’s edition of the Poems of Ossian (Edinburgh, 1805), contained in No. 12 of the Edinburgh Review for 1805, by Hans Karl Dippoldt, 1782–1811.

Ibid., No. 58, pp. 231–2: Ueber die Aechtheit Ossians.

An argument in favor of the non–authenticity which appeared anonymously.

Englische Miscellen. Tübingen. Vol. 22, p. 184: Advance notice of the Gaelic original and of the Latin translation submitted to the Highland Society by Sir John Sinclair.

Intelligenzblatt der Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, p. 372: Notice of the new edition of Baour–Lormian’s French translation (1804).

1807. English Library. Authors in Prose. Vols. XIV, XV, and XVI. Containing The Poems of Ossian. Translated by James Macpherson, Esq. Gotha.

The third volume contains Macpherson’s two dissertations and Dr. Blair’s Critical Dissertation.

Johann Gottfried von Herder’s sämmtliche Werke. Zur schönen Literatur und Kunst. Achter Theil. Tübingen. Stimmen der Völker in Liedern. Gesammelt, geordnet, zum Theil übersezt durch Johann Gottfried von Herder. Neu herausgegeben durch Johann von Müller, pp. 1–44: Ueber Ossian und die Lieder alter Völker, pp. 259–63: Fillans Erscheinung und Fingals Schildklang. pp. 264–5: Erinnerung des Gesanges der Vorzeit. p. 266: Darthula’s Grabesgesang. Cf. Volkslieder, 1779.

Probe einer neuen Uebersetzung der Gedichte Ossian’s aus dem Gaelischen Original. Von Christian Wilhelm Ahlwardt. [1760–1830.] Oldenburg.


Pp. 3–18: Critical notice of the Gaelic original of the Poems of Ossian, London, 1807. pp. 19–44: Translation of Temora, Bk. vii, with copious notes. Cf. Translation, 1811.

Advance Notice: Intelligenzblatt der Jenaischen Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1807, p. 648.

Reviews: Morgenblatt für gebildete Stände, Tübingen. 1807, pp. 1065–6, 1069–70.

Nordische Miscellen, Hamburg, 1807, pp. 241–4: “Die ursprüngliche Gestalt der Ossianischen Gedichte.”

Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1808, i, pp. 451–4.

Jenaische Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1808, i, pp. 53–5.

Neue Leipziger Literaturzeitung, 1808, iii, pp. 1345–57.

Erholungen. Leipzig. iii, pp. 224–5: Die Klage um Orla. Nach dem Ossian. Von Louise Brachmann.—Reprinted from Irene, 1805, e. g.

Der Neue Teutsche Merkur. Weimar. ii, p. 263: Notice of the Gaelic original.

1808. Ossian’s Gedichte. Uebersetzt von Franz Wilhelm Jung. 3 vols. Frankfurt am Main.

Poetic translation. Vorerinnerung, an essay upon the authenticity, xxvi pp. No dissertations; notes at end of vols.

Reviews: Jenaische Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1810, iv, pp. 561–76.

Neue Leipziger Literaturzeitung, 1808, iii, pp. 1345–57.

Die Gedichte Ossians neuverteutschet. Zweite Auflage. Tübingen.

A mere reprint of the first edition (1782, e. g.) without additions or corrections. The translator is J. W. Petersen.

Review: Jenaische Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1810, iv, pp. 596–8.

Notice: Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1810, iv, p. 992.

Ossian’s Gedichte. Nach Macpherson. Von Ludwig Schubart. 2 vols. Wien.

Poetic prose translation by Ludwig Albrecht Schubart, 1765–1811, son of Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart. Introduction of liii pp. discussing the poetical value and authenticity of the poems, etc. No dissertations and very few notes. Cp. Englische Blätter, 1797–8, Neuer Teutscher Merkur, 1799. A second edition was published in 1824.

Taschenbuch zum geselligen Vergnügen. Leipzig, pp. 271–7: Trennung und Wiederkehr. Aus dem Ossian. Von St. Schütze.

A free rendering of the episode of Shilric and Vinvela, Carric–Thura, pp. 144–5, in rimed tetrameters. Cp. Erholungen, 1806.


Der Neue Teutsche Merkur. iii, pp. 73–82: Ankündigung der ersten Uebersetzung des ächten Ossians.

Allgemeine Literatur–Zeitung, ii, pp. 334–6.

Intelligenzblatt der Jenaischen Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, pp. 324–7: Advance notices of Ahlwardt’s translation from the original Gaelic (1811, e. g.).

Nachträge zu Sulzers allgemeiner Theorie der schönen Künste. = Charaktere der vornehmsten Dichter aller Nationen; ... von einer Gesellschaft von Gelehrten. 8 vols. Leipzig, 1792–1808. Vol. 8, ii, pp. 384–414: Ossian und die Hebräischen Dichter. Von W. N. Freudentheil, Cf. Nachträge, Vol. 3, 1795.

Reise durch Schottland, seine Inseln, Dänemark und einen Theil von Deutschland. Aus der Englischen Handschrift übersetzt von D. W. Soltau. 3 vols. Leipzig.

Translation of James Macdonald’s Journey, etc., by Dietrich Wilhelm Soltau, 1745–1827.—Vol. 2, pp. 190–223: An attempt to establish the authenticity of Macpherson’s Ossian, for an estimate of which cf. Der Neue Teutsche Merkur, 1808, iii, pp. 77–8.—pp. 216–7: German translation of Ossian’s Apostrophe to the Sun as recited in Gaelic by Hugh Macdonald. The original Gaelic version is given on pp. 303–4.—The book also contains reflections on the times of Ossian, references to geographical localities connected with the bard, etc.

Reviews: Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1808, iii, pp. 729–42.

Neue Leipziger Literaturzeitung, 1808, iii, pp. 1628–32.

1809. Der Neue Teutsche Merkur. i, pp. 82–6: Ueber die neue Uebersetzung Ossians von Hrn. Prof. Ahlwardt.

A letter from Ahlwardt to the Editor, dated Oldenburg, Nov. 28, 1808, with reference to his forthcoming translation.

Mithridates oder allgemeine Sprachenkunde ... von Johann Christoph Adelung. 2 vols. Berlin. Vol. 2, Anhang, pp. 104–41: Über den Ossian.

Reprinted from Der Neue Teutsche Merkur, 1806, e. g.

Review: Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1809, ii, p. 736.

1810. Der Neue Teutsche Merkur. ii, pp. 18–64: Oisian’s Fionnghal. Erster Gesang. Aus dem Gaelischen, im Sylbenmasse der Urschrift von C. W. Ahlwardt.

Pp. 18–9: Preface by B[öttiger]. pp. 46–64: Notes.

Pantheon. Eine Zeitschrift für Wissenschaft und Kunst.[51] Leipzig. Vol. 2, ii, pp. 246–82: Oisian’s Tighmora. Erster Gesang. Aus dem Gaelischen, im Sylbenmasse des Originals, von C. W. Ahlwardt.

Pp. 246–8: Argument; pp. 272–82: Notes.

Oisian’s Apostrophe an die Sonne, im Sylbenmasse des Originals. (Programm) von Christian Wilhelm Ahlwardt. Oldenburg. 8 pp.

Translation of Carthon, p. 163, l. 32–p. 164, end. The Gaelic original is given opposite, pp. 6–7: Notes.

Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur–Zeitung, iv, pp. 561–98: Review of Jung’s, Petersen’s, and Schubart’s Translations (1808).

Geschichte der Poesie und Beredsamkeit seit dem Ende des dreizehnten Jahrhunderts. Von Friedrich Bouterwek. 12 vols. Göttingen, 1801–19. Vol. 8, pp. 370–3: Macpherson’s Ossianische Gedichte.

Discusses chiefly the authenticity of the poems. Cp. Deutsches Museum, 1788.

1811. Die Gedichte Ossian’s. Aus dem Gaelischen im Sylbenmasse des Originals von Christian Wilhelm Ahlwardt. 3 vols. Leipzig.

The translation was made from the Gaelic original and not from Sinclair’s Latin Interlinear version, as stated in Meyer’s Konversations–Lexikon, sub Ossian.—Cf. infra, pp. 74, 126.—A two volume edition appeared in the same year. Cp. 1839, 1840, 1846, 1861.—for a criticism of compounds used by Ahlwardt, cf. Jacob Grimm, Kleinere Schriften, Vol. 6 (Berlin, 1882), pp. 71–2.

Review: Leipziger Literatur–Zeitung, 1812, i, pp. 569–83.

Über Oisian’s Fionnghal G[esang] i. v. 7–33. (Programm) von Christian Wilhelm Ahlwardt. Oldenburg. 8 pp.

P. 3: Introduction, pp. 4–7: On opposite pages the Gaelic original of Fingal, Bk. i, ll. 7–33, as given in the London edition of the original (1807) and the later recast of the bards as given on p. 190 of the Report of the Committee of the Highland Society (1805). A literal translation into German of both texts is given at the foot.

Handbuch der Englischen Sprache und Literatur ... von H. Nolte und L. Ideler. Poetischer Theil. Dritte Auflage. Berlin.

Pp. 531–6: Macpherson. pp. 536–7: Morna. pp. 538–9: Comal and Galvina. pp. 539–46: The Songs of Selma.—Cf. 2d ed., 1802; 4th ed., 1832.


German translation by ? Huber.

In the Vorrede zur zweiten Ausgabe, Vol. 1, p. xiii, of Rhode’s Translation (1817), also in Talvj’s treatise (1840), p. 3, and elsewhere, mention is made of a translation by Huber, which I failed to discover.

[Über die Echtheit der Ossianischen Gedichte. Von Fink. Berlin.]

Mentioned in Meyer’s Konversations–Lexikon, sub Ossian, and elsewhere. The author’s name is Link and the treatise in question did not appear until 1843, e. g.

1812. Kosegarten’s Dichtungen. 8 vols. Greifswald, 1812–3. Vol. 4, pp. 145–89: Finan und Lorma. Ein Gesang des Ossian. pp. 190–200: Umad und sein Hund. pp. 201–204: Des Barden Abschied, pp. 205–7: Fla’ Innis. Die Insel der Seligen, pp. 208–10: Die Kilda–Klage. pp. 211–2: Ossian and Malvina. pp. 213–31: Ossian’s letztes Lied.

For the first three cf. Blumen, 1801; the sixth is given in the Blumen, pp. 137–8, under the title Fragment. The last is a free metrical translation of Berrathon, beginning, p. 374–p. 376, l. 19; p. 380, l. 17–p. 382, end.

Archiv für Geographie, Historie, Staats– und Kriegskunst. Dritter Jahrgang. Wien. pp. 185–6: Ueber die Echtheit der Ossian’schen Gedichte.

A short essay referring particularly to the Report of the Highland Society and to Graham’s Essay on the Authenticity of the Poems of Ossian (Edinburgh, 1807).

Deutsches Museum herausgegeben von Friedrich Schlegel. Wien. Vol. 1, pp. 162–94: Ueber nordische Dichtkunst. Ossian, Die Edda, Sigurd und Shakspeare. Vom Herausgeber.

Pp. 167–79: Discussion of the authenticity and era of the poems of Ossian. In Schlegel’s sämmtliche Werke, the essay is found on pp. 65–108, Vol. 10 (Wien, 1825) of the first edition, and on pp. 51–82, Vol. 8 (Wien, 1846) of the second edition.

Review: Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1814, pp. 185–6.

1814. Göttingische gelehrte Anzeigen. iii, pp. 1833–7: Review of The Poems of Ossian, in the original Gaelic ... London, 1807.

1815. Gerstenbergs Vermischte Schriften von ihm selbst gesammelt und mit Verbesserungen und Zusätzen herausgegeben in[53] drei Bänden. Altona, 1815–6. Vol. 1, pp. 35–354: Minona oder die Angelsachsen. Ein Melodrama.

Pp. 353–78: Anmerkungen zur Minona. Cf. 1785, 1794.

1817. Minerva. Taschenbuch für das Jahr 1817. Leipzig. pp. 86–91: Fingal und Agandekka. (Frei nach Ossian.) Von Buri. pp. 92–8: Oina–Morul, das Mädchen der Insel. (Frei nach Ossian.) Von Buri.

The first is a translation of Fingal, Bk. iii, p. 236, l. 6–p. 238, l. 5, the second of Oina–Morul. Both are by Christian Karl Ernst Wilhelm Buri, 1758–1820, in five–line (trochaic pentameter) stanzas.

Ergänzungsblätter zur Allgemeinen Literatur–Zeitung. pp. 305–10, 313–6: Review of the Report of the Committee of the Highland Society, etc., 1805.

1817–8. Ossians Gedichte. Rhythmisch übersetzt von J. G. Rhode. Zweite verbesserte Ausgabe. 3 Theile, mit Kupfern und Vignetten. Berlin.

1st ed., 1800, e. g. Lowndes, Bibliographer’s Manual, London (Bohn), Part vi, sub Ossian, p. 1738, has 1808.

Reviews: Gött. gelehrte Anzeigen, 1818, i, p. 632.

Ergänzungsblätter zur Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1819, iv, pp. 913–6.

1817–9. Die Gedichte Ossians, neu übersezt und mit dem Englischen Texte begleitet, von J. F. Arnauld de la Perière, Sekretär der Königlichen Regierung zu Köln. 4 vols. Köln.

Vorrede, Vol. 1, pp. ix–xii. English and German on opposite pages. To Vol. 1 is prefixed a translation of Macpherson’s first, to Vol. 2 Macpherson’s second essay. Notes at the end of each poem. Metrical translation.

1821. Gesammelte Werke der Brüder Christian und Friedrich Leopold Grafen zu Stolberg. 20 vols. Hamburg, 1820–5. Vol. 2, pp. 228–30: Spätere Zueignung des Ossian an meinen Bruder.

Friedrich Leopold’s dedication of his translation of Ossian, 1806.

1822. Tales of Ossian for Use and Entertainment. Ein Lesebuch für Anfänger in der englischen Sprache. Dritte verbesserte Auflage. Nürnberg.

1st ed., 1784, 2d ed., 1794, e. g. The long preface of the first and second editions is omitted. pp. 109–30: Appendix: 1. To the Sun. (Carthon, p. 163, l. 32–p. 164, end.) 2. To the Moon. (Dar–Thula, p.[54] 278, beginning–p. 279, l. 13.) 3. To the evening star. (The Songs of Selma, p. 208, ll. 1–10.) 4. Colmar and Colmal. A Poem. (Calthon and Colmal.) By J. Balbach.

1824. Ossian’s Gedichte. Nach Macpherson. Von Ludwig Schubart. 2 vols. Wien.

1st ed., 1808, e. g. Ersch u. Gruber, Encyklopädie, sub Ossian (p. 429), has 1822.

Minerva Taschenbuch für das Jahr 1824. Leipzig, pp. 277–310: Darthula, nach Ossian, von Van der Velde. In vier Gesängen.

Pp. 279–80: Three introductory stanzas opening with an invocation to the Muse of Ossian. pp. 280–310: Iambic pentameter translation of Dar–Thula, p. 281, l. 22–p. 289, end, by Karl Franz van der Velde, 1779–1824.

Ceres. Originalien für Zerstreuung und Kunstgenuss. Zweyter Theil. Wien. pp. 210–4: Das Mädchen von Selma. Nach Ossian. Von Freyh. von Auffenberg.

A servile imitation of Ossian in hexameters by Joseph Freiherr von Auffenberg, 1798–1857, written in Freiburg, 1819. In his Sämmtliche Werke, 20 vols., Siegen und Wiesbaden, 1843–4, the imitation is given on pp. 263–6 of Vol. 20.

1825. Musenalmanach für das Jahr 1826. Herausgegeben von Julius Curtius. Berlin. pp. 81–8: Ossian. Von J. Curtius.

A servile imitation of Ossian, recounting the poet’s death, in irregular meters.

1826. The Poems of Ossian. Translated by James Macpherson, Esq. In Three Volumes. Leipzick. (Fleischer.)

Vol. 3 contains Macpherson’s two dissertations, as well as Dr. Blair’s Critical Dissertation.

1826–7. Ossian’s Gedichte. Neu übersetzt. 3 Bändchen. Quedlinburg und Leipzig. = Vols. 1–3 of the Bibliothek der Meisterwerke des Auslandes. In neuen Uebersetzungen. In Verbindung mit Mehreren herausgegeben von L. G. Förster. Bändchen 1–3. Quedlinburg und Leipzig.

Metrical translation without rime, by Lebrecht Gotthilf Förster, 1788–1846. No introduction, but an index of names at the end of Vol. 3. Cf. infra.

1827. Ossian’s Gedichte. Neu übersetzt von L. G. Förster. 2 Theile. Quedlinburg und Leipzig.


Cf. supra. 2d ed., 1830. Neither introduction nor notes, but index of names at the end of Vol. 2.

1828. Minerva Taschenbuch für das Jahr 1828. Leipzig. pp. 375–86: Malvina. Weibliche Charakterschilderung von E. Münch.

An enthusiastic character–sketch of Malvina, the daughter of Toscar, with several passages from the poems of Ossian quoted in German rhythmic prose. pp. 377–9: Croma, beginning, p. 177–p. 178, l. 21; pp. 379–80: The War of Caros, first (p. 188) and last (p. 193) paragraphs; pp. 380–1: Cathlin of Clutha, beginning, p. 194–p. 195, l. 2; pp. 381–2: Oina–Morul, beginning, p. 165, ll. 1–12; pp. 382–6: Berrathon, beginning, p. 374–p. 376, l. 14. The author is Ernst Hermann Joseph Münch, 1798–1841.

[1829.] Fingal and other Poems of Ossian. (Campe’s Edition.) Nurnberg and New York.

Contains Fingal, The War of Caros, The War of Inis–Thona, The Battle of Lora, The Death of Cuthullin, Carthon, The Songs of Selma. No introduction.

1830. Ossian’s Gedichte. Neu übersetzt von L. G. Förster. 2 Theile. Zweite Auflage. Quedlinburg und Leipzig. 1st ed. 1827, e. g.

Allgemeine Unterhaltungsblätter für Verbreitung des Schönen, Guten und Nützlichen. Münster und Hamm. October, No. 1, pp. 151–?: Ossian.

A ballad in rimed eight–line stanzas by Ferdinand Freiligrath. Cf. Euphorion, 1895, E, pp. 126–9.

1831. Pocket–Edition of the most eminent English authors of the preceding century. Schneeberg. Vol. 5: The Works of Ossian. i, Fingal.

1832. Handbuch der Englischen Sprache und Literatur, oder Auswahl interessanter, chronologisch geordneter Stücke aus den Klassischen Englischen Prosaisten und Dichtern ... von H. Nolte und L. Ideler. Poetischer Theil. Vierte Auflage. Berlin.

Not 1852, as given in the Allg. Deutsche Biog., Vol. 13, p. 743, sub Ideler. 2d ed., 1802; 3d ed., 1811.—pp. 510–5: Macpherson. pp. 515–6: Morna. pp. 516–7: Comal and Galvina. pp. 518–25: The Songs of Selma.


1834. The Poems of Ossian, translated by James Macpherson, Esq. To which are prefixed, a preliminary Discourse and Dissertations on the Aera and Poems of Ossian. A new Edition complete in one Volume. Leipsic.

The preliminary discourse—signed “Berrathon”—gives an account of the renewal of the controversy over the genuineness of the poems, and considers the Report of the Committee of the Highland Society, Malcolm Laing’s edition of the Poems of Ossian (1805), and von Harold’s Poems of Ossian lately discover’d (1787).

1835. Briefe an Johann Heinrich Merck von Göthe, Herder, Wieland und andern bedeutenden Zeitgenossen ... herausgegeben von Dr. Karl Wagner. Darmstadt. Von Herder (Strassburg, 28. Oct. 1770), p. 14; (Bückeburg, Juli 1771), pp. 27–8: References to Ossian, with a literal translation of a few verses from the end of Temora, Bk. vii, translated from the Gaelic original.

Allgemeine Encyklopädie der Wissenschaften und Künste ... herausgegeben von J. S. Ersch und J. G. Gruber. Dritte Section. Sechster Theil. Leipzig. pp. 420–9: Ossian. Von Heinrich Döring.

An article on the poems of Ossian and their authenticity, with several quotations from Ahlwardt’s translation (1811) and some bibliographical material.

1838. Ossians kleine Gedichte übersetzt von Karl Georg Neumann. Berlin.

Translation of all the poems contained in the Tauchnitz edition with the exception of the epics. Goethe’s translation of The Songs of Selma as far as p. 210, l. 15, is inserted in place of the author’s. For Neumann’s translation of Fingal, cf. Gurlitt, 1803–5.

1839. Die Gedichte Ossian’s. Aus dem Gälischen von Christian Wilhelm Ahlwardt. Mit 3 Holzschnitten. 3 vols. Leipzig. Cf. 1811.

Ossians Gedichte. Rhythmisch bearbeitet von Ed. Brinckmeier. Mit Titelbild. Braunschweig. Cp. 1883.

Lehrbuch einer Literärgeschichte der berühmtesten Völker des Mittelalters ... Von Dr. Johann Georg Theodor Grässe. 1. Abtheilung, 1. Hälfte. Dresden und Leipzig. pp. 407–12: Ossian.


1840. The Poems of Ossian, translated by James Macpherson, Esq. Authenticated, illustrated and explained, by Hugh Campbell, Esq. In Two Volumes. Leipzig. Mit 2 Holzschnitten.

Reprint of the text of Campbell’s (London, 1822) edition. Vol. 1 contains Macpherson’s two dissertations, and Vol. 2 Dr. Blair’s Critical Dissertation.

Ossian’s Gedichte. Aus dem Gälischen im Sylbenmasse des Originals von C. W. Ahlwardt. 2 vols. Neue Auflage mit 3 Holzschnitten. Taschen–Ausgabe. Leipzig. Cf. 1811.

Miniaturbibliothek ausländischer Dichter. Eine Auswahl des Schönsten aus ihren Werken. Mit einleitenden Biographien und literar–historischen Anmerkungen. Vol. 2: Ossians Gedichte. Wehlau.

Die Unächtheit der Lieder Ossian’s und des Macpherson’schen Ossian’s insbesondere. Von Talvj. Leipzig.

An important collection of arguments in favor of the non–authenticity of Macpherson’s Ossian by Therese Adolfine Louise von Jacob (Mrs. Robinson), 1797–1870. Lösch, 1854, p. 102, has a misprint, 1849 for 1840.

Review: Magazin für die Literatur des Auslandes, 1840, p. 528 (Nov. 2).

1841. Fingal, an epic Poem in six books. New edition. Leipzig.

Kayser, Bücher–Lexicon, has “and epic Poems.”

1842. Der Dichter Lenz und Friedericke von Sesenheim. Herausgeg. von August Stöber. Basel. pp. 95–107: Goethes ursprüngliche Uebersetzung der Ossianischen Gedichte von Selma. Cf. supra, p. 12.

1843. Über die Echtheit der Ossianischen Gedichte. Von H. F. Link. Berlin.

An essay in favor of the authenticity by Heinrich Friedrich Link, 1767–1851, directed chiefly against Drummond. Cf. 1811.

Neue Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur–Zeitung. Leipzig. i, pp. 109–19: Review of The genuine Remains of Ossian, literally translated, with a preliminary Dissertation; by Patrick Macgregor. Published under the patronage of the Highland Society of London. London, 1841. By V. A. Huber.


A notice of same had appeared in this periodical, 1842, i, p. 50, in the Beilage zur Allg. Zeitung, Augsburg, 1841, p. 2666 (Nov. 30), and in the Magazin für die Literatur des Auslandes, 1841, p. 548 (Nov. 15).

1846. Ossian’s Gedichte. Aus dem Gälischen von Christian Wilhelm Ahlwardt. Leipzig.

Popular edition in one volume; cp. 1861. 1st ed., 1811, e. g.

Johann Gottfried von Herder’s Lebensbild. Sein chronologisch–geordneter Briefwechsel ... Herausgegeben von seinem Sohne Dr. Emil Gottfried von Herder. Erlangen. Vol. 2, pp. 18–20: Reference to Herder’s perusal of Ossian at sea. (Cf. Haym, Herder, i, p. 355.)

Ibid., Vol. 3, i, pp. 152–3: Mingalen’s Elegie auf ihren Dargo. pp. 242–6: Scenen aus der Liebesgeschichte Uthal’s und Ninathoma’s. pp. 246–8: Lied Bragela’s nach ihrem Cuchullin. pp. 248–9: Translation of Temora, Bk. iv, p. 334, l. 22, ll. 25–35.

These metrical translations are not by Herder, but copied from Denis. The first is that of a poem given in Macpherson’s notes to Calthon and Colmal, the second of Berrathon, p. 377, l. 13–p. 378, l. 5, and p. 379, ll. 10–31 (with argument), the third of The Death of Cuthullin, p. 290, l. 5–p. 291, l. 4. On pp. 249–51 is given the passage from Temora mentioned above in the form of a bardic dialog. This is by Herder. On pp. 308–9, 327–8, there are references to poems from Ossian.

Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Geschichte. Herausgegeben von Dr. W. Adolf Schmidt. 5. Band (der Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft). Berlin. pp. 172–9: Macpherson’s Ossian. Von P. F. Stuhr.

An essay against the age and authenticity of Macpherson’s poems by Peter Feddersen Stuhr, 1787–1851. The author announced some detailed inquiries into the subject, which were, however, never published.

1847. The Poems of Ossian, Translated by James Macpherson, Esq. with [Macpherson’s] Dissertations on the Aera and Poems of Ossian; and Dr. Blair’s Critical Dissertation. Leipzig. = Vol. CXVI of the Collection of British Authors. (Tauchnitz.)

Ossian deutsch von Adolf Böttger. [1816–70.] Leipzig.

No introduction nor dissertations. Six pages of notes at the end. Metrical translation. Cf. 1852, 1856, 1877.

1852. Ossian deutsch von Adolf Böttger. 2. (Titel–)Ausgabe. Leipzig. Cf. supra.


1853. Ausgewählte Gedichte Ossian’s, als Einleitung in das Studium der Englischen Sprache.=Anmuthiger Weg zur Erlernung der Englischen Sprache mit oder ohne Lehrer. Von dem Herausgeber des Auszuges aus Frau von Staël’s Corinne. Braunschweig.

Pp. 1–35: Das Wissenswürdigste aus der englischen Grammatik. pp. 37–181: Auserlesene Gedichte Ossian’s mit leichtfasslicher Bezeichnung der Aussprache, wortgetreuer Uebersetzung, erläuternden Inhaltsanzeigen und kurzen erklärenden Anmerkungen. (pp. 39–42: Einleitung. Discussion of the appearance, authenticity, etc., of the poems.) The poems selected are The Songs of Selma, Carric–Thura, Lathmon, Berrathon, Oina–Morul, Croma, The War of Inis–Thona, The War of Caros, Dar–Thula and Oithona.

1854. Album des literarischen Vereins in Nürnberg für 1854. Nürnberg. pp. 98–130: Ueber den gälischen Dichter Ossian. Von Dr. E. Lösch.

A popular essay, with numerous quotations. pp. 128–9: An die Morgensonne. pp. 129–30: An den Mond. p. 130: An den Abendstern. Herder’s translations. Cf. supra, p. 21.

Programm des Gymnasiums zu Lemgo für das Schuljahr 1853–1854 von Dr. H. K. Brandes. 1. Abhandlung: Oisian und seine Welt, vom Prorektor Dr. Clemen. Lemgo.

General essay on the poems of Ossian. The author considers the poems genuine, being a disciple of Ahlwardt. pp. 15–21: Argument of Fingal. pp. 21–9: Remarks upon the poet. pp. 29–33: Ossian’s conception of the land of the Hereafter. Numerous quotations in Ahlwardt’s translation.

1856. Ossian deutsch von Adolf Böttger. 2d ed. Leipzig. Cf. 1847.

Die Entwickelung der deutschen Poesie von Klopstock’s erstem Auftreten bis zu Goethe’s Tode ... Von Johann Wilhelm Loebell. Braunschweig. Vol. 1, pp. 122–5: The poems of Ossian. pp. 272–311: Die Ossiansche Frage.

Discusses the strife over the genuineness of the poems and their reception and fate in Germany.—pp. 311–9: Bardic poetry.

1857. (Herrig’s) Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen. Vol. 22. Braunschweig. pp. 45–80, 296–402: Ueber Ossian. Von Dr. Oswald.

I. Begriffe von Gott und göttlichen Dingen. II. Kriegführung. III. Gastfreundschaft. IV. Die Jagd. V. Die Frauen. VI. Kämpfe mit[60] Fremden. VII. Fehden. VIII. Fingal. IX. Ossian. X. Gleichnisse. XI. Die Gesänge.—Written from the view–point of a firm believer in the authenticity of the poems.

1860. Jahrbuch für Romanische und Englische Literatur. Vol. 2. Berlin. pp. 183–203: Das Neueste zur Ossian–Frage. Von Dr. H. J. Heller.

The results obtained by Drummond and O’Reilly as laid down in Talvj (1840) are accepted on broad lines, but Dr. Heller would modify the conclusions in some particulars.

1861. Die Gedichte Ossian’s. Aus dem Gälischen von Christian Wilhelm Ahlwardt. [3 vols. in one.] Leipzig. (Göschen.)

Popular edition in one volume, like 1846. (Deutsche Volks–Bibliothek. 3. Reihe.)

1863. Ossian und die Fingal–Sage von Professor E. Waag. Mannheim. Als Beilage zum Programm des Grossh. Lyceums in Mannheim von 1863.

Pp. 5–12: Einleitung. General remarks on the appearance of the poems and the controversy over them. pp. 12–44: I. Ossian im Schimmerlichte der Dichtung. Taken up in large part with the story of the two epics, Fingal and Temora; with quotations. pp. 45–70: II. Ossian im Dämmerlichte der Sage, die da wandelt im Schatten der Geschichte. Waag’s remarks are based principally upon Talvj (1840). He is a non–believer in the authenticity. pp. 71–80: Anhang. 1. Denis. 2. Göthe. 3. Herder. 4. Schlegel. 5. Ahlwardt. 6. Ausgaben und Uebersetzungen des englischen, i. e., Macpherson’schen Ossian. 7. Enderle von Ketsch. 8. Talvj. 9. Macpherson. 10. Dr. Oswald (1857). Only a few translations are mentioned under 6.

1864. Berichte über die Verhandlungen des Freien Deutschen Hochstiftes ... zu Frankfurt a. M. Fünfter Jahrgang. Frankfurt a. M. pp. 76–83: Ossian und seine Dichtungen. Von Friedlieb Rausch.

A general review of the Ossian question, in which the unauthentic character of the poems is asserted.

1867. Briefe von und an Klopstock ... herausgegeben von J. M. Lappenberg. Braunschweig. pp. 164, 171–2, 210–1, 218, 226–7: References to Ossian.

1868. Ossian’s Finnghal. Episches Gedicht, aus dem Gälischen metrisch und mit Beibehaltung des Reims übersetzt von Dr.[61] August Ebrard. Nebst einem Anhang: Ueber Alter und Echtheit von Ossian’s Gedichten. Leipzig.

Pp. 1–123: Rimed translation, very few notes, pp. 124–54: Essay upon the authenticity. pp. 155–8: Register der Eigennamen zu ‘Finnghal.’

[1869.] Ossian’s Fingal. Episches Gedicht in sechs Gesängen. Aus dem Englischen übersetzt von Reinhold Jachmann. Universal–Bibliothek (Reclam’s) No. 168.

Prose translation without notes or arguments.

Allgemeine Zeitung. Augsburg. Ausserordentliche Beilage, 29. Januar. Zur Ossian–Frage. Erwiederung von Dr. Aug. Ebrard.

An ironic reply to Die Unächtheit der Lieder Ossian’s ‘eines [sic!] gewissen Talvj’ (1840).

1870. Handbuch der Mittelgälischen Sprache hauptsächlich Ossian’s. Grammatik.—Lesestücke.—Wörterbuch. Von Dr. August Ebrard. Mit einem Vorwort von Dr. G. Authenrieth. Wien. (305 pp.)

With preface by the author, who believes firmly in the authenticity of the poems; cf. particularly pp. 3–4 and 303–4. Lesestücke (Gaelic): p. 212: Schilderung der Schlacht zwischen Cuchullin und Suaran. Fingal, Bk. i, p. 223, l. 24–p. 224, l. 2. pp. 213–4: Beschreibung des Wagens und der Rosse Cuchullin’s. Fingal, Bk. i, p. 221, l. 23–p. 222, l. 10. pp. 214–7. Kampf Finnghal’s mit Odin. Carric–Thura, p. 146, l. 30–p. 148, l. 16.

Review: Literarisches Centralblatt, Leipzig, July 16, 1870.

[1877.] Ossian. Deutsch von Adolf Böttger. Dritte Ausgabe. Leipzig. 1st ed., 1847, e. g.

(Herrig’s) Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen. Vol. 58. Braunschweig. pp. 129–58: Ueber Ossian. Von A. F. Nicolai.

An essay upon the era, home, and family of Ossian, his poems and his language, with an account of the Ossianic controversy and a history of the editions, translations, and imitations of Ossian, etc.

1879. Verhandlungen der Dreiunddreissigsten Versammlung Deutscher Philologen und Schulmänner in Gera. Leipzig. pp. 15–32: Die altirische Sage und die Ossian–Frage.—Von Dr. E. Windisch.

A French translation of this important exposition of the question appeared in the Revue Celtique, Vol. 5. Paris, 1881–3. pp. 70–93:[62] L’ancienne légende irlandaise et les poésies ossianiques, par M. E. Windisch. (Traduit par Émile Ernault.)

Archiv für Litteraturgeschichte. Vol. 8. pp. 534–43: ‘Hektors Abschied’ und Ossian. Von Wilhelm Fielitz.

An attempt to prove Schiller’s obligation to Ossian in Hektor’s Abschied, The Robbers, Act ii, 2. Cf. also Zeitschrift des Allg. Deutschen Sprachvereins, Vol. 15 (1900), p. 22: Notice of a lecture on Hektor und Andromache bei Homer, Schiller und Ossian, delivered by Prof. Fielitz at Breslau, Dec. 11, 1899.

[1881.] Ossian’s Temora. Ein Gedicht in acht Gesängen. Aus dem Englischen übersetzt von Hermann von Suttner–Erenwin. Leipzig. Universal–Bibliothek (Reclam’s) No. 1496.

A prose translation with neither introduction nor notes, but an appendix: Erklärung einzelner in Temora vorkommender Namen.

[1883.] Ossians Gedichte In neuer Uebertragung von Eduard Brinckmeier. 2 vols. Stuttgart. Collection Spemann, Vols. 164–5.

Metrical translation, scattered notes, pp. 7–18: Introductory preface. Cp. 1839.

1884. Recensionen und Vermischte Aufsätze von Jacob Grimm. Vierter Theil. (Kleinere Schriften, Vol. 7.) Berlin. pp. 537–43: Über Ossian. Geschrieben 1863.

The beginning of a book on Ossian planned by Grimm to establish the authenticity of the poems. A general account of the strife waged over the authenticity is given in the first chapter. What is given here is probably all that Grimm committed to writing. Cp. loc. cit., Vorwort, p. vi; Kleinere Schriften, Vol. 1 (1864), p. 186; Briefwechsel zwischen Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm, Dahlmann und Gervinus. Hgbn von Ed. Ippel. 2 vols. Berlin, 1885–6. Vol. 2, pp. 135–6.

1892. Die Bardische Lyrik im achtzehnten Jahrhundert. (Dissertation) Von Eugen Ehrmann. Halle a. S. Frequent allusions to Ossian’s influence, e. g., pp. 9–11, 39–44, 47–55, 58–61, 87–8, 94–8.

Reviews: Cf. Jahresberichte für neuere deutsche Litteraturgeschichte, 1893, iv, 2a. 28; 1894, iv, 2a, 59–60.

1895. Mitteilungen aus der Literatur des 19. Jahrhunderts und ihrer Geschichte. Ergänzungsheft zu Euphorion, Band 2.[63] pp. 122–37: Unbekanntes und Ungedrucktes von Ferdinand Freiligrath. Mitgeteilt von Wilhelm Buchner in Eisenach.

Pp. 126–9: Ossian. A ballad by Ferdinand Freiligrath, reprinted from the Allg. Unterhaltungsblätter, 1830, e. g.

Zeitschrift für vergleichende Litteraturgeschichte. Neue Folge. Vol. 8. Weimar. pp. 51–86, 143–74: Die ossianischen Heldenlieder. Von Ludwig Chr. Stern.

An interesting, up–to–date discussion of the question.

Theodor Hasselqvist, “Ossian” i den Svenska Dikten och Litteraturen. Malmö. pp. 25–9: Ossiansångernas mottagande i Tyskland. pp. 30–1: Talvj. p. 33: Windisch. pp. 34–8: H. Zimmer.

1896. Ossian in der schönen Litteratur Englands bis 1832. Ein Beitrag zur Englischen Litteraturgeschichte von Bruno Schnabel. Inauguraldissertation. Erster Theil. Ossian in der schönen Litteratur Englands bis 1832 mit Ausschluss der ‘Englischen Romantiker.’ München.

Reprinted in the Englische Studien, Vol. 23 (1897), pp. 31–70.

Zeitschrift für vergleichende Litteraturgeschichte. N. F. Vol. 10. Weimar. pp. 117–50, 385–418: Lenz’ Übersetzungen aus dem Englischen. Von Karl H. Clarke. III. Die Ossian–Übersetzung. Pope—Yarrows Ufer. pp. 406–13: Ossian.

Cf. Iris, 1775–6.

1897. Englische Studien. Vol. 23. Leipzig. pp. 366–401: Ossian in der schönen Litteratur Englands bis 1832. Ossian in der Dichtung der sogenannten ‘Englischen Romantiker.’ Von Br. Schnabel. Cf. supra.


Beschnitt, Johannes: Ossian.—Song for male chorus, text by W. Dunker.

Brahms, Johannes: Darthula’s Grabgesang. Op. 42, No. 3. Text by Herder (cf. Volkslieder, 1779).

Gesang aus Fingal, von Ossian.

Ditters von Dittersdorf, Karl: Das Mädchen von Cola, ein Gesang Ossians. (Leipzig, 1795.) Review: Neue allg. deutsche Bibl., Anhang zum 1. bis 28. Bande, i, p. 204 (1797).

Gade, Niels Wilhelm: Nachklänge von Ossian. Ouvertüre für Orchester. Op. 1. (Won the prize offered by the Musical Society of Copenhagen in 1841).[64] Für Militärmusik bearbeitet von Albert Thomas; für Pianoforte und Violine arrangirt von Friedrich Hermann; etc.

Comala. Dramatisches Gedicht nach Ossian. Op. 12. A cantata for soli, chorus and orchestra. Translated into English by J. C. D. Parker, Dwight’s Journal of Music, 1877.

Gottschalk, Louis Moreau: Marsch der Geister Ossians. (Marche de Nuit.) Op. 17.

Kastner, Johann Georg: Oskar’s Tod, grosse Oper in vier Akten. (Strassburg, 1833.) Subject from Temora, Bk. i, pp. 308–11 (not from Fingal, as stated in Riemann’s Opern Handbuch).

Kunzen, Friedrich Ludwig Aemilius: Ossians Harfe. An opera composed for the Danish stage in 1799. Text by Jens Baggesen.

Löwe, Johann Carl Gottfried: Gesang Ossians. Alpin’s Klage um Morar. Op. 94. From The Songs of Selma, p. 210, last l.–p. 211, l. 34.

Mendelssohn–Bartholdy, Felix: Fingal’s Höhle. Ouverture.

Reichardt, Johann Friedrich: Lieder der Liebe und Einsamkeit. 2. Theil. Leipzig, 1804. Contains a few Ossianic songs. Cf. Gurlitt, 1805.

Schubert, Franz: Ossians Gesänge für eine Singstimme mit Begleitung des Piano–Forte. A number of Ossianic songs with the following titles: Die Nacht. Cronnan. Kolma’s Klage. Loda’s Gespenst. Shilric und Vinvela. Der Tod Oscars. Ossian’s Lied nach dem Falle Nathos’. Das Mädchen von Inistore.

Seckendorff, Karl Siegmund Freiherr von: Darthulas Grabesgesang. Text by Herder (cf. Volkslieder, 1779). Cf. Volks– und andere Lieder, ... In Musik gesetzt von Siegmund Freyherrn von Seckendorff. Dritte Sammlung. Dessau, 1782, pp. 26–31.

Dauras Trauer. Text in rimed quatrains by Seckendorff. Cf. op. cit., Vol. 1, Weimar, 1779, pp. 12–4, and cp. supra, p. 45.

Weber, Bernhard Anselm: Sulmalla, ein lyrisches Duodrama mit Chören. Text by Karl Alexander Harklots. (Berlin, 1802.)

Zumsteeg, Johann Rudolf: Ossian’s Sonnengesang. Text by F. W. von Hoven, cf. supra, p. 21.

Ossian auf Slimora. Notice in Schubart’s Chronik, 1790, ii, p. 774.

Colma. Text from Goethe’s translation in Werthers Leiden. (Leipzig, 1801.) Cf. Deutsche Rundschau, Vol. 74, p. 430.

(Ossian. Eine Sammlung von Volksliedern und Compositionen neuerer Meister für gemischten Chor. Published by C. F. Kahnt Nachf., Leipzig, 1867. A collection of German folk–songs, etc., containing no Ossianic songs whatsoever.)


Harnisch, Carl: Bildliche Darstellungen in Arabeskenform zu Ossians Gedichten. [Berlin], 1835. Six drawings illustrating scenes from Cath–Loda, Comala, Lathmon, Fingal (2), and Temora. Cf. Nagler, Künstler–Lexicon, Vol. 5, pp. 564–5.

Krafft, Peter: Ossian. A painting representing the blind bard led by Malvina, “am brandenden Meeresufer sein Schwanenlied in die Saiten brausend.” Cf. Nagler, Künstler–Lexicon, Vol. 7, p. 153. An etching from this painting was made by Ignaz Rungaldier. A cut appeared in Aglaja. Taschenbuch für das Jahr 1824. Wien.


Rehberg, Friedrich: Ossian und Malvina. A drawing “recently exhibited at Berlin” (Gurlitt, 1804).

Ruhl, Johann Christian: Ossian’s Gedichte in Umrissen. Erfunden und radirt von J. C. Ruhl. Bildhauer in Cassel. 1. Heft. St. Petersburg, Penig und Leipzig, 1805. 2. Heft. St. Petersburg und Penig, 1806. 3. und letztes Heft. St. Petersburg, Penig und Leipzig, 1807. Cf. Nagler, Künstler–Lexicon, Vol. 14, pp. 30–3. Advance Notice: Intelligenzblatt der Jenaischen Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1805, i, p. 68. Reviews: Journal des Luxus und der Moden, 1805 (April), pp. 210–1; 1806 (October), pp. 640–2; 1808, pp. 188–90. Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, 1806, ii, pp. 371–4; 1807, iii, pp. 558–9; 1808, iv, pp. 750–2. Bibl. der redenden und bildenden Künste. Leipzig. Vol. 2, ii, pp. 388–94 (1806). Der Neue Teutsche Merkur, 1807, i, pp. 200–6 (by Justi, cf supra, p. 47); 1807, iii, pp. 239–42 (by Justi). An advance description of the entire collection appeared in Justi’s Hessische Denkwürdigkeiten, Marburg, 1805, Vol. 4, i, pp. 463–8.

Runge, Philipp Otto: Eight very large pictures in illustration of Cath–Loda, two to illustrate the Death of Comhal and the Birth of Fingal (son of Comhal), and three pen–sketches (in outline) of Fingal, Oscar, and Ossian. Cp. supra, p. 47.

Weitsch, Friedrich Georg (Matthias): Comala. A large heroic painting, representing bards singing the praise of Comala by torchlight. Exhibited at the Berlinische Kunstausstellung of 1802. For A. W. v. Schlegel’s criticism, cf. supra, p. 44. No. 2, Vol. 1, of the Tablettes d’un Amateur des Arts, Berlin, contains La Mort de Comala, a sketch after the painting by Weitsch, together with a description of the painting and the argument of the episode in Ossian.

Tod der Borminna, nach Ossian’s Dichtung. A pendant to the above. Cf. Allg. Deutsche Biog., Vol. 41, pp. 629–30; Nagler, Künstler–Lexicon, Vol. 21, pp. 268–70.

Taschenbuch für Damen auf das Jahr 1802. Herausgegeben von Huber, Lafontaine, Pfeffel, und andern. Mit Kupfern. Tübingen. 1. Kupfer: Malvina, in the midst of her companions, lamenting the death of Oscar. Cf. Croma. Notice: Neue allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 73, ii, p. 522 (1802). 3. Kupfer: Colma’s discovery of the bodies of her lover and her brother on the beach. Cf. the song of the unfortunate Colma, The Songs of Selma, p. 209, ll. 26 ff.

Among the Commissions–Artikel of the Landes–Industrie–Comptoir at Weimar cited in the Intelligenz–Blatt des Neuen Teutschen Merkurs for April, 1805 (p. 67), mention is made of an engraving illustrating Ossian’s Dichtungen. “Ein grosses, reich komponirtes Blatt, gemalt von F[rançois] Gerard, gestochen von J[ean] Godefroy in Paris.” Godefroy’s engraving was exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1804. A criticism of the engraving, by Goethe, had appeared in the Jenaische Allg. Lit.–Zeitung, January, 1805, on pp. vii–viii of the supplement: Weimarische Kunstausstellung vom Jahre 1804....

[For a notice of the scheme said to have been broached in Kingussie for an exhibition of paintings illustrating the poems of Ossian, cf. Saunders, op. cit., pp. 236–7.]

[For a notice of a painting of Lamderg and Gelchossa (cf. Fingal, Bk. v, pp. 257–8) in the Art Gallery of Yale University (by Col. John Trumbull), cf. Donald G. Mitchell, English Lands, Letters and Kings, 1895, Vol. 3, p. 221.]



§1. General Considerations upon the Reception of the Ossianic Poems in Germany.

Almost a century and a half has elapsed since the literary world of Europe bowed to a new offspring of the poetic muse that many thought would be immortal. The poems of Ossian were assigned to a ‘natural genius,’ whom men of unquestioned literary sagacity placed next to and even above Homer. Now they are almost forgotten, and their interest lies mainly in the influence they exerted upon some of the greatest minds of the 18th century.

It was in the year 1760[15] that James Macpherson, a Scotch youth of twenty–four,[16] published in Edinburgh some Fragments of Ancient Poetry, Collected in the Highlands of Scotland, and Translated from the Gallic or Erse Language. Neither Macpherson nor his friends anticipated the tremendous sensation these fragments were destined to make, not only in Scotland and England, but on the whole continent of Europe. But Macpherson was not the man to underestimate the position which he had suddenly attained, and accordingly, emboldened by his initial success, he published in 1761 Fingal, an epic poem in six books, and in 1763 Temora[17] in eight books. With the dispute over the authenticity of the poems we are not here concerned. The researches of modern Celtic scholars have cast much light upon the long–disputed question. They have accorded Macpherson the place that in justice belongs to him, the place of a ‘skillful artificer,’[18] who took a few crude scattered fragments of Irish—not distinctively Scotch—folk–songs as his foundation, and not only lengthened them into more elaborate and refined[67] poems, but built up long epics, which, although accepted as genuine by a credulous age in a moment of blind enthusiasm, have not been able to withstand the scrutiny of the unprejudiced scholar.

Macpherson’s Ossian was not the first literary product of England that was received with favor by the Germans in the 18th century, but no other made its influence felt so strongly. A glance at the bibliography will show the importance of Ossian in the literary history of Germany. There was scarcely a writer of note who did not at some time or other fall under the spell. First came Klopstock, who, regarding Ossian as a German, found the songs of the bard a fit vehicle for the transmission of his patriotic ideas. Gerstenberg wrote a long drama in the Ossianic vein. Denis translated the poems of the bard and imitated him zealously. Kretschmann and many so–called ‘bards’ of smaller caliber fell into line. Herder hailed the advent of the songs with delight and based his theories of popular poetry largely upon them. Goethe, inspired by Herder, took a passing but deep interest in the literary curiosity, which left its impress upon a portion of his work.[19] Schiller’s earliest dramas show traces of Ossian’s influence. The Storm and Stress writers found nourishment in the writings of a genius who observed no rules. Merck edited an English edition of the poems. Lenz translated Fingal. The poets of the Göttinger Bund—Bürger, Hölty, Voss, Fried. Stolberg, Cramer—have all left testimony of their admiration for the Gaelic Homer. Then there were Claudius and Matthisson and Kosegarten, all influenced by Ossian. Even Gessner shows his indebtedness in some of his later idyls. Weisse and Haller wrote detailed reviews. Adelung strongly opposed the authenticity of the poems. Wilhelm Schlegel seconded the latter’s efforts. Friedrich Schlegel seriously discussed the authenticity. Jacob Grimm was extremely anxious to appear as their champion. The melancholy of Novalis sought consolation in the Ossianic ‘joy of grief.’ Tieck produced several imitations in his youth. Hölderlin also read the poems with ardor. Freiligrath wrote a ballad “Ossian.” And so on to the end of the chapter. Schubert and Brahms, Zumsteeg and Dittersdorf, Seckendorff and Löwe, and other German composers, have set portions of the poems to music. German artists have tried their hand at illustrating Ossianic scenes[68] and depicting Gaelic heroes. But why pursue the subject further? It were almost impossible to overestimate the favor which the poems of Ossian once enjoyed in Germany. The baptismal name Oskar, so common in Germany, and those of Selma and Malvine,[20] still found there, serve as perpetual reminders of the proud rôle that Ossian, son of Fingal, once played on German soil.

In order to comprehend this wide–spread influence, let us glance at the literary condition of Germany in the seventh decade of the 18th century. As far as their success in Germany is concerned, the poems of Ossian could not have been ushered in at a more opportune moment. We may safely assert that at no time before were the chances of a favorable reception so good; and had they been published in the 19th century, their influence would have been nil. And it was fortunate in many respects that the songs appeared when they did, for although we have long ceased to regard Ossian as a classic, we have no reason to consider his influence pernicious. Of course the danger of drawing false conclusions and exaggerating the value of the poems was great, and that they worked a certain amount of mischief no one will deny. Yet the indisputable facts remain, that the poems of Ossian aroused a wide–spreading interest in the ‘tales of the times of old,’ that they helped to draw the attention of the Germans to their own rich store of popular poetry; that they aided in eradicating the general idea that German literature depended for its prosperity upon imitation. Themselves artificial, by a strange paradox they helped to dispel artificiality, and we really owe to Macpherson a debt of gratitude for making us acquainted with those ‘deeds of the days of other years’ when ‘Fingal fought and Ossian sung.’ The controversy that arose over the genuineness of the songs was instrumental in calling general attention to them. A fight usually attracts a crowd, and it did not fail to do so in this instance. Aspirants for critical honors were allured into the polemical arena like moths into the flame. The majority of the German critics came nobly to Macpherson’s defense, and their decided views as to the authenticity and beauty of the poems had a marked effect upon the opinions of their readers.


And then the poems appeared in English, a language that had become interesting to the Germans, especially after the Seven Years’ War drew Prussia and England closer together. It did not require a thorough knowledge of English to read Ossian. The periods were short and simple, involved constructions were almost entirely lacking, and repetitions of the same thought in terms virtually similar were of frequent occurrence. The episodes themselves were simple and called for no serious application of the reasoning powers; any complications that might arise were explained away by a careful argument preceding each poem, and those who were curious to know more about the origin and age of the poems found abundant material to satisfy them in the various dissertations prefixed to many of the editions and translations. On the whole, nothing in the entire range of English literature could have been found that better met the demand for a text shorn of the most common difficulties. The number of English reprints that appeared in Germany is incontrovertible evidence of the frequency with which these poems were read in the original. And it is patent that this circumstance contributed in some measure to their popularity. A German of the 18th century, possessed of a moderate knowledge of English, would be less drawn to Paradise Lost than to Ossian. While the nature of the subject is the primary cause for the large number of German translations of Ossian, the apparent simplicity of the material no doubt induced more than one person to present his countrymen with a new translation. And thus it came about that Ossian was in more cases than one translated into German by men who absolutely lacked poetic talent. The earliest translations were in rhythmic prose, a fact that did much to increase the popularity of this style of writing in Germany at that time. About the time of Klopstock’s entrance upon the literary stage, and for some time afterwards, the theory widely prevailed, that the poet enters into more direct contact with nature by clothing his thoughts in prose. This prose, however, was to be a poetic prose, poetic and at the same time natural; for prose was regarded as the most natural expression of the soul. Surely the sensation that Ossian made in Germany would not have been so prodigious had his poems appeared in meter. An indignant protest arose on all sides when Denis introduced an innovation by publishing a translation in hexameters.[70][21] Had the poems of Ossian appeared originally in the measures of the so–called Gaelic originals, they might have found readier acceptance with scholars, but scarcely with the reading public. There was something in Macpherson’s abrupt but pompous, rhapsodical, measured prose per se that won the hearts of the admirers of ‘these glorious remains of antiquity.’

Two distinct tendencies stand out prominently on the literary horizon of Germany in the middle of the 18th century: imitation of the ancients, and the return to nature as preached by Rousseau and his disciples. It is a signal coincidence that Macpherson’s poems and Rousseau’s Nouvelle Héloïse appeared about the same time. It is well known with what acclaim Rousseau’s doctrines were hailed in Germany. To a people professedly longing for a return to the delights of savage life, nothing could have been more opportune than the practical illustration of Rousseau’s theories in the account of the crude civilization depicted by Macpherson, whose characters, while leading a life of freedom in the wild fastnesses of the mountains, far from the haunts of civilized man, had been supplied by Macpherson with a veneer of nobility and refinement that would have better befitted a powdered and perfumed gallant of the 18th century. There are some points of resemblance between the panegyrists of Thomson’s Seasons, who sang the beauties of the sunrise but never rose before noon, and those followers of Rousseau who never wearied of sighing for the advantages of savage life, but would have indignantly declined to be taken at their word and transported among a tribe of Patagonians. The heroes of Ossian were more to their taste: these at least made some pretension to refinement of manners, even if they did not powder their hair nor use snuff. We can vividly picture to ourselves the immense stir that the sudden appearance of Ossian must have made in a society that was ready to embrace Rousseau’s cause with such alacrity.[22] To a certain extent the return to nature went hand in hand with the awakening of a love for wild and lonely scenery, and here, also, Macpherson gave all that could be demanded, even by the most fastidious. Rousseau was a true lover of nature; he was passionately fond of the Alps, and his example inspired the Germans with a new love for mountain scenery. His writings did much to bring on the era of nature–worship in Germany, and[71] they were nobly seconded by Macpherson’s descriptions of the Scottish Highlands.

In an age when it was considered good taste to imitate the ancients, Ossian could not fail to arouse more than passing interest. From imitation of the French and English, the Germans had, in accordance with the ideas of Lessing, come back to the Greek source. But even in imitation of the Greeks there was no real salvation. It needed a Klopstock to arouse an interest in Germanic antiquity, in a civilization that was less alien to the specifically German Anschauung. And here Ossian’s beneficent influence enters, for his works undoubtedly increased the interest that was beginning to be taken by the Germans in their own antiquity. Klopstock regarded Ossian as a German, and Herder based many a theory of the folk–song upon the lays of the Gaelic bard. The influence, then, that Ossian had in this respect was rather an indirect one. When we regard his direct influence in the matter of imitation, the outlook is not so encouraging. Ossian’s world is encompassed by narrow bounds, the field of his images and descriptions is small, the emotions and sentiments expressed by his actors are confined to a limited sphere; and all this, coupled with the continual repetitions, greatly simplifies the process of direct imitation. And this very simplicity proved an irresistible temptation and a snare to many not at all qualified to enter the lists. Thus we find sorrowful examples of attempts at Ossianic imitation in the work of some of the so–called ‘bards’ and elsewhere. One thing Ossian did, however: he aided Klopstock in his attempt to elevate the personal rank of the poet. At a time when Klopstock was making strenuous efforts in this direction, it was a great gain for those similarly minded to be able to point to the times of old, when the bard was placed upon an equal footing with the warrior and held in extraordinary esteem by the people. If Macpherson involuntarily contributed his mite to the spread of the idea that the poet’s vocation is a noble one, he deserves our sincere gratitude.

The influence exercised in Germany by Shakspere and by Bishop Percy’s Reliques in several particulars goes hand in hand with that of Ossian. Herder grasped all three in close connection, but we shall postpone our account of their inter–relation to the paragraphs on Herder. A few words are due, however, to Young’s Night Thoughts and his Conjectures on Original Composition,[23] in the latter[72] of which the poets of the Storm and Stress found much fuel for their fire. Original genius is a shibboleth frequently met with in the German literature of the time. In Shakspere the Germans believed they had discovered a true original genius, and he came to be regarded as the perfect type of the natural poet, who, throwing aside existing rules and conventionalities, became a law unto himself. But when they came to Ossian, they discovered a man that really stood in much closer communion with nature than even Shakspere, for the former lived in surroundings that precluded the establishment of fixed rules of poetical composition. If the poems of Ossian were genuine—and it took a very long time to convince the Germans of the fact that they were not—here they had certainly to deal with a poet who was a genius born not made—an undeniable original. Dr. Blair had in his “Critical Dissertation” undertaken to make a comparison of the characteristics of the work of Ossian and Homer, and nowhere did his conclusion fall upon more willing ears than in Germany. Soon a most delightful controversy arose over the relative excellence of Homer and Ossian, and it was intensified by the appearance of Robert Wood’s Essay on the Original Genius and Writings of Homer (1769), in which, too, Homer was proclaimed as a product of the soil. Homer generally came out second best in the comparison, critics vieing with one another in discovering some new phase wherein Homer could with apparent justice be placed beneath Ossian.[24] And how many German translations of Ossian had appeared before one respectable version of Homer came into being! The latter’s heroes were branded not only as cruel and artful, but as possessed of other unattractive qualities that relegated them to a lower level than the characters depicted by Ossian, who never failed to develop the attributes that distinguish the true hero, and so on ad absurdum. Fortunately the aberration was only temporary. No doubt the frequent comparisons are responsible for the Homeric dress occasionally given to Ossian’s warriors in illustrations; e. g., in No. 14 of Ruhl’s sketches, Oscar wears a Greek helmet, coat–of–mail, etc.

A translation of the Night Thoughts[25] by Johann Arnold Ebert (1723–95) had appeared in 1760 and its influence soon began to manifest itself in the odes of Klopstock and his pupils. The profound[73] melancholy underlying the Thoughts was the leading cause of its popularity in Germany and in a measure paved the way for the related strain that runs through Ossian. In this respect, then, the influence of the one accentuated that of the other, although the popularity of Young waned noticeably after the appearance of Ossian. Closely bound up with the spirit of melancholy is that of sentimentality, and here again Ossian’s sway is unmistakable. Before the appearance of Werthers Leiden (1774), the influence of Ossian had been felt in several directions, but it was reserved for Goethe to open up a new field for the Gaelic bard. Feeling began to enter the arena,[26] and Ossian’s ‘joy of grief’[27] began to symbolize for many a German youth and maiden “the shower of spring, when it softens the branch of the oak, and the young leaf rears its green head.” Goethe, through his incomparable translation of “The Songs of Selma” in Werthers Leiden, served to increase the admiration that had so willingly been offered on the shrine of Ossian. But we must not anticipate the paragraphs on Goethe.

And now that the famous bard had once been started upon his triumphal career, nothing of importance occurred for some years to disturb the general tenor of his fame. The work of translation and imitation went on and there was always some one prepared to enter the lists as his champion. For a long time it was considered bad form for a German critic to doubt the authenticity of the poems. Not one had the courage of his convictions, not one was prepared to damn with faint praise. A number of literati had their private doubts as to the genuineness of the poems, but they feared to share their opinions with the public—as witness the following passage in a letter of Klotz to Denis, dated Halle, July 6, 1769: “Aufrichtig unter uns geredet (denn dem Publico mag ich, darf ich es nicht sagen) ich kann mich immer noch nicht überreden, dass diese Gedichte völlig ächt wären, dass gar keine neuere Hand an ihnen polirt, gewisse Bilder abgeändert, andere hinzugesetzt hätte u. s. w.”[28] And Denis says in his reply: “Ich hatte ihn auch, diesen Zweifel; allein D. Blair’s Abhandlung, und Macphersons Betheurungen haben mich hierüber ziemlich beruhiget. Dennoch mag wohl an den Übergängen, an den Verbindungen der Stücke hin[74] und wieder eine neuere Hand polieret haben.”[29] Ossian filled so many long–felt wants, that it was not to be expected that the Germans would give him up easily, and yet this one–sided chorus of praise could not satisfy perpetually.

When the poets of the Romantic School arrive upon the scene, Ossian has, to be sure, lost some of his old–time glory, yet he is still ready to respond to the calls made upon him. Macpherson died in 1796, and soon afterwards steps were taken looking towards the publication of the supposed Gaelic originals. Rumors of the circumstance reached Germany and called forth wide–spread interest. The dying embers were for the last time blown into a bright flame, to which fact the mass of Ossianic literature which appeared from 1800 to 1808 clearly attests. Much of the renewed interest must be ascribed to the influence of Ahlwardt, who prepared a translation from the original Gaelic (1811). The excellence of this translation was trumpeted throughout the land long before its appearance, a specimen was published as early as 1807 and widely reviewed, so that when the complete translation finally appeared, little was left to be said. Ahlwardt’s translation really marks the beginning of the end. What a lowering from their former position the poems had suffered even at the beginning of the century, is shown by a statement made by Schröder in the preface to his translation of Fingal (1800), where he refers to Ossian as one of those poets that are praised more than read. We still meet with an occasional translation and imitation, to be sure, but they are of little weight when compared with the hold the Ossianic craze once had on the German people. Ossian came generally to have more interest for the philologist than for the man of letters. More than one critic no longer concealed his doubts of the authenticity, until finally Mrs. Robinson’s (Talvj’s) work upon the non–genuineness of the poems was published (1840), which treatise marks the turning–point in German Ossian criticism. Since Talvj’s days the Celtic scholars of Germany have sought to make good the errors into which their predecessors of the previous century had fallen, and to them we owe much of the light that has been shed upon the long–mooted question in comparatively recent years. At the present day Ossian is read but little in Germany, and where he is known attention has generally been called to him by Goethe’s famous[75] translation of “The Songs of Selma.” He still attracts the average reader if read in snatches, but few will be found who can derive pleasure from the reading of his entire works. Macpherson’s Ossian has become the property of the literary historian, and the genuine old folk–songs connected with his name that of the Celtic scholar.

§2. Earliest Notices and Translations.

It is generally stated that the first German notice of the Poems of Ossian was given by Raspe in No. 92 of the Hannoverisches Magazin for 1763. This is, to be sure, the first extended review, but a notice of Fingal had appeared the year before in the Bibliothek der schönen Wissenschaften.[30] It is interesting to note what attracted this first critic, who regards the characters of the epic as full of strength and feeling, and endowed with all the virtues that go to make up true heroism. He marvels at the bold poetic expression, and seems to detect in it a resemblance to the oriental style. In a review of Temora which appeared in the same magazine in the following year, the author tells us that, on the one hand, the various critical dissertations written by Macpherson and, on the other, the nature of the poetry itself have convinced him of the authenticity of the songs, which he thinks ought to be made more widely known through German translations. He is attracted particularly by “the grandeur and sublimity of thought, the spark of genius, the power of expression, the boldness of metaphor, the sudden transitions, the irresistible and unexpected touches of pathos and tenderness, and the similarity in similes and phrasing.” In these notices we encounter several remarks that are characteristic of the Ossian craze in Germany. In the first place, doubts as to the authenticity are not to be entertained.[31] Equally interesting is the impression made upon the critic by the ‘spark of genius,’ the ‘power of expression,’ the ‘boldness of metaphor’; in other words, the Gaelic bard was considered fairly well endowed with those qualities that constitute the ideal poet of the Storm and Stress, and he might well be placed by the side of Shakspere as a natural poet. We note further that the pathos and tenderness exhibited in the poems of Ossian attracted attention from the beginning, and this very pathos and sentimentality and melancholy did[76] much to establish Ossian in the popular favor. The German is by nature inclined to be sentimental, and to the German of the 18th century the joy of grief, the [Greek: himeros nooio] was a large reality.

Two years before the appearance of Engelbrecht’s translation of the Fragments, there appeared in the Bremisches Magazin a German prose translation of two fragments that had been published in the Gentleman’s Magazine in 1760. In a notice of Fingal in Volume 6 of the same magazine (1763), the epic is characterized as “beautiful, pathetic, and sublime.” The characterization of Temora given in the following year is but an echo of the sentiments expressed in the Bibliothek der schönen Wissenschaften.

One of the first to draw attention not only to the poems of Ossian but to Bishop Percy’s Reliques as well,[32] was Rudolf Erich Raspe. Raspe had studied at Göttingen and spent some years in Hannover, so that nothing was more natural than that he should take an interest in English literature. His first notice of Ossian appeared in No. 92 (1763) of the Hannoverisches Magazin. The tone throughout is one of hearty appreciation, and supreme confidence is placed in the authenticity of the poems, which he defends enthusiastically, basing his arguments upon the various dissertations prefixed to the works of Ossian. The supposed originality of the Gaelic bard appealed strongly to him. “With justice,” says Raspe, “can he be styled an original, he is new throughout.”[33] And in another place: “Ossian is in the opinion of many great connoisseurs a genius of the first order.”[34] Here then we have our Originalgenie without further search. Raspe was thus struck by what he was pleased to regard as Ossian’s naturalness. The fact that Dr. Blair in his “Dissertation” had not hesitated to place Ossian on a par with Homer causes Raspe to marvel that Ossian was gifted enough to raise himself to the height demanded by an epic poem “without the machinery, the gods, and the comparisons of the Roman and Greek poets.”[35] He regarded Ossian as the embodiment of the ideal that Winckelmann saw in the Greek masterpieces, a soul characterized by ‘noble simplicity and quiet grandeur.’ Ossian’s noble sentiments are set up as an example worthy of emulation in these degenerate times.


In Nos. 94 to 97 (1763) of the same magazine, Raspe gave a translation of extracts, ‘disjecta membra Hippolyti,’ from the six books of Fingal in rhythmic prose. The portions omitted are briefly summarized. The translation possesses no special merits and we can pass over at once to the first translations that appeared in book form, that of the Fragments by Engelbrecht (1764), and that of Fingal by Wittenberg (1764), both of which appeared anonymously and both in rhythmic prose. Neither of these translations met with a particularly flattering reception; the magazines seem to have taken no notice of them whatever, the editions were probably limited, and we have no record of a second edition in either case. Wittenberg, indeed, intended to publish two additional volumes, the second to contain Temora with several smaller poems and the third the remaining fragments, together with Dr. Blair’s “Dissertation,” but his plans bore no fruit. Wittenberg was no great literary light and would have been forgotten long ago had he not been mixed up in the Lessing–Goeze controversy.[36] In his preface he tells us that he took pains to make the translation as literal as possible—quite a wise proceeding for one who had no hope of improving upon the original and no ability to turn Macpherson’s prose into respectable verse. When he remarks in the preface that the poems of Ossian are, even thus early, too well known among the Germans to call for further commendation to the reader, we may see how quickly Ossian had found a place in the public favor. However, Wittenberg can not abstain from recording his appreciation, and takes up the cudgels in defense of the authenticity.

Engelbrecht, the translator of the Fragments, was a merchant and by way of avocation a literary dilettante. He began to translate the fragments partly in prose and partly in verses without rime, but business interfered with the continuation of the work and when he again took it up, he cast aside the poetic portion and translated in rhythmic prose from the first edition of Fingal (1761). He intended originally to publish a translation of the epic Fingal as well, but abstained, because Wittenberg anticipated him.[37]

In the year after the appearance of the two translations just discussed (1765), a reprint of the Mémoire sur les Poëmes de Macpherson[78] mentioned above (p. 5) was published in Cologne, and a partial translation of the same article appeared in the Hamburgische Unterhaltungen the following year. Little attention was paid in Germany to the attempt to transport Ossian and his heroes to Ireland. The translator might have foreseen that an article of this nature would be apt to be received with disdain. Gerstenberg, to be sure, believed in the article,[38] but then he had had his doubts from the very first. Yet he was the exception, and the view of the general public is better illustrated by a sentence in the review of Fingal from the Göttingische gelehrte Anzeigen (1765), where the critic writes: “We must at the outset reject the suspicion expressed in certain French monthlies, which declare these poems to be the work of the publisher and consequently a forgery. In a hundred places do we find proof that refutes this suspicion.”[39] In the same review Ossian is characterized as less loquacious than Homer, and in a review of the Works of Ossian (London, 1765) in the same magazine (1767), the critic remarks how infinitely superior the character of the Gaels is to that of Homer’s heroes: “Ossian’s heroes are throughout far more generous, more modest and more kind than Homer’s robbers, who are sublime solely in virtue of their strength.”[40] And again: “Ossian’s soul felt infinitely more, his code of morals was better, he knew the human heart in its more delicate emotions; and, what might not be expected from a Highlander, he was infinitely more tender in love and had a greater partiality for women than the Greek.”[41] Macpherson’s peculiar prose did not fail to impress the reviewer, who saw in it a mixture “made up of the Holy Scriptures, of Homer and of the speeches of the Iroquois, yet nevertheless possessing something of its own.”[42] Verily a strange combination that could not fail to be effective. However, carried away as the average reviewer was by the beauty inherent in the poems, by the noble, almost sublime character of the old Gaelic heroes, and by the grandiloquent language in which the poems were couched, they were not always entirely blind to the cardinal defects of the work, and we must give the reviewer credit for his candor when he says: “To be sure, the comparisons are[79] too frequent and the style somewhat too monotonous.”[43] This was no small admission to make in regard to a poet greater even than Homer, and so in the second review a reason for this defect is given in palliation. “Ossian lived,” we read, “in a different clime, where nature does not possess half the beauty of the Greek.... It is therefore easy to see that Ossian, whose wealth of comparison is altogether too great, is forced to become monotonous as far as these and his descriptions of scenery are concerned.”[44]

We have seen that the first notice of Ossian appeared in the Bibliothek der schönen Wissenschaften, and for a number of years this magazine assumed the leading rôle in Ossianic criticisms and discussions. Several notices appeared in the first three volumes of the Neue Bibliothek. In Vol. 1 (1766) we have a notice of Cesarotti’s Italian translation. The reviewer expresses his astonishment that the Abbé has dared to render the translation in verse, a criticism that Denis was soon to call down upon his head in still greater measure. In Vol. 2 (1766) appeared a most sympathetic review of the Works of Ossian by Christian Felix Weisse, who had been editor of the Bibliothek since 1759. Weisse took a lifelong interest in Ossian, a fact that is attested not only by his reviews, but also by his translations of John Macpherson’s Critical Dissertations ... (1770), and of Smith’s Gaelic Antiquities (1781). In his review he feels called upon to defend the authenticity of the poems against the attacks of English and French scholars, particularly against the article in the Journal des Sçavans; he does not mention a single German scholar, which goes far to show with what unanimity Ossian was accepted when he first made his appearance. Weisse’s review is taken up principally with an extensive résumé of Dr. Blair’s “Dissertation,” prefixed to the edition under discussion. The comparison of Homer and Ossian receives a due share of consideration. The notice is concluded in Vol. 3 (1766), where the plan and character of the two epics Fingal and Temora are given, together with several specimens from the poems in German prose. And then Ossian is proclaimed a poetic genius.[45] “If strong feeling and natural description are the two chief ingredients of a poetic genius, we must confess that Ossian possesses a large amount of genius. The question is not whether there are mistakes in his[80] poems ... but has he the spirit, the fire, the inspiration of a poet? Does he speak the speech of nature? Does he elevate by his feelings? Does he interest by his descriptions? Does he depict for the heart as well as for the imagination? Does he cause his readers to glow, to tremble, to weep? These are the great characteristics of true poetry.”[46] And these grand characteristics of true poetry, as laid down by Weisse, Ossian certainly possessed. The form in which the poems came out approached closely to what was then regarded as constituting the language of nature. His sentiments were surely ennobling. His descriptions, while their monotony would soon tire a reader of to–day, interested and charmed by reason of their novelty, and while sufficient play was left for the imagination, no one could complain of failure to touch the heart; and lastly, if an author was to be judged by his ability to cause his readers to glow, tremble, and weep, was it strange that a high rank was assigned to a poet whose heroes and heroines spent a goodly portion of their time in doing the one or the other, especially the last? Tears play a most important part in the economy of Ossian’s poems, and we need not wonder that the sentimental youth and maiden of the day were so fond of him. And so Weisse needed no external proof to convince him of the genuineness of the poems; their character was proof sufficient to him. It would have been difficult for him—and in this respect he represents a numerous body—to reconcile the spuriousness of the songs with the undeniable effect they produced.

Before closing this discussion of the earliest notices and translations, we must mention two further translations that appeared prior to the publication of Denis’s hexameter version in 1768–9. The one is a translation of the Fragments that appeared anonymously in 1766. It was originally published in the Neues Bremisches Magazin and then printed separately as Fragmente der alten Dichtkunst. The translation evoked little attention and soon passed into oblivion. To the second translation fate was more kind. It was a poetic rendering of two extracts from “The Songs of Selma.” They appeared anonymously in Vol. 4 of the Unterhaltungen and were later reprinted several times in various places. The translator is Ludwig Gottlieb Crome, a collection of whose poems appeared after his death.[47]


The bibliography brings out two interesting additional points. We see first that not a single imitation of Ossian exists before the advent of Denis’s translation, and secondly, that most of the early publications hailed from Bremen and Hamburg, the cities in which the originals were soonest accessible. That the periodicals of Hannover and Göttingen should be among the first to pay tribute to the newly discovered genius is easily explained by a reference to the dynastic connections between Hannover and England.



§1. Klopstock.

“Klopstock verliert alles, wenn man ihn in der Nähe und im Einzelnen betrachtet. Man muss ihn in einer gewissen Ferne und im Ganzen erfassen. Wenn man ihn liest, scheint er pedantisch und langweilig; wenn man ihn aber gelesen hat, und sich wieder an ihn erinnert, wird er gross und majestätisch. Dann glauben wir einen riesenhaften Geist Ossians zu sehen.”—W. Menzel.

The subject of Ossian’s influence upon Klopstock, were it to receive exhaustive treatment, would greatly exceed the space we can allot to it in a general discussion of the effect that Ossian produced in Germany, and we shall therefore confine ourselves here largely to generalities and attempt only a broad sketch of Klopstock’s attitude toward the Gaelic bard. If we are to accept literally the statement made by Klopstock in a letter to Gerstenberg,[48] to the effect that he did not adopt the mythology of his forefathers until after the appearance of the “Lied eines Skalden” (1766), we ought to begin our discussion with Gerstenberg. It appears, however, that Klopstock gave some attention to old Germanic history and mythology previous to 1766.[49] At any rate, he fell under Ossian’s influence two years before, and set the example to a number of others. It is doubtful whether Ossian of himself would have had as strong an influence upon the so–called bards, had not Klopstock given the necessary encouragement; Gerstenberg’s example alone could not have been expected to produce the same results as that of the author of the Messiah.[50] Indeed, the influences that Ossian and Klopstock exercised upon the bards are in many cases so closely interwoven, that a discussion of Ossian’s[83] influence upon the bards without a previous study of Klopstock would be impracticable.

Two streams of poesy, proceeding from Hagedorn and Haller, respectively, ran side by side in the middle of the 18th century, the former bearing upon its surface the light, fantastic, Frenchified, anacreontic poetry, the latter the more somber verse of Klopstock and his pupils—this latter in the strain of Young’s Night Thoughts.[51] The melancholy Ossian could be assured a cordial reception by a poet like Klopstock, at the bottom of whose really healthy nature there lurked something that had a little earlier responded to the elegiac mood of Young—feelings that had been intensified by the death of his dearly–beloved wife Meta (1758). This bereavement cast a deep shadow over Klopstock, so much so that for several years he wrote little poetry. Much of this time was spent in Germany—he had been living at Copenhagen since 1753—and it was undoubtedly upon one of these visits to his fatherland that he became acquainted with Ossian. Here was sustenance, indeed, for the sentimental side of his nature, for his Gefühlsschwärmerei. The dim forms of Ossian’s heroes, the misty atmosphere of the Highlands in which they lived, were well calculated to cast a spell over the author of the Messiah, whose own genius was not fitted to delineate his characters with sharp, clear–cut lines. There is a certain mistiness in Klopstock’s great epic that reminds one of the shadowy atmosphere in which the heroes of the Ossianic epics are enveloped. More than one passage in the Messiah conveys the impression of representing little more than rhetorical bombast. Macpherson was a kindred spirit.

This was, however, by no means all that Ossian held out to him. He saw something in Ossian that he seized upon even more eagerly—too eagerly, in fact—namely, he regarded Ossian as a German. By this time Klopstock’s activity in the patriotic field had begun; religion no longer engrossed his entire attention. Barring Frederick the Great, there were no glorious figures upon the political stage, and Frederick’s fondness for the literature of France was not calculated to attract Klopstock, who hated the rationalistic poetry of the French. Nor was the empire of the 18th century a political organism to inspire the poet to patriotic effusions. A united fatherland lay, however, in the dim and distant past, almost buried[84] in oblivion, in the days of old, when Arminius and his mighty warriors defied the power of Rome itself. And thither Klopstock turned for inspiration. Tacitus was a good source for historical data and in the famous work of the old Roman historian mention was made of the shouting of a battle–song by the Germani, a baritus (written barditus in some of the manuscripts).[52] Hence the term “bard” was applied to those whose duty it was to incite the warriors to battle by means of songs, and the songs themselves were called by Klopstock Bardiete, a word he applied also to his last historical dramas.[53] Unfortunately these songs of the days of yore, for the existence of which Eginhard’s statement was cited as authority, were apparently lost:

Doch ach, verstummt in ewiger Nacht
Ist Bardiet und Skofliod, und verhallt
Euer Schall, Telyn, Triomb! Hochgesang,
Deinem sogar klagen wir nach.[54]

And now Ossian appeared upon the scene, the bard of bards, who sang of the deeds of days gone by. Here was a source of consolation, indeed. If Ossian had only sung the deeds of Arminius! Although Fingal was no hero to be despised, Klopstock laments:

Und in öden dunkeln Trümmern
Der alten Celtensprache,
Seufzen nur einige seiner leisen Laute.[55]

And this regret that only a few notes have been handed down he could not shake off. We meet with it again and again, not only in his odes, e. g., “Unsre Sprache,” but also in his letters, e. g., in an epistle to Denis, dated Copenhagen, Jan. 6, 1767, where he says: “Ich bitte Sie, mich nicht lange auf Ihre Uebersetzung des Ossian warten zu lassen. Ossian ist ein vortrefflicher Barde. Wenn wir doch auch von unsern Barden irgend in einem Kloster etwas fänden!”[56] And in another letter to the same, dated Bernstorff, Sept. 8, 1767, he writes: “Ossians Werke sind wahre Meisterstücke. Wenn wir einen solchen Barden fänden! Es wird[85] mir ganz warm bey diesem Wunsche.”[57] And when Denis informs him of the discovery of the songs of the so–called Illyrian bards,[58] he can not conceal his delight, and writes from Bernstorff under date of July 22, 1768: “Sie haben mir durch Ihre Nachricht, dass noch illyrische Barden durch die Ueberlieferung existiren, eine solche Freude gemacht, dass ich ordentlich gewünscht hätte, dass mir Ihr Ossian weniger gefallen hätte, um Sie bitten zu können, ihn liegen zu lassen und diese Barden zu übersetzen.”[59] Though the Poems of Ossian could not, then, fully compensate for the German treasures that were lost, they offered a standard by which to judge the character of the songs of the old Germani, and threw light upon many old institutions. There was much false material in Macpherson’s various preliminary dissertations, which, unfortunately, was accepted as gospel truth, even by men who might have been credited with more critical acumen. And so when Klopstock was in search of dress and historical material for his Bardiete, what more natural than that in painting the character and customs of the followers of Arminius, he should borrow here and there from the picture of the ancient Celts as presented by Macpherson?[60] That Klopstock interested himself in the history and manners of the ancient Caledonians, we see from a passage in the letter to Denis, dated July 22, 1768, where he refers Denis to John Macpherson’s Critical Dissertations:[61] “Ich vermuthe, dass Sie einige Kleinigkeiten in Ihrer [Vorrede] zum Ossian ändern werden,” he writes, “wenn Sie Macpherson von den Alterthümern der Hochländer gelesen haben werden.”[62]

But what had Ossian to do with the old Germani? We shall let Klopstock answer in his own words: “Und nun eine kleine nicht üble Nachricht von meinen weidmännischen Lustwandlungen in den Wäldern unsrer alten Sprachen, nach gethaner Arbeit nämlich.—Makpherson, der Retter des Barden Ossian (Ossian war deutscher Abkunft, weil er ein Kaledonier war)[63] wird mir, und wie ich hoffe nun bald, die eisgrauen Melodien zu einigen lyrischen[86] Stellen des grossen Dichters schicken. Mit Hülfe dieser Melodien denk’ ich das Sylbenmaass der Barden herauszubringen.”[64] An epigram in the same tone appeared in the Hamburgische Neue Zeitung, 1771, No. 183, and was reprinted in the first edition of the Gelehrtenrepublik, although omitted in the second. It was entitled “Gerechter Anspruch,” and ran as follows:

Sie, deren Enkel jetzt auf Schottlands Bergen wohnen,
Die von den Römern nicht provinzten Kaledonen,
Sind deutschen Stamms. Daher gehört auch uns mit an
Der Bard und Krieger Ossian,
Und mehr noch als den Engelländern an.

We see, therefore, that Ossian was unceremoniously annexed by Klopstock; Celts and Germani were all one to him,[65] he drew no narrow distinctions, and not until late in life were his ideas on this point clarified. We are not to suppose, however, that Klopstock alone occupied this position. Far from it. The conceptions that existed at the time as to the genetic relation of peoples and languages were rather hazy, to say the least. Klopstock’s intense patriotism was a factor in preventing him from penetrating more to the root of the matter. “Die allgemein anerkannte und empfundene Vortrefflichkeit dieser Gesänge war es,” says a writer in the periodical Bragur,[66] “welche ... die zärtliche Vaterlandsliebe einiger teutschen Worthies so weit entflammte, dass sie nicht nur den Barden Ossian, weil man bisher die Celten für die Stammväter der Teutschen hielt und die ältesten teutschen Dichter aus der Heidenzeit nicht anders als mit dem Bardennamen zu beschenken gewohnt war, zu einem Landsmanne von uns zu machen suchten, sondern ihn auch wirklich machten. Unsere Väter waren also Celten, unsere ältesten teutonischen Dichter Barden.”

But still another element of confusion made its appearance with the introduction of Norse mythology. The warriors of Arminius were not Christians, nor was their religion based upon the mythology of the Greeks. They had a mythology of their own, of which little was known. Fortunately, the Old Norse Edda had preserved a complete system of divinities, and so Arminius and his[87] followers were constrained to pray to the Old Norse gods. Ferven patriots, who did not hesitate to adopt Ossian as a countryman, could scarcely be expected to distinguish between Old Norse mythology and the mythology of the ancient Cherusci and Catti. Now Ossian having once been stamped as of German descent, it required no great stretch of imagination to make Fingal and his warriors forswear their allegiance to the Spirit of Loda and pray to Wodan and his band, and vice versa to make Norse bards—skalds—assume various characteristics of Ossian’s heroes. Ossian and the characters of Norse mythology went hand in hand, and making their appearance, as they did, about the same time,[67] confusion was bound to arise. This confusion was particularly noticeable in the writings of the first group of German poets that were influenced by Ossian—of Klopstock and the bards—and played much mischief in German literature for several years. Klopstock, not content with introducing the Norse gods into his new poems, proceeded to drive the residents of Olympus out of old ones and to replace them by the dwellers in Walhalla. By the end of the year 1767 this process was completed. It is nowhere better illustrated than in the ode now called “Wingolf,” which was written in 1747 under the title “An des Dichters Freunde.” In the first verse, e. g., Hebe has had to make way for Gna and so on throughout the poem.[68] It will be interesting to mention a few of the changes occasioned by the appearance of Ossian. L. 4: “Feyernd in mächtigen Dithyramben,” now reads: “Feyrend in kühnerem Bardenliede.” Ll. 5–7 which originally read:

Wilst du zu Strophen werden, o Lied, oder
Ununterwürfig Pindars Gesängen gleich,
Gleich Zevs erhabenen trunkenen Sohne, ...[69]

have been changed to:

Willst du zu Strophen werden, O Haingesang?
Willst du gesetzlos, Ossians Schwunge gleich,
Gleich Ullers Tanz auf Meerkrystalle, ...

It is evident that these changes are confined to externals, as is also the case when l. 10, “Mit Orpheus Leyer,” becomes “Des Zelten[88] Leyer,” or l. 25, “Dein Priester wartet,” is changed to “Dein Barde wartet,” and so on. As for Orpheus, the Thracians were regarded by Klopstock as a tribe of the Celts, and so Orpheus becomes as much of a German bard as Ossian.[70] Before we leave this ode, let us glance at an example or two, showing how the machinery of Ossian is thrown together with Norse mythology. Ll. 45–9, which originally read:

Aber geliebter, trunken und weisheitsvoll
Von Weingebürgen, wo die Unsterblichen
Taumelnd herumgehn, wo die Menschen
Unter Unsterblichen Götter werden.

were changed to:

Allein geliebter, wenn du voll Vaterlands
Aus jenen Hainen kömst, wo der Barden Chor[71]
Mit Braga singet, wo die Telyn
Tönt zu dem Fluge des deutschen Liedes.

or ll. 209–12:

Oder, wie aus den Götterversammlungen
Mit Agyieus Leyerton, himmelab,
Und taumelnd, hin auf Weingebürgen,
Sazungenlos Dithyramben donnern!

which have become:

Wie aus der hohen Drüden Versammlungen,
Nach Braga’s Telyn, nieder vom Opferfels,
Ins lange tiefe Thal der Waldschlacht,
Satzungenlos sich der Barden Lied stürzt!

Klopstock notes with reference to the word Telyn: “Die Leyer der Barden. Sie heisset noch jetzt in der neueren celtischen Sprache so, die am Meisten von der älteren behalten hat.” The term has replaced Leier also in the odes “Thuiskon,” l. 13, “Die Barden,” l. 2; it occurs in ll. 62 and 123 of the ode “Der Hügel, und der Hain,” l. 14 of “Die Barden,” in the Hermannsschlacht, in Hermann und die Fürsten, etc. The introduction of this Celtic word goes back directly to the study of Celtic to which Klopstock was incited by the poems of Ossian. Moreover, it is not the only word he borrowed in this way. In “Die Barden,” l. 14, he[89] speaks of the Telyn of our Filea, and explains the latter term in a note as “Die vortrefflichsten unter den Barden, welche die jüngeren unterrichteten.”[72] Another Celtic word that he introduced is Bardale, which he defines as follows: “Von Barde. So hiess in unsrer älteren Sprache die Lerche. Die Nachtigall verdient’s noch mehr, so zu heissen.” Klopstock applied the word also to the nightingale, but in the ode “Die Lerche und die Nachtigall” he uses it for the lark, a symbol of the song of nature, in contradistinction to the nightingale, whose song is more artificial. The ode “Bardale,” written in 1748, was originally entitled “Aëdone”; it was first published under the simple title “Ode” in the Vermischte Schriften von den Verfassern der Bremischen Beiträge, i, p. 378 (1749). Although these terms are employed occasionally by Klopstock’s imitators and others,[73] they never became popular and soon died out altogether.

Klopstock was an earnest student of versification and nothing could have given him more pleasure at one time of his career than the discovery of the poetical measures of the ancient Germani. The appearance of Macpherson’s Ossian in a prose garb, welcome as it was to some, must have come as a cruel disappointment to one who was so anxious to be enlightened as to the nature and structure of the meter of the Ur–Germanic bardic songs. This disappointment finds expression in the ode “Der Bach,” where he sings:

Der grosse Sänger Ossian folgt
Der Musik des vollen Baches nicht stets.

If Klopstock had only lived to see Ahlwardt’s translation from the so–called Celtic originals, he would have had at least a partial recompense. As it was, all he had to go by was the original (?) of the sixth book of “Temora” and that did not give him much information as to the exact structure of the verse he sought. He therefore entered into correspondence with Macpherson, as we saw above[74] in the letter to Gleim. The intensity of his interest is well[90] illustrated by a few epistolary passages. He writes to Denis under date of July 22, 1768: “In dem Celtischen war ich auch schon ziemlich weit, aber es erklärt uns nichts; und da liess ichs. Ihnen ins Ohr. Macpherson (mit dem ich correspondire), versteht entweder Ossians Quantität, oder das Sylbenmass überhaupt nicht genug. Wenn Sie mir wahrscheinlich machen können, dass die illyrischen Barden wenigstens halbe Deutsche waren, so bekömmt der Uebersetzer einen schweren Stand mit mir, wenn er falsch, nur ein wenig falsch übersetzt.”[75] Again, he writes to Ebert on May 5, 1769: “Wenn mir Macpherson Wort hält; so bekomme ich einige alte Melodien nach Ossian, in unsre Noten gesezt; und so kann ich auch vielleicht etwas nicht unwahrscheinliches von dem Rhythmus der Barden sagen.”[76] It appears, however, that he got but little help from the material that Macpherson sent him, and so he takes his request to Angelica Kauffmann,[77] who resided in London at the time. He writes to Gleim from Bernstorff, Sept. 2, 1769: “Ich bin seit Kurzem in eine deutsche Malerin in London, Angelika Kaufmann, beinahe verliebt. Sie hat einen Briefwechsel mit mir angefangen, und will mir schicken: einen Kopf Ossians nach ihrer Phantasie, ihr Portrait und ein Gemälde aus dem Messias.”[78] Their common admiration for Ossian was no small factor in cementing the friendship between the poet and the artist. Unfortunately nothing came of the portrait of Ossian,[79] and hence we are left in the dark as to the artist’s conception of the Voice of Cona and as to how her conception would have coincided with Klopstock’s. On March 3, 1770, Klopstock wrote to Angelica from Copenhagen: “Könnten Sie nicht in Edingburgh, oder auch weiter hinauf gegen Norden, durch Hülfe Ihrer Freunde, einen Musikus auftreiben, der mir die Melodien solcher Stellen im Ossian, die vorzüglich lyrisch sind, in unsere Noten setzte,” etc.[80] Nothing could better illustrate Klopstock’s profound interest in the subject than the passages just quoted. After this we hear nothing further of the matter, and must conclude that Klopstock’s hoped–for assistance from this quarter proved illusory. What were Klopstock’s conclusions with reference to Ossian’s meter, we are told[91] in one of his essays on the German hexameter, viz., he thought that Ossian’s meter consisted of a mixture of narrative verses of his own invention and other lyrical verses answering to the sense.[81] Of course Ossian’s value for Klopstock lay in the fact that he supposedly sang in natural melodies and was not hampered by artificial measures.

At the height of his enthusiasm for Ossian, Klopstock deemed it no sacrilege to place the Celtic bard alongside of Homer, in accordance with the popular practice of the day.[82] In a letter to Denis, Klopstock writes from Copenhagen under date of August 4, 1767: “Ich liebe Ossian so sehr, dass ich seine Werke über einige Griechische der besten Zeit setze.”[83] In the first edition of the Gelehrtenrepublik (1774) appeared the following epigram, which is a striking illustration of Klopstock’s quondam supreme admiration for Ossian:

Du gingst der Schönheit Bahn,
Sohn Fingals, Ossian;
Sie ging Mäonides Homer:
Wer that der Schritte mehr?[84]

Similarly he sings in the ode “Unsre Sprache” (ll. 53–60):

Die Vergessenheit umhüllt’, o Ossian, auch dich!
Dich huben sie hervor, und du stehest nun da!
Gleichest dich dem Griechen! trotzest ihm!
Und fragst, ob wie du er entflamme den Gesang?
Voll Gedanken auf der Stirne höret’ ihn Apoll,
Und sprach nicht! und gelehnt auf die Harfe Walhalls
Stellt sich vor Apollo Bragor hin,
Und lächelt, und schweiget, und zürnet nicht auf ihn.

The first four verses of this eulogy became very popular among Ossian’s numerous admirers, and we find them occasionally prefixed to German translations. They are also quoted by Denis in his Vorbericht[85] to the Lieder Sineds (1772).

Let us now briefly consider Ossian’s influence upon Klopstock as it appears in some of his works. Dr. Julius Köster in his Programm Ueber Klopstocks Gleichnisse (Iserlohn, 1878), fixes the[92] beginning of this influence altogether too late. He says: “Ossian hat erst Ende der sechziger Jahre auf Klopstock wirken können, weil er in Deutschland erst um jene Zeit durch die Uebersetzung von Denis bekannt wurde.” We have seen, however, that notices of Ossian had appeared in Germany as early as 1762 and that several translations were published before that of Denis, although to be sure, Denis’s was the first that attracted widespread attention. Klopstock, who of course had become acquainted with Ossian long before the appearance of Denis’s translation, took a warm interest in the translator’s work, as is evidenced by the correspondence that passed between the two. Klopstock had seen bits of the translation before it was published; under date of Sept. 8, 1767, he writes to Denis from Bernstorff: “Sie werden am Ende dieses Briefs einige Ausdrücke finden, mit denen ich in Ihrer Uebersetzung des Ossian und in Ihrer Ode weniger als mit den andern zufrieden bin.”[86] It has been pointed out,[87] that the earliest translations all emanated from North Germany, from Bremen, Hamburg, and Hannover, and they were consequently very liable to fall into Klopstock’s hands. Besides, there is no reason why he should not have read Macpherson’s poems in English, a copy of which he would have had no difficulty in procuring on one of the frequent visits made to Germany between the summer of 1762 and July, 1764. Klopstock had begun the study of English as a youngster at school, and although he, like so many other German literati of the day, like Lenz, for example, never obtained a complete scientific mastery of the language, he would have experienced little difficulty in construing Macpherson’s short, simple periods. Be that as it may, there can be no doubt of the fact that Klopstock became acquainted with Ossian as early as 1764, for the simple reason that some of the odes written in that year show plain traces of Ossian’s influence.

In all attempts to arrive at an exact estimate of Ossian’s influence upon Klopstock, one difficulty will always be encountered, a difficulty based upon the fact that both the language of Macpherson and that of Klopstock rest in large measure upon the same foundations: the Bible, Homer, Milton, Latin poets. Malcolm Laing in his “Dissertation”[88] gave innumerable examples of Macpherson’s borrowings, and although he undoubtedly went a little too far, it[93] can not be denied that many of his conclusions are true. The greatest care has, therefore, to be exercised in attributing anything in Klopstock to Ossian, for the chances are that the Bible, or Milton, or Homer, or Horace, or some other classical poet, is the common source from which both drew.[89] For instance, Macpherson is fond of comparing the voice or song to a stream, but were we to attribute Klopstock’s lines:

So floss der Waldstrom hin nach dem Ozean:
So fliesst mein Lied auch, stark und gedankenvoll.

to Ossian, we should be led astray, for Klopstock’s source was undoubtedly Horace, Odes, iv, 2, ll. 5–8, where he speaks of the songs of Pindar:

Monte decurrens velut amnis, imbres
Quem super notas aluere ripas,
Fervet immensusque suit profundo
Pindarus ore.

The large majority of Klopstock’s comparisons are taken from nature and so are Ossian’s: comparisons with the moon and the stars, dusk and night, clouds and mist, wind and storm, etc., etc., all are found in Klopstock even before Ossian appeared; indeed, the resemblance of the language of Klopstock to that of Ossian, even in the early songs of the Messiah, especially as far as the imagery is concerned, is striking. The same accumulation of comparisons is of course found in Homer. Köster[90] again and again notes passages from Ossian where an influence proceeding from him is absolutely out of the question, not only in connection with the early songs of the Messiah, but also with reference to odes written before 1764, e. g., he refers to Ossian in connection with the line “Laura war ... Schön wie ein festlicher Tag,” in the ode “Petrarka und Laura” (l. 61). But this ode was written as early as 1748 and consequently Ossian can not be held responsible. When Klopstock in the “Klagode” sings (ll. 10–11):

Wie Gras auf dem Felde sind Menschen
Dahin, wie Blätter; ...

we can of course point to a resemblance in Ossian, “Lathmon,” p. 271, l. 20: “We decay like the grass of the hill,” or “Berrathon,”[94] p. 382, l. 3: “Like the leaves of woody Morven, they pass away,” but at the same time we must not forget that similar comparisons occur in the Psalms and in Homer (e. g., Iliad, vi, ll. 146–8). Likewise we have the comparison of man’s perishableness to the short life of a flower in Hermann und die Fürsten, Sc. 14: “Vor dem Triumphwagen werd’ ich wie eine Blume hindorren,” and also in Ossian, “Croma,” p. 178, l. 18: “They fall away, like the flower,” etc., but compare Job, 14, 2, Psalms, 103, 15–6, etc. Enough examples have been cited to convince one of the fruitlessness of attempting to draw sharp lines in the treatment of our subject. Of this we may be certain: One reason why Ossian appealed so strongly to Klopstock was, that he found here so much that was familiar to him from his own reading and writing.

Having thus far regarded the question mainly from a negative standpoint, it now remains for us to give some examples of a positive influence. Ossian’s influence upon Klopstock is visible particularly in the odes written in 1764, 1766 and 1767, and in the first Bardiet, Die Hermannsschlacht, although traces appear in the later odes and Bardiete. Doubtless a closer examination of the language of the later books of the Messiah would also reveal the influence of Ossian. Salomo contains an Ossianic reminiscence or two, but nothing that can be distinctly localized. Klopstock’s unbounded admiration for Ossian really did not last much over a decade and the old bard’s influence gradually diminished, just as Klopstock’s fondness for Norse mythology grew less and less pronounced. By the time he began to turn his attention to the French Revolution, both Ossian and the Norse divinities appear more like a memory of the days of old. The year 1764, in which Klopstock probably first became acquainted with Ossian, marks the beginning of a period of renewed activity in the field of the ode, and I am inclined to conclude that Ossian’s appearance helped to further that activity. The influence of Norse mythology upon the works of Klopstock manifests itself largely in externals; similarly does that of Ossian. Klopstock borrowed much from the bardic machinery, just as he did from that of the Norse gods, without at the same time entering very deeply into the spirit of Ossian. In fact, he did not need to, for much of what he found in Ossian was not foreign to his nature. That we are justified in placing Klopstock’s acquaintance with Ossian as far back as 1764 needs no[95] further proof than a reference to the ode “Der Jüngling” written in that year, in which the poet treats the theme of the perishableness of youth, a subject upon which Ossian loved to harp. Indeed, Klopstock’s poem is directly based upon Ossian’s reflections on youth in “The War of Inis–Thona,” p. 203, ll. 1–5.[91] The entire dress of the poem is Ossianic.

It strikes us as rather savoring of Ossian, when nature is allowed to take on a dimmer, mistier aspect in the new form of the ode “Wingolf,” e. g., in l. 196 “wallenden Opferrauche” is changed to “schweigenden Dämmerungen;”

ll. 269–71:

Er sprach’s. Izt seh ich über den Altar her,
Auf Opferwolken, Schlegeln mit dicht’rischen
Geweihten Lorbeerschatten kommen, ...


Er sang’s. Jetzt sah ich fern in der Dämmerung
Des Hains am Wingolf Schlegeln aus dichtrischen
Geweihten Eichenschatten schweben, ...

Dark, dim, distant, dusky, far, misty, silent are epithets that continually occur in Ossian, over whose distant groves of oaks pours the mist in which ghosts hover. The last three lines quoted certainly present a much more Ossianic picture as they now stand than they did in the original version.

In the ode “Hermann” (1767), three bards are introduced lamenting the death of Arminius. An Ossianic chord is struck at the very beginning, when Werdomar, the chief of the bards, sings, ll. 1–2:

Auf diesem Steine der alternden Moose,
Wollen wir sitzen, o Barden, und ihn singen.

The peculiar expression “Steine der alternden Moose” reminds us of the moss of years that covers most of Ossian’s stones.[92] Other slight reminders of Ossianic description occur throughout the ode.

The bards in Ossian occasionally exercise the power of looking into the mirror of the future. So in the ode “Weissagung” (1773), the poet seizes the Telyn and prophesies; likewise in the ode “Die Rosstrappe” (1771);[93] in both, however, the sacred white horses mentioned by Tacitus, but not found in Ossian, play a part.


A frequent device that we find in Klopstock, especially at the height of his enthusiasm for Ossian, is the conjuring up of the spirits of the departed. Doubtless the songs of Ossian, in which the ghosts of the fallen play such an important rôle, inspired Klopstock with a fondness for this device. We must hold Ossian accountable, for example, when in the ode “Thuiskon” (1764) the hoary ancestor of the German people is made to appear in the grove of the modern German bards. Similarly an old bard is conjured up in the ode “Der Hügel, und der Hain” (1767); in the ode “Rothschilds Gräber” (1766) the souls of the departed appear to the poet, and spirits that hover around Braga or the goddess of the German language occur frequently in the odes of the period that coincides with Klopstock’s most intense interest in Ossian.[94]

The influence of Ossian is particularly manifest in the first of the odes mentioned in the previous paragraph, in “Thuiskon.” We have but to read the ode and for comparison the “Address to the Evening Star” and the “Apostrophe to Fingal and his Times” in “The Songs of Selma,”[95] to notice the resemblance. The time of the ghosts’ appearance in both is at the rising of the evening star, which in “Thuiskon” sends down “entwölkte Schimmer,” while in Ossian it “lifts its head from its clouds.” Compare also ll. 5–6:

So entsenket die Erscheinung des Thuiskon, wie Silber stäubt
Von fallendem Gewässer ...

with “Fingal comes like a watery column of mist.”[96]

Another ode of the same year, “Die frühen Gräber” (1764), shows undoubted traces of Ossian’s influence. The entire Stimmung is Ossianic and Ossianic touches are not wanting, as when the poet says, ll. 9–10:

Ihr Edleren, ach es bewächst
Eure Maale schon ernstes Moos!

The poems of Ossian teem with laments for the departed, whose graves are marked by stones, grown over with moss. The danger of referring everything in Klopstock that savors of the Gaelic bard to Ossian has been pointed out, yet Ossian undoubtedly accentuated and brought into stronger relief much that already existed.


Klopstock’s characterization of the songs of the bards given in ll. 33–40 and 77–84 of the ode “Der Hügel, und der Hain” is based largely upon his knowledge of the poems of Ossian which were supposedly further removed from the limitations of art and closer to nature than the poems of the Greeks.

The description of natural scenery and the comparison at the beginning of the ode “Aganippe und Phiala” (1764) reminds us strongly of Ossian, who was very fond of permitting several as’s and so’s to follow one another in his comparisons, a trick that was widely copied later in the imitations of Ossian and carried to excess.

Ll. 1–10:
Wie der Rhein im höheren Thal fern herkommt,
Rauschend, als käm’ Wald und Felsen mit ihm,
Hochwogig erhebt sich sein Strom,
Wie das Weltmeer die Gestade
Mit gehobner Woge bestürmt! Als donnr’ er,
Rauschet der Strom, schäumt, fliegt, stürzt sich herab
Ins Blumengefild, und im Fall
Wird er Silber, das emporstäubt.
So ertönt, so strömt der Gesang, Thuiskon,
Deines Geschlechts ...

Compare, e. g., “Fingal,” Book i, p. 221, ll. 4–10:

“As rushes a stream of foam from the dark shady deep of Cromla, when the thunder is travelling above, and dark–brown night sits on half the hill; through the breaches of the tempest look forth the dim faces of ghosts: So fierce, so vast, so terrible rushed on the sons of Erin. The chief, like a whale of ocean, whom all his billows pursue, poured valour forth as a stream, rolling his might along the shore.”

Ossian is full of long comparisons, with several dependent clauses,[97] and loves to heap up adjectives. Although the comparison of song to a stream frequently occurs in Ossian, we have seen[98] that it would be unsafe to attribute Klopstock’s use of the comparison to Ossian, in fact, we find comparisons of the voice to a storm pouring down from the hills in the early books of the Messiah, and of course in classical poetry.

Another example of the nature of Ossian’s influence upon Klopstock, its power to strengthen existing conceptions, is offered by his use of the oak in comparisons. Köster[99] remarks, that Klopstock’s[98] numerous comparisons to the oak are all found in his later dramas, none in the Messiah. The oak, which Klopstock was so fond of regarding as the national tree—die deutsche Eiche—was as much at home in the highlands of Scotland as in the primeval forests of Germany, and according to Ossian occupied just as high a place in the minds of the Caledonians as in those of the Germani. The grove of oaks, the Hain, came to bear the same relation to bardic poetry that Helicon, the Hügel, bore to Greek poetry. It must have pleased Klopstock to find these groves of oaks so frequently mentioned in Ossian, in “The Songs of Selma,” e. g.,[100] and without a doubt Ossian’s numerous comparisons to the oak had an influence upon Klopstock. In the Hermannsschlacht, Sc. 6, e. g., he says: “... so stürzt’ er in sein Blut, wie die junge, schlanke Eiche der Donnersturm bricht.” Compare “Temora,” Bk. iii, p. 328, ll. 25–6: “Like a young oak falls Tur–lathon;” “Carthon,” p. 163, l. 20: “There he lies, a goodly oak, which sudden blasts overturned!” etc., etc.

Klopstock borrowed a name from Ossian and employed it freely in his odes, Selma, the name of the royal residence[101] of Fingal. He grew quite fond of the euphonious name, used it to apply to a girl, coined a corresponding masculine form Selmar, and out of the two made a pair of ideal lovers. Vetterlein[102] many years ago suggested that the names might have been taken from Selim and Selima, names given by Prevod to a pair of tender lovers in the Memoires d’un homme de qualité;[103] but no one of the present day would subscribe to that opinion. Had he kept the name of the maid in “The Songs of Selma,” Colma, he would have been induced to call her lover, whose real name is Salgar, Colmar, and that would have led to confusion with the Ossianic hero of that name. The ode “Selmar und Selma,” written in 1748, was originally entitled “Daphnis und Daphne.” About the same time that the change of names took place, another ode was written with the title “Selma und Selmar” (1766), in which the lovers promise that the first to die will appear to the other. This is a fancy that we frequently meet in the latter half of the 18th century, and it found nourishment in Ossian. The name Selma occurs furthermore in the ode “Die Erscheinung”[99] (1777), and Selma and Selmar are the two ideal lovers in the ode “Das Bündniss,” as late as 1789. The combination grew to be quite a popular one, and so we find “Elegien von Selma und Selmar” in Kosegarten’s Thränen und Wonnen (Stralsund, 1778), a poem “Selmar und Selma” by Friedrich Stolberg[104] that shows the influence of Ossian, another Ossianic poem of the same title dedicated to Christian Stolberg,[105] and many more. The popularity of the name Selma was still further increased by the translation of “The Songs of Selma” that appeared in Werthers Leiden.

The Hermannsschlacht and the larger part of Hermann und die Fürsten were written at the height of Klopstock’s enthusiasm for Ossian and we shall not search in vain for signs of the bard’s influence in these dramas, particularly in the former. One of the most important and striking constituents of these dramas are the songs of the bards, interspersed throughout, which are thoroughly Ossianic in tone and spirit. Klopstock’s bards, like those of Ossian, encourage the warriors to battle, proclaim the fame of the mighty; they tell of the deeds of the past, and when they sing: “Höret Thaten der vorigen Zeit,” we recall Ossian’s “tales of the times of old,” or his “deeds of other times.” The three choruses in Sc. 3 of the Hermannsschlacht beginning with this exhortation are all decidedly Ossianic, e. g.:

Höret Thaten der vorigen Zeit![106]
Zwar braucht ihr, euch zu entflammen, die Thaten der vorigen Zeit nicht,
Doch tönen sie eurem horchenden Ohr
Wie das Säuseln im Laube, wenn die Mondennacht glänzt.[107]

Compare Messiah, xx, ll. 495–9:

Jetzo schwieg der Gesang; doch tönete fort der gehauchte Hall, und die Saite. So tönet der Hain, wenn weit in der Ferne Ströme durch Felsen stürzen; und nah von den Bächen es rieselt: Wenn es vom Winde rauscht in den tausendblättrigen Ulmen.

Ossian has numerous comparisons to wind and storm, breeze and blast and gale, in much the same tone, for instance the following,[100] “Berrathon,” p. 379, ll. 1–3: “As the noise of an aged grove beneath the roaring wind, when a thousand ghosts break the trees by night.” After the bards have finished in the second scene, first edition, Siegmar exclaims: “Das war gut, Barden, dass Ihr von den Thaten unsrer Väter sangt!” Compare: “... sing nun dem Heere von den Thaten seiner Väter.” “Lathmon,” p. 272, ll. 7–8: “Their words were of the deeds of their fathers,” etc.

When the bards in Sc. 2 sing:

Die Räder an dem Kriegeswagen Wodans
Rauschen wie des Walds Ströme die Gebirg’ herab!

we are reminded of the car of Cuthullin in the first book of “Fingal” and of Ossian’s roaring streams that pour down the hills. Compare Hermann und die Fürsten, Sc. 1:

Hermann stritt.
So stürzt von dem Gebirg herab
Mit heulendem Sturme der Winterstrom
Und breitet ringsum aus in dem Thal die herrschenden Wogen.

To liken a host of warriors unto a ‘gathered cloud’ or a ‘ridge of mist’ is a favorite device of Ossian, and similarly in Sc. 2 of the Hermannsschlacht,[108] two choruses sing:

... Da zogen wir Deutschen uns
Zusammen gleich einer Wolke.

And in the third scene a bard remarks: “Sie ziehn sich, wie ein dicker Nebel, langsam in den Vorderbusch.” And when the bards sing in the second scene:

Weit halle dein Schild! dein Schlachtruf töne,
Wie das Weltmeer an dem Felsengestade!

or in the first edition:

Wie ein Donnersturm in dem Felsengebirg!

we can point to Ossian’s shouts that are “louder than a storm” or like “thunder on distant hills.”

“Die Flamme des gerechten Zorns,” Hermannsschlacht, chorus, Sc. 3, calls up Ossian’s ‘flame of wrath,’ but undoubtedly the Bible is the source of both.

In Sc. 6 we have the following lines:

Seht ihr nicht auf der Mondglanzwolke
An der Eiche Wipfel,
Eure Brüder schweben, und eure Väter?
. . . . .
Sie blicken auf euch herab.

Similarly in Ossian the ghosts of the fathers that float on clouds look down upon the warriors.

In Sc. 11 two choruses sing:

Wie des Wiederhalls in der Sommernacht war seines Schildes Ton,
Wie des vollen Mondes der Glanz!

and so “Carric–Thura,” p. 151, l. 27, “That shield like the full–orbed moon,” etc., and echoing shields without number.

One striking feature of the Highland scenery according to Ossian is the fact that everything—forest and heath, bay and stream, grove and vale, hill and isle, rocks and fields and banks and walls and numerous other things—is very susceptible to the echo, “the son of the rock,” and the fondness that Klopstock and the bards begin to exhibit for the echo about this time must be traced back largely to Ossian. In addition to the passage just quoted, we have in Sc. 2, e. g., “Wir haben ... den Gesang in den Felsen des Wiederhalls gehört,” “Lasst die Namen ... in allen Felsen des Wiederhalls laut tönen,” etc. In the same scene the bards sing:

Ruf in des Wiederhalls Felsengebirg
Durch das Graun des nächtlichen Hains,
Dass . . . . . .
Es ertöne wie ein Donnersturm!

In Sc. 11: “Wiederhalls Kluft,” etc.

A few words as to the poet’s attitude towards Ossian in his old age may complete our consideration of Klopstock. As he grew older, and other affairs, above all else the French Revolution, began to engross his attention, Ossian gradually lost interest for him, although he was never entirely forgotten. As late as 1797, Klopstock writes to Böttiger under date of November 9:[109] “Wissen Sie schon etwas von der Ausgabe von Ossians Gesängen, die jetzt in England in seiner Sprache gemacht wird? Ist die Übersezung getreu? Sind Anmerkungen über das Zeltische dabey?” Unfortunately he died before the long–heralded edition was finally published. When his enthusiastic admiration for Ossian subsided and took on a saner aspect, when his views on the subject of the relation of the Celts to the old German tribes assumed a more scientific character, he could not allow Ossian to occupy the position assigned to him at first. Although Klopstock’s fondness for the[102] Celtic Homer diminished in the course of years, it nevertheless possessed a more lasting character than that of Goethe and of Schiller, to whom, as we shall see, it was merely a passing inspiration. Klopstock’s sober second thought revealed to him that he had occasionally gone too far in his blind adoration, and so we find that in later revisions of his works Ossianic reminiscences are occasionally expunged. The eulogistic verses that appeared in the first edition of the Gelehrtenrepublik (1774)[110] were omitted in the second; the ode “Teutone” (1773) gives the first fifty–two lines of “Unsre Sprache” (1767) almost literally, but substitutes sixteen new lines for the eight lines of encomium found in the latter.[111] In the first two Bardiete, the bards play an almost overwhelming rôle with their numerous songs, whereas in Hermanns Tod the bards appear in one scene only, the fifteenth. Then two passages appeared in the first edition of the Hermannsschlacht that were omitted or revised in the second, as e. g., the chorus beginning “Höret Thaten der vorigen Zeit!” in Sc. 2.—Late in life Klopstock in his correspondence with Böttiger occasionally refers to Ossian. One letter has been quoted from. Under date of January 6, 1798, he writes to Böttiger: “Hierbey Macd[onald] und einige Aufschr[iften]. Ich werde eher keinen bestimten Begriff von Ossian bekommen, als bis man mir (könte es nicht Macd. thun?) merklich verschiedene Stellen aus ihm völlig wörtlich übersezt. Sie sehen, dass ich nur Stellen meinen kan, die Oss. gewiss zugehören.”[112] If we read between the lines, we can see feelings of doubt and if we are to place entire confidence in a letter of Sir James Mackintosh to Malcolm Laing,[113] Klopstock at last lost his faith in the authenticity of the songs of Ossian altogether—a strange ending to his earlier unbounded enthusiasm. Sir James writes: “I consider your Ossian and Farmer’s ‘Essay’ on Shakspeare’s pretended learning as the two most complete demonstrations of literary positions that have ever been produced ... You know how bitterly old Klopstock complained of you for having dispelled his Ossianic illusions ...”


§2. The Bards.[114]—Gerstenberg.

The bardic poetry, the way for which had been prepared by Mallet’s influential work, the Introduction à l’histoire de Danemarc with its Supplément: Monumens de la Mythologie et de la Poësie des Celtes et particulièrement des Anciens Scandinaves, and which had received its impulse from Macpherson’s Ossian, aided by the mistaken acceptation of the barditus mentioned by Tacitus, soon gained other supporters, among whom the most prominent were Gerstenberg, Denis and Kretschmann. The various other representatives of the poetry, which, carried to an extreme, became ridiculous and was justly characterized as the Bardengebrüll or Bardengeschrei, were on the whole devoid of talent and scarcely call for serious treatment.

Much of what has been said with reference to Klopstock’s reception of Ossian applies also to the bards, only we see that the thing deteriorated into a fad through imitation. It began to take on the character of mere play; the poets styled themselves bards and gave themselves bardic names, e. g., Klopstock—Werdomar, Gerstenberg—Thorlaug, Denis—Sined,[115] Kretschmann—Rhingulph, Hartmann—Telynhard, Dusch—Ryno, Haschka—Cronnan, etc.[116]

Just as Klopstock had sacrificed the lyre for the telyn, so his followers. The harp of the bards replaced the Zionitic harp. The poet, or rather bard,[117] was no longer crowned with the laurel–wreath but with the leaf of the oak. To–day we smile at these vagaries, but these men were very earnest in their play. Kretschmann, and not Klopstock, is responsible for most of the nonsense. The most pleasing phase of the movement is its patriotic character, and we must give the bards credit for the earnestness with which they strove to inculcate a feeling for national unity. Then they praise virtue and maidenly modesty, a cheerful sign for that age.


If these bards had restricted themselves to singing the mighty deeds of the past, it would not have been so bad, but when Arminius and the old Germani had become exhausted, they came down to the present and endeavored to surround it with an air of antiquity. As a result bardic poetry became largely a matter of vers d’occasion. The unfavorable critics seized upon the aberrations and made a laughing–stock of the whole school, and so the few good illustrations had to suffer with the large majority of those whose poverty of conception and general inability have prevented their names from being handed down to posterity. Thus long before Ossian’s influence in Germany had ceased, bardic poetry was a thing of the past. Much of the machinery of Ossian’s bards was borrowed by the German bardic poets and even the druids were transferred to German soil. The old Norse mythology, which found such ready acceptance by Klopstock and Gerstenberg, is not so important in the poetry of Denis, Kretschmann, and the numerous minor bards. What the bards copied then from Ossian were the general paraphernalia, the characteristic motifs, the tone of the harp, the echoing grove, the ghosts of the departed,[118] and the like. The love for the dismal heath, the stormy sea, and other phases of Ossianic description of wild and forlorn nature, can not be said to predominate in the bardic poetry, although it is frequently noticeable, as e. g., in Maler Müller, who in his bardic poetry loses himself absolutely in the Ossianic descriptions of nature.[119] The importance of Ossian’s landscape painting lay in the circumstance that it acted upon the mood of the reader, and although the general tone of the nature depicted in Ossian does not change much, it was a marked advance to have a description of nature invested with some internal significance, to bring nature and the feelings into interaction with each other. Ossian again and again inserts a picture of nature at the opening of an episode and this device was frequently copied in the bardic poetry, with this only difference: in Macpherson the connection between the introductory description and the following action is evident, whereas in the bardic imitations it generally strikes the reader as something irrelevant. When Ossianic comparisons are introduced, as they frequently are, they[105] usually bear the stamp of servile imitation, being cold and showing no trace of intense personal feeling. At the same time, however, an attempt is occasionally made to enter into the Stimmung of Ossian, reflected at first in mere imitation, but finally striking out for itself.[120] What the bards did not copy were his peculiar delineations of character, his management of the action,[121] although the noble qualities of Fingal and his heroes are transferred to the princes who are being extolled. All details will be left for the separate discussions to follow.

Heinrich Wilhelm Gerstenberg.

We have included Gerstenberg among the bards, but he was far from being a bard as we apply that term to Denis and Kretschmann. Denis wrote little poetry that was not in the bardic vein, whereas Gerstenberg moved in many spheres. Gerstenberg was not a prolific writer, yet three productions of his were quite influential in their day: The Briefe über Merkwürdigkeiten der Litteratur, the Gedicht eines Skalden, and Ugolino; and in all three the shades of Ossian are visible in one form or another. His early productions, including the Tändeleien, written in the Anacreontic manner, do not concern us here and we shall turn our attention at once to the Schleswigische Litteraturbriefe.[122] An account of the place that these letters occupy in the history of German literature, of their tendency and their influence, would lead us too far afield. We are interested here solely in the eighth letter and more particularly in the first portion of the letter which discusses the “Memoire eines Irrländers über die ossianischen Gedichte.”[123] Here for the first time in a German journal we meet with serious doubts as to the genuineness of the poems. Gerstenberg has occasionally been praised, and deservedly so, for having had the sagacity to see through the forgery at once; and he deserves particular credit also for having had the courage to stand by his convictions and to publish personal opinions that were almost certain to be received, if not with scorn,[106] at least with indifference. It was no doubt Gerstenberg to whom Herder referred in his Briefwechsel über Ossian as one who so “obstinately doubted the truth and authenticity of the Scotch Ossian.” Gerstenberg realized that he stood almost alone in his opinion and he refers to the unanimity of the critics near the beginning of his letter. His doubts were not called forth by the “Mémoire,” but had presented themselves to him upon his first perusal of the songs. He says in the letter: “Dass entweder Hr. Macpherson seinen Text ausserordentlich verfälscht, oder auch das untergeschobne Werk einer neuern Hand allzu leichtgläubig für ein genuines angenommen hätte, glaubten wir gleich aus den mancherley Spuren des Modernen sowol, als aus den verschiednen kleinen hints, die der Dichter sich aus dem Homer x. gemerkt zu haben schien, wahrzunehmen.”[124] The more direct proofs he lacked at first were furnished by the author of the “Mémoire,” a synopsis of whose arguments he proceeds to give in a few lines, closing with the words: “... ich enthalte mich aber eines weitern Details, da Sie diess alles in der Urschrift selbst nicht ohne Vergnügen nachlesen werden.” It is unfortunate that Gerstenberg did not pursue the subject further; his views would no doubt have been exceedingly interesting and rather refreshing. He then passes over to the Reliques, which he stamps as more reliable than the songs of Ossian.

Der Skalde (1766).—The same year in which the first two collections of the Schleswigische Litteraturbriefe were published also marks the appearance of the Gedicht eines Skalden, or Der Skalde, as it was called later, one of the best poems written in the bardic manner, and one that exerted great influence upon the bardic poetry. Old Norse mythology was here introduced and combined with a few Ossianic touches. Knowing that Gerstenberg disbelieved in the authenticity of the poems, we should scarcely expect traces of their influence at this time. Der Skalde actually contains but few Ossianic reminiscences, particularly when compared with what we find in some of the poems of Denis. As Pfau has pointed out,[125] Gerstenberg no doubt derived from Ossian the idea of having the ghost of Thorlaug (Himintung) arise from his grave. There is nothing in old Norse mythology corresponding to the ghost–world[107] of Ossian, and the only thing that distinguishes the appearance of Thorlaug’s ghost from that of one in Ossian is that Gerstenberg has breathed a Christian spirit into his resurrection, in contradistinction to the dismal and sometimes terrible apparitions of Ossian. We are reminded of Ossian’s ghosts when Gerstenberg sings:

(1. Canto.)

... Wo ruht
Mein schwebender Geist auf luftiger Höh?[126]

(2. Canto.)

Welch feierliches Graun
Steigt langsam über diese Hügel,
Wie im Nachtgewölk
Neugeschiedner Seelen, auf?

Mir schwindelt! durch Jahrhunderte
Blick’ ich, durch trübe ferne Nebel.[127]

Compare “Cath–Loda,” Duan iii, first four ll.[128] The tone is Ossianic in the third canto when Thorlaug sings:

Einst, da ich einsam und verlassen,
. . . . . . . .
Am Ufer irrt’, und jeden Hauch
Der Luft, der nach der Küste blies,
Mit meinen Seufzern flügelte ...[129]

‘Lonely’ and ‘forlorn’ are standing epithets of Ossian, and “Fingal,” Bk. iv, p. 252, last line, has: “My sighs shall be on Cromla’s wind;” etc., etc. Pfau[130] has suggested that Ossian may be responsible for the abrupt manner in which the strife between Thorlaug and his foe is commenced, for Ossian’s heroes are always ready to draw the sword. I think it very questionable that Ossian’s influence was at work here. Pfau, however, has correctly observed that the epithet ‘red’ as applied to the eye of Thorlaug’s foe (3. Canto) must be ascribed to Ossian:

Zur Wuth erhitzt und Funken sprühend
Aus rothem Auge, ....[131]


Occasional scenic resemblances to Ossian are also found, e. g., in the second canto we have the “silent stone of the hills”[132] and:

Im Schatten dieses Eichenhains,

Die stolzesten der Wipfel rauschten,
Und leise Bäche murmelten.

Vom Hügel braust im Bogenschuss
Ein breiter Quell, schwillt auf zum breitern Fluss,
Springt donnernd über jähe Spitzen,

Der volle Busen wallt auf zarten Wogen.
Die sternenvolle Nacht umschwebet sie,
. . . . . . . . . .
Sieh den gelindern West ihr Haar umfliessen!
O sieh den hellern Mond zu ihren Füssen![133]

Compare “Dar–Thula,” p. 281, ll. 23–4: “The blast came rustling in the tops of Seláma’s groves;” “Fingal,” Bk. i, p. 216, ll. 16–7: “murmuring rivulets;” “Temora,” Bk. iii, p. 326, l. 36–p. 327, l. 1: “On Crona ... there bursts a stream.... It swells in its ... course.... Then comes it white from the hill;” “Temora,” Bk. iv, p. 338, l. 33: “Streams leap down from the rocks,” etc. Ossianic in spirit is also the following description: (4. Canto.)

... rauh und wüste,
In trübem Dunkel schauerte die Küste;
Kein Himmel leuchtete mild durch den Hain.
. . . . . . . . . .
In Höhlen lauschte Graun ...
Und was am Ufer scholl, war Kriegsgeschrei.[134]

Iduna. Ariadne auf Naxos.—Gerstenberg very soon turned his attention completely away from the old Norse mythology and we have only one other poem written under its spell, Iduna, which also contains several traces of Ossian’s influence, e. g., the line: “So glitt ich auf Dünsten dahin!”[135] “Am Busen des Windes”[136] recalls Ossian’s “on the bosom of winds,”[137] as “Des Mädchens mit den weissen Armen”[138] suggests Ossian’s “white armed[109] maidens.” The influence is visible also in occasional touches in the cantata Ariadne auf Naxos (1765), for example when Ariadne sings:

Wie weint’ ich heimlich Freudenthränen! ach,
Wie hob sich diese Brust!
Wie wallte sie, ...[139]

we involuntarily recall the secret tears of joy and the rising and swelling of the breasts of Ossian’s maidens, and when she speeds “wie ein Strahl vom Himmel seinen Armen zu”[140] we are reminded of Ossian’s frequent comparisons of a hero or heroine to a beam of the sky or from heaven, or to a stream of light, to a sun–beam or a moon–beam. The entire atmosphere of the cantata is really Ossianic: the maiden lamenting on a desert rock surrounded by the wild ocean:

Mit fliegendem Haare! wohin!
Irr’ ich am Ufer, und bin
Das Spiel der Winde![141]

What is more, the plot reminds us very much of a portion of “Berrathon,” as will be seen by a look at the argument of the latter.

A number of Gerstenberg’s shorter poems make use of the grove with its moss and the oak, the echo, the harp, and other bardic properties, without, however, acquiring the real bardic character. Ossian’s influence is here too inconsiderable to warrant a discussion of the poems in detail.

Ugolino.[142]—The influence that this drama, which was finished in 1767, exerted upon the Storm and Stress movement, its important bearing upon the popularization of Shakspere in Germany, and questions of a similar tenor cannot be entered into here, yet we cannot pass by the drama without pointing out at least some phases of Ossian’s influence, which, while not comparable in importance to that of Shakspere, is nevertheless not inconsiderable. The danger confronts us of attributing Shaksperian characteristics to Ossian. The bard’s influence is noticeable particularly in the figurative language, e. g., when Ugolino in the first act says: “Dass ich nicht in dem gerechten Zorne meiner Seele mich erheben ... konnte!”[143] Compare Ossian’s “rage of his soul,” “rise in[110] wrath,” and the like. In the same act Anselmo says: “Dein Kommen ist mir erwünschter als der jugendliche Morgen,”[144] to which compare “Comala,” p. 139, l. 22: “bright as the coming forth of the morning.” Jacobs[145] suggests that Gerstenberg probably had his Ossian in mind when he had Francesco say in the first act: “Wenn er sich nur nicht ... herab stürzt, gleich dem erhabnen Vogel, der sich ins Steinthal wirft.”[146] Compare “Temora,” Bk. ii, p. 321, ll. 31–2: “Descending like the eagle of heaven, ... the son of Trenmor came;” Bk. viii, p. 369, ll. 11–2: “... the windy rocks, from which I spread my eagle–wings,” etc., etc. In the second act, Anselmo considers himself “flüchtiger als ein junges Reh,”[147] a comparison of which Ossian is exceedingly fond.[148] Gaddo and Anselmo shed regular Ossianic “tears of joy.” In the second act Anselmo refers to Francesco having ridden off “auf dem Rücken des Windes”;[149] compare “The War of Caros,” p. 193, l. 26: “The rustling winds have carried him far away;”[150] “Temora,” Bk. viii, p. 366, l. 21: “From this I shall mount the breeze.” Ossianic furthermore are Anselmo’s exclamations: “Lasst die Hörner tönen am hallenden Fels!”[151] and “o du mit der finstern Stirne!”[152] which call up Ossian’s ‘echoing rock’ and his ‘dark’ or ‘gloomy brow.’

When Gerstenberg has Ugolino say of his wife in the third act: “Kalt [ist] der Schnee ihrer Brust,”[153] and when he speaks of the “Seufzer ihres Busens,”[154] he was no doubt thinking of the snowy breasts of Ossian’s maidens and of the sighs of their bosoms. In the same act Francesco uses a comparison that is taken directly from Ossian:[155] “Du wirst fallen,” he says, “wie der Stamm einer Eiche, alle deine Äste um dich hergebreitet.”[156] Compare “Temora,”[157] Bk. iii, p. 328, ll. 25–6: “Like a young oak falls Tur–lathon,[111] with his branches round him,” etc. In the last act Ugolino, speaking of the death of his son, says: “Wann ward dieser erste Ast vom Stamme gerissen?”[158] His opening monolog in the fourth act shows a decided Ossianic influence; e. g., “sein bleifarbigtes wässeriges Angesicht tobte vom Sturm seiner Seele; er wälzte seine ... Augen weit hervor,”[159] etc. In Ossian we have a “watery and dim face,” a “grey watery face,” and a soul “folded in a storm,” and as for rolling eyes, that is a property that no Ossianic warrior may be without, and one of the first that a Storm and Stress poet would be led to adopt. Further along in the monolog, Ugolino says: “Doch der grosse Morgen wird ja kommen! schrecklich, dunkelroth und schwül von Gewittern wird er ja kommen! In seinem schwarzen Strahle will ich erlöschen! In seiner gebärenden Wolke soll, wie Feuer vom Himmel, mein Geist über Pisa stehn!”[160] This picture is as Ossianic as it can be. The ghosts of Ossian sit upon their clouds; they ride on beams of fire, and are compared to meteors of fire or to a terrible light. Ossianic spirits appear again a little later in the act, when Francesco says of Anselmo: “... seine Geister scheinen sich zu sammeln,”[161] and in the last act, where we read of a “wandernden Geist,” which shall remain near the beloved ones.[162] And then Francesco: “Ah! deine Geister sind im Aufruhr! Sammle sie, geliebter theurer Anselmo.” All this, however, is only a weak foretaste of the great importance that the ghosts of Ossian assume in Gerstenberg’s later drama, in Minona, to the discussion of which I shall proceed after a short reference to Der Waldjüngling. The illustrations given are not intended to be exhaustive, but to give a general idea of the character of Ossianic traces as they are exhibited in the various works.

Der Waldjüngling.—As an appendix to his treatise on Ugolino, Jacobs published a fragment by Gerstenberg entitled Der Waldjüngling, which in spirit shows a combination of Rousseau’s doctrine of the return to nature plus the leaning towards Norse antiquity, towards the poetry of the bards. The combination is attempted by sketching the life of a primitive man, un homme[112] sauvage, transferred to the woods of Scandinavia. The small portion of the drama that has been preserved to us was written probably in 1770.[163]

As it incorporates the bardic spirit in its very essence, we shall not search in vain for reminiscences of Ossian, which, as in Ugolino, are met with in large part in the epithets and images. The Scandinavian scenery partakes of the characteristics of the Scotch Highlands as pictured by Ossian. The names of the characters, Hvanar, Cindiskraka (cp. Ossian’s Craca), Svanhilde, Arnas, Flino, Heener, Mimur, have Celtic as well as Germanic elements, and these characters talk much like the characters of Ossian. Mimur, e. g., in l. 122 laments in the strain of Ossian: “Ich bin alt und schwach,” etc. In l. 9, Cindiskraka is addressed as “Du Bewohnerinn der Felshöhle mit dem krähschwarzen Haar,” to which compare Ossian’s “dweller of the rock,”[164] and hair “dark as the raven’s wing.”[165] Further along (l. 36) we have a flute “Die des armen Mädchens verschwiegenen Kummer einsam seufzt.” This is a typical line. Ossian’s maidens have a habit of sitting ‘alone,’ nursing their ‘silent grief,’ giving vent to their sorrow in ‘secret sighs.’—Mimur styles Hilde (l. 78) in true Ossianic language: “Der Ruhm der Hirtinnen auf dem Gebirg,” and invests the forest youth in ll. 114–5 with the characteristic attributes of the ideal heroes of Ossian, ‘terrible’ in battle, but in peace ‘generous and mild’:[166]

... furchtbar an Kraft des Arms,
Doch sanft, doch freundlich, doch gut; ...

Ossianic is Hvanar’s characterization of himself (l. 152): “Ich bin ein Sohn des Meeres, rauh, wie der Sturm, ...” and a few Ossianic images from nature also occur.

Minona.—We have no conclusive proof that Gerstenberg later in life lost his early scruples in regard to Ossian’s authenticity, but[113] if circumstantial evidence carry any weight, there can be no doubt that he came to regard Ossian as genuine, at least for a time. And this evidence is furnished by the drama Minona, first published in 1785, Gerstenberg’s favorite production and one that gave him the greatest concern in the preparation of the edition of his works late in life. For this edition (1815–6) he worked over the entire drama and increased it from four acts to five, and by assigning to it the place of honor at the head of the list, furnished testimony to his fondness for this particular child of his muse. The action of the drama is laid in Britain in the fifth century, at the time when the Low German continental tribes were called over by the Britons to assist them against the incursions of the Picts. The Romans, who had refused to aid the British province against the Picts, also play an important part. Everything is mixed together, and of course anachronisms abound: Norse gods, skalds, druids, bards, Ossianic spirits, all are thrown together in one multi–colored complex. The spirit of the play is Ossianic throughout, and external as well as internal characters of Ossian’s influence are not lacking. Several of the characters are taken directly from Ossian, others only in name, e. g., Trenmor, King of Morven; Minona, his sister; Ryno, a bard of Ossian; Swaran, Lord of Lochlin. Edelstan, the hero, lord of Inisthona, is a son of Frothal and a grandson of Bosmina. During the perusal of the drama we are continually reminded that the author has made a thorough study of his Ossian. Selma is the name of the royal residence in Morven, just as it is in Ossian. Minona is a typical Celtic maiden as described by Ossian, just as Ryno is the Ossianic bard comme il faut. Just as Ossian’s Minona was possessed of the gift of song,[167] so Gerstenberg’s Minona has the reputation of being the “gesangreichste der Harfen Selma’s.”[168] In the review of the drama that appeared in the Allgemeine deutsche Bibliothek,[169] Minona is characterized as “grossmüthig und liebevoll, aber auch sittsam und duldend, eine würdige Schülerin der Barden,” and Ryno as “ein kraftvoller, biedrer Barde.” The Roman Äzia betrothed to Aurelius, a Roman commander, in spite of her dazzling personal charms, suffers in comparison with the modest Celtic maiden in much the same way as the heroes of Homer were often put to shame by their Celtic rivals.


The Ossianic scene par excellence is the third division of the first scene of the second act, where Äzia and Edelstan are interrupted in a tête–à–tête by Ryno, the bard of Ossian. Nothing can convey a better idea of the hold that Ossian had on Gerstenberg than to quote a passage from this scene.[170] Ryno announces himself as:

“ehemals Ferchio’s Gefährt’ in jener berühmten Schlacht deines Vaters Frothal zu Inisthona, ein Barde Ossians, heisse Ryno.”

Edelstan. Ryno?—ein Gefährte Ferchio’s?—ein Barde Ossian’s?—Welche Thaten, welche andre Zeiten, ... rufst du in mein Gedächtniss zurück?—Ryno?—... der mich jene unvergesslichen Gesänge von den Schlachten Lochlin’s lehrte, wie Ossian, die Stimme Selma’s, seinen geliebtern Oscar, den Mann aus andern Zeiten, nach Angeley—in der Sprache Morvens wie tönender! nach Inisthona—zu Hülfe sandte dem Vater meiner Väter, dem trauernden Annir—

Ryno. Wie der blutige Cormalo dem Arm des Starken aus Morven erlag, ‘dass die Söhne der vergifteten Lano, wo die Wolke des Tages rastet, gleich dunkelbraunen Hindinnen dahinflohen, unfähig den Gram ihres Stolzes zu rächen;’ wie Fingals holde Tochter, Bosmina mit den schwarzrollenden Augen, Runa’s tönende Halle betrat, ein wiederkehrender Stern dem Abend der Tage Annirs:—Bosmina später vermählt dem gewaltigen Ina, der einzigen übriggebliebenen Stütze des jammernden Annir, da Ruro fiel! da Argon fiel! dem hinterlassenen Säuglinge Ruro’s, die Mutter des königlichen Frothal, der erhabne Stamm deines so herrlich wieder aufblühenden Geschlechts ...

Edelstan. ...

Ryno. ... Gesegneter, wenn ich mich dir ein Bote des Friedens genaht hätte, würdig erfunden, den getrennten Stamm einer Eiche wieder aufzurichten, dass er noch einmal umherschaue, wie er vormals stand, sein tausendastiges Haupt weit umher verbreitend von Selma’s Halle bis zur Halle Runa’s, von Inisthona’s wogigem Strande bis über Morven’s fernher rauschende Thale!”[171]

How characteristically a bit of Ossianic history is told here and how faithfully the language of the poems of Ossian is copied! We should have to search long to find a passage in German literature that shows a more complete immersion in the spirit of Ossian.

In the scene from which we have just quoted, Fingal is called “das finstre Auge Morvens,” Trenmor “zog mit dem Winde seiner Küste luftig daher,” Fingal draws his sword against Lochlin “da Cuchullin unter Swaran’s Zehntausenden schwankte,” Ossian is referred to as “die Harfe aus andern Zeiten,”[172] etc., etc. It is scarcely necessary to give parallels from Ossian. Any one[115] who has ever read a poem of Ossian will be struck by the close resemblance of all that has been quoted above. The historical allusions, the comparisons, the metaphorical expressions, the standing epithets, are all taken directly from the songs of Ossian.

Before taking up the spirits of Ossian, and in that connection the lyrical passages which are given much prominence throughout the drama—especially in the third act—I shall quote a few more instances of borrowings from Ossian. We have in the drama a hand “blendender als Schnee”[173] and a “blendend weisse Hand;”[174] Minona has dark–black hair, which “floss vermuthlich in niedlichen Ringelchen über ihren blendend weissen Nacken herunter.”[175] Ryno and Edelstan “glaubten ... ein Sausen in der Luft zu hören, als wenn der Wind sich erhebt.”[176] The motif of Edelstan’s delivery from the cave is taken from Ossian, “Calthon and Colmal,”[177] as is Minona’s imprisonment in a cave on the isle of ghosts.[178] The scenic description of the cave in which Minona is held captive is characteristic: “Scene eine dunkle Höhle; über der Höhle der Mond im ersten Viertel, der ein schwaches Licht in das Innere der Höhle wirft.”[179]

Nothing gave the critics so much concern upon the first appearance of Minona as the machinery of the spirits. They begin their influential incantations in the second act, and from that moment on occupy a prominent position in the economy of the play to the very end. Some of these lyrical passages are by no means of a mean order, but we are now and again at a loss to grasp the poet’s meaning. The critic in the Neue Bibliothek der schönen Wissenschaften, speaking of the songs at the close, says: “Diese Gesänge sind, uns wenigstens, verschlossene Worte;”[180] and again, speaking of that of the spirits in the second act: “Dass uns manche Stellen dieses Liedes ganz unerklärbar geblieben sind, hat uns desto weniger befremdet, da, wie Ryno oben versicherte, selbst nur wenigen[116] Barden die ätherischen Ströme dieses Gesanges verständlich sind.”[181] And in the same strain the critic in the Allgemeine Literaturzeitung writes: “In dem was die Geister zuletzt singen ... sind schöne Verse: Aber manche so schwer zu verstehn, dass der Leser, geschweige der Hörer ihren Sinn nicht fasst..”.[182] The same reviewer refers to the unusually lofty, simple Ossianic tone of the spirit scenes. The importance assigned to these spirits in the structure of the drama can best be judged by reading Gerstenberg’s own view as expressed in the second Schreiben prefixed to his works: “Mit den Ossianischen Geistern, über die mancher damalige Kunstrichter den Kopf schüttelte bin ich weniger verlegen: sie sind die Unterlage des Ganzen, und ich brauche der Anlage nach, ihnen nur mehr Spielraum zu verschaffen; mein Drama von den Angelsachsen würde nicht zugleich meine Oper von Minona und der Zukunft seyn, wenn ich die Geister aus dem Spiele liesse.”[183] This is not the place to discuss the question whether Gerstenberg was justified in the introduction of this mystic spirit–world into his drama, and so I shall proceed to look at the songs at once. The ghosts, or rather the voices of the ghosts, make their first appearance, as has been observed, in the second act. Minona, captive in the cave is singing a song to the accompaniment of the harp, when enchanting spirit voices become audible and cause her to be filled with rapture. This song, in which she is interrupted, as well as her other airs and recitatives, are Ossianic in tone and motif, indeed, wherever Gerstenberg falls into the lyric strain, Ossian’s influence becomes apparent in one feature or another:

In deiner süssen Stimme will ich zittern,
Ein Seufzer der Liebe,
Süss wie ein Harfenton!
Wenn leisere Luft dich umweht,
Vernimm das Wehen meiner Liebe:
Minonens Geist schwebt über dir!
. . . . . . .
Hinweg du Wolke zwischen ihm und mir!
Horch! durch die Halle saust
Der Wind der Mitternacht.[184]

Minona gives expression to her rapture in ecstatic terms, of course[117] in Ossianic language, and what is more, in Macpherson’s rhythmic prose. A paragraph or two may serve for illustration:

Diese Fluth von wunderbaren Tönen, die sich wie ein Meer über mich ausgiesst, die durch den hohlen Abgrund der Felsen im Donner des Wohllauts daher rollt, ist sie ein Spiel der Lüfte in den Wölbungen der Tiefe? widerprallend an den jähen Wänden des innern Gebirgs?[185]

[Ist’s] Vielleicht Fingal’s Schild aus der hängenden Wolke herab? vielleicht Fingals geistige Hand, die an dem Schilde vorüberrauscht?

Vielleicht die tonvolle Harfe aus andern Lüften, Ossians Harfe aus andern Zeiten?[186]

These voices have given Minona a foretaste of the delights beyond the grave:

Wo, mich schwesterlich bewillkommend, Malvina, Bosmina, Comala, Guthona, die holdseligen, von ihrem und meinem Ossian so edel besungenen, Töchter der Vorzeit alle, in der Begeisterung seines erhabenen Gesanges zu seinen Füssen hingelagert und horchend, beisammen sässen, und ich, seine neu angelangte ... Zuhörerin, in Wonnethränen der namenlosesten Gefühle überflösse![187]

The ghosts that chant these songs are endowed with all the qualities of their Ossianic prototypes—especially with the gift of foretelling the future—and why should they not, seeing that they are intended to represent the incarnation of the songs of Ossian.[188] They are the spirits of Ossian, and the spirits of Ossian “sind die veredelte Menschlichkeit selbst.”[189] As for the songs of the ghosts, the solos, duets, choruses, and what not, as they begin in this act and are continued throughout the third and fifth acts, it would be impossible to take up each verse in detail. Suffice it to say, that the songs bear the ideal stamp of the influence of Ossian, which is expressed in more ways than one. I quote one or two passages in illustration. Several voices sing in the second act:

Stolzern Tritts erhebt vom Saum der Wolke sich
Fingal, den Arm auf seinen Schild gelehnt.[190]

Compare “Fingal,” Bk. vi, p. 261, l. 24: “Fingal leaned on the shield;” also Ossian’s skirt, edge, or side of the cloud. So in the third act Minona sings:

Schnell wie ein Blitz der Mitternacht,
Zerriss, aus seiner Wolke Saum,
Der Felsen aufgethürmte Last
Ein stärkrer unnennbarer Arm.[191]


Compare “The War of Inis–Thona,” p. 206, ll. 15–6: “Stormy clouds ... their edges are tinged with lightning,” etc.—Minona is referred to by the ghosts as the ‘daughter of Selma,’ and Edelstan as the ‘star of Inis–Thona,’ and the ‘star of night.’ Towards the end of the third act the voices sing:

Auf flügelschnellster der Stürme,
Gleit’ auf der Woge dahin

Rolle deine krausen Locken
Im Silberschaume der Fluth!

Fahr’ hin auf dem röthesten Strahle des Dampfs,[192]
Und hole vom Mond mir den Blitz herab![193]

In rebellious opposition to these spirits of Ossian are the druids, who refer to the songs of the ghosts as “die verführerischen Gesänge Ossians, des Tonangebers der ganzen harfnenden Bande,”[194] and again as “die aufrührerischen Gesänge eines unserer Barden—Ossian hiess der Erzketzer.”[195] The druids rely on the spirits of Brumo,[196] the god of human sacrifice, and Brumo’s spirits, says the chief druid, “pflegen nicht in dieser weibisch weichen ... Ossianssprache ... zu reden.”[197] Brumo corresponds very closely to Ossian’s Loda, to his ‘terrible spirit of the circle of stones.’ Ossian likewise furnished abundant material for the rites of the druids as they are described in the last act.

In addition to the songs of the ghosts, we have two Bardiete in the drama, one in Act 4, 8, the other in Act 4, 9. Needless to say, Ossian’s influence is plainly discernible. The first begins thus:

Aufdämmernd hinter Wolken schlief
Der junge Morgen im trüberen Roth!...
. . . . . . . .
Und warnend thürmte die Wolke sich auf;
Und aus der Wolke brach, verkündigt von Blitz,
Mit tausend Spiessen der Tag hervor.[198]


In the first edition the ending of the drama was somewhat differently motivated, inasmuch as Äzia, clothed in the armor of a warrior, allows herself to be captured by some of Edelstan’s soldiers and makes an attempt to assassinate Minona, but is foiled in the effort by Ryno. Undoubtedly this motif of the disguise was taken from Ossian, where we find almost a dozen examples of maids taking on the disguise of a youth.[199]

Many of the geographical and historical notes to the drama are based upon Macpherson, “dessen historische Data noch Niemand angefochten hat.”[200] From the notes to the first edition of Minona we can get some idea of Gerstenberg’s opinion of Ossian in the middle of the eighties. He says in note 8: “Auch können wir uns aus dem Ossian, dessen historische Data wenigstens itzt keinen Einwand mehr leiden, wenn gleich die Ächtheit seiner gegenwärtigen epischen und dramatischen Gestalt noch etwaz zweydeutig seyn möchte, ganz vernünftig überzeugen,” etc. And in note 14 he writes: “Es wäre ein gut Theil gewagter gewesen, einer alten Chronik, als der lautern Quelle Ossians nachzuspüren.” Another note (the 10th) gives evidence of the popularity that Ossian still enjoyed as late as 1785: “Was übrigens die ossianische Urkunde von Inisthona betrifft, ... so hat sich der Verfasser berechtigt geglaubt, diese Geschichte als aus einem der classischen Werke unsers Jahrhunderts allgemein bekannt vorauszusetzen...” These notes are omitted in the final version of 1815, a fact which leads me to believe that Gerstenberg’s early scruples returned to him late in life. Minona had served to dispel them momentarily, but no doubt the unsatisfactory character of the Report of the Committee of the Highland Society and the aspersions cast upon Macpherson’s translation by Ahlwardt served to reëstablish them in his wavering mind.

§3. Johann Nepomuk Cosmas Michael Denis.[201]

No one did more to increase the knowledge of Ossian in Germany and to enlarge the sphere of his influence there, than did the Jesuit Michael Denis, a native of Bavaria, who took up his residence in Vienna early in life and there spent the remainder of his[120] days. Although himself the author of a considerable number of poetic productions, his contemporary fame was based primarily upon his translation of Ossian, which created a great stir at the time of its appearance, setting all the previous efforts at translation in the shade for good and all. It remained for many years the standard, the classical German translation of the works of Ossian, in spite of the fact that the mold in which it is cast aroused the most violent opposition from many quarters.

Denis had been led to the study of English by his admiration for Klopstock’s Messiah, the prototype of which, Paradise Lost, he was desirous of reading in the original. When he began his translation in 1767, he was well equipped for the task as far as a knowledge of the language is concerned, and the true poetical genius that he lacked was compensated for in large measure by the sincere enthusiasm with which he set about his task. A serious obstacle presented itself at the very outset: there was not a copy of Macpherson’s Ossianic poems to be had in Vienna. Nothing daunted, Denis commenced by translating from Cesarotti’s Italian translation—which had appeared at Padua in 1763[202]—a fact that explains the presence of the notes from Cesarotti interspersed throughout his translation. Fortunately he soon obtained a copy of the English original from Prague, whereupon he destroyed all he had so far done and started in afresh. His enthusiasm for the Messiah led to the choice of the hexameter for his translation. Denis was a very rapid worker, a quality that stood him in good stead in the manufacture of the many occasional poems that emanated from his pen. Once on the right track, he worked at his translation with the utmost diligence and persistence and pushed it rapidly to a conclusion, volumes 1 and 2 appearing in 1768, and volume 3 in the following year. The two editions that appeared simultaneously apparently found a ready sale. In the preface to the first volume, Denis confesses what an instantaneous effect the songs of Ossian had upon him. “Kaum hatte ich ein paar Gedichte durchgelesen,” he says, “als ich ihn in meinen Gedanken Homern und Virgiln an die Seite setzte.” And when Ossian received Klopstock’s stamp of approval, Denis was overjoyed. “Wie froh war ich! Ich fieng zu übersetzen an.”[203] At the conclusion of the preface he[121] expresses doubts as to the gracious reception of the translation: “Ossian ist viel zu sonderlich,” he thinks, “viel zu unmodern, viel zu unterschieden von denen Dichtern, die man immer in den Händen hat. Allein, wenn man nur einmal mit seinem Geiste bekannter wird, wenn seine Art sich auszudrücken durch ein wiederholtes Lesen ihre Ungewöhnlichkeit verlieret, dann, dächte ich, sollte er nach dem Engländer am ersten bei einem Deutschen sein Glück machen.” It was only a few years later that the real Ossian craze began in Germany, and then Denis was to realize that these unmodern poems with their sentimental coloring appealed even more strongly to the German soul than they did to the English.

Dr. Blair’s arguments were not needed to convince Denis of the authenticity of the poems. He could not accept as spurious poems whose author he had in his first enthusiasm placed by the side of Homer and Vergil, unless irrefutable proof of forgery were given, and this was not forthcoming. And so when Dr. Blair in the appendix to his “Dissertation” in the edition of 1765 undertakes to defend the poems for external reasons also, Denis is led to remark: “Alle diese Gründe dürften für England und Irland, wo vielleicht Scheelsucht und Partheylichkeit Zweifler erwecket haben mag, nöthiger seyn. Einen von Vorurtheilen freyen deutschen Kenner wird immer der innere Gehalt genugsam überzeugen, das[s] Ossians Gedichte nicht unterschoben, sondern wahrhaft alte Gedichte sind.” Denis never took the trouble to institute any original researches or to devote himself to a serious study of this field, but accepted the genuineness of the poems as a matter of course. The unanimity of the German critics allowed no scruples to arise in his mind to vex him.

The reception granted the translation was most flattering indeed, and Denis could not but feel completely satisfied with the result of his labors. Nicolai, e. g., writes from Berlin, as early as Nov. 14, 1769: “Ihre vortreffliche Übersetzung des Ossian, ist auch in unsern Gegenden in den Händen aller Kenner; ich auch habe sie mit grossem Vergnügen gelesen, und sie stets für eins der wichtigsten Neuen Werke gehalten.”[204] Gleim sends Denis his ‘poetical trifles,’ “aus Dankbarkeit vornehmlich für das Vergnügen, welches der deutsche Ossian ihm machte.”[205] Denis writes in the preface to[122] Vol. 3: “Seitdem der erste Band dieser Uebersetzung in Deutschland bekannt geworden ist, sind mir verschiedene Beweise zugekommen, dass sie dort ganz gut aufgenommen worden sey, wo ich es am meisten wünschte.” The reviews in the Neue Bibliothek der schönen Wissenschaften, in the Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek, in the Göttingische Anzeigen von gelehrten Sachen, and elsewhere, all were extremely gratifying, and only one note of disapproval insisted upon asserting itself, a note that found most emphatic expression in the Erfurtische gelehrte Zeitungen: the form of the translation met with pronounced opposition. The most important of these reviews is that in the Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek. It was written by Herder, who designates the departure as “neu und schön,” and refers to the poems of Ossian as “diese kostbaren Ueberbleibsel aus der alten celtischen oder gallischen Sprache.” But soon doubts arise: “So sind also die Gedichte Ossians in Hexameter übersezt—aber würde Ossian, wenn er in unsrer Sprache sie abgesungen, sie hexametrisch abgesungen haben? oder wenn die Frage zu nah und andringend ist; mag er in seiner Originalsprache den Hexameterbau begünstigt haben? ... Oder ...: thut Ossian in seinem homerischen Gewande eben die Würkung, als Ossian der Nordische Barde?”[206] Here was the rub: Denis had given Ossian, the Gaelic bard, the ‘rough, sublime Scotchman’ in the measure of a Greek rhapsodist. “Vielleicht aber wird er dadurch verschönert, und gleichsam classisch? Er mag es werden: nur er verliert mehr, als er gewinnt, den Bardenton seines Gesangs.”[207] The translation makes an epic, a heroic impression, but does not reproduce its natural Scotch heroic impression. Herder proceeds to show how Ossian and Homer are antitheses in almost every respect, and holds that in consequence the difference in expression should be emphasized by the choice of different meters. Although Herder regards many of Denis’s hexameters as melodious and euphonious, he opines that the free meters introduced by Klopstock in his odes are better adapted to a translation of the bard. That the translation made a favorable impression upon Herder in spite of its metrical drawbacks is evidenced by the concluding lines of the review: “Wir freuen uns überhaupt auf die ganze Fortsetzung der Dennisschen Arbeit mehr, als auf manche neuere süsslallende Originale in[123] Deutschland, und wünschen, dass Ossian der Lieblingsdichter junger epischer Genies werde!”[208] Herder here had in mind Vol. 1 only; his review of Vols. 2 and 3 did not appear until three years later, in 1772, being written at about the same time as the “Auszug aus einem Briefwechsel über Ossian und die Lieder alter Völker,” which opened the Blätter von Deutscher Art und Kunst.[209] His view–point and line of argument are to all intents and purposes identical in the review and the essay. In the review he laments: “Noch immer Ossian der Hexametrist, der Klopstockianer, da man Ossian den kurztönenden, unregelmässigen Celtischen Barden hören sollte.”[210] Again and again Herder returns to the attack; he can not reconcile the smooth poetry of Denis with the unpolished bard. The soft lyric cadence of Denis’s verses appeals to Herder, to be sure, but “hier, so sanft, so vieltönig und schön sie sey, hier passet sie Ossianen oft so an, als etwa einen Samojedischen Gesandten bey der russischen Gesetzkommission das Ceremonienkleid des Hofmarschalls.”[211] But not alone the hexameters aroused Herder’s dissatisfaction; his displeasure increases when he views Denis’s attempt to translate a poem in the measure employed by Gerstenberg in his Gedicht eines Skalden. Here Denis employs rime with poor success, and we must agree with Herder when he says: “Denis gelingen nicht Reime!”[212]

There was still another side from which Herder attacked the translation; he was not content with the language employed, which he did not consider natural enough; too many words were not sufficiently indigenous. “War Ossian nicht unser Bruder?” he asks, “und welch’ ein Glück, welch ewiges Verdienst wäre es, ihn so zu verdeutschen, als ob er, ein Deutscher gewesen wäre: das er doch, der Hälfte nach, gewesen ist.”[213]

I hinted above that Herder was not the only critic who was ill–pleased with Denis’s choice of the hexameter. A similar chord is struck in other reviews, in the introductions to several later translations, and elsewhere.

The most appreciative notice of Denis’s translation was that in[124] the Neue Bibliothek der schönen Wissenschaften. From beginning to end the review teems with praise for the translator, as well as for old Ossian himself. “Wir haben die Entdeckung der Gedichte Ossians,” begins the critic, “immer für eine der wichtigsten Begebenheiten dieses Jahrhunderts in der Geschichte des Witzes und Geschmacks unsers Jahrhunderts gehalten. Ihre Avthenticität ist nunmehro eben so sehr entschieden, als ihre Vortrefflichkeit.”[214] Not only does the critic refrain from discountenancing the employment of the hexameter, but, like the reviewer in the Hamburgischer Correspondent, he even expresses his admiration for the verses. “In der That,” he says, “haben wir kaum wohlklingendere deutsche Hexameter gesehen.”[215] In order to bring the value of the poetical translation more vividly before the reader, an extract from Denis’s translation is given[216] and compared with a literal prose translation that follows.[217] The value of such long extracts must not be underestimated. They occurred frequently and no doubt aroused an interest in the original in many a reader. As an illustration of the lyrical measure in which Denis translated the distinctively lyrical passages of Ossian, Carril’s song on the death of Crugal is given.[218] Besides we have an extract from the beginning of “Comala” and a prose version of the extract for comparison. “Comala” is one of the poems that Denis had clothed in rime, giving it the form of a modern Singspiel, and with this raiment the reviewer is not quite satisfied. Other voices were raised in opposition to the general form Denis had given the dramatic poem. The latter, appreciating the justice of the position of the critics, changed the structure for the edition of 1784,[219] but at the same time inserted the poem in its original form in another volume,[220] in order to satisfy those who preferred it in that shape. The objection to the first form of “Comala” we find also in the review in the Göttingische gelehrte Anzeigen, where the critic writes: “Die Comala deucht uns nicht sehr glücklich ausgefallen zu seyn....Will man sagen: es sey Ossians Comala in ein Singspiel verwandelt,[125] so sind wir zufrieden. Aber Ossian ist es nicht.”[221] Otherwise this review of the first volume of Denis’s translation is full of compliments to the genius of the translator. The critic expresses the opinion that the poems of Ossian have gained much by the new form. Especially does the hexameter tend to give “Fingal” the character of a true epic. On the whole, the reviewer is as much impressed with the necessity of the translation on the one hand as with the beauty of the original on the other, “Es kan diese Uebersetzung nach unserm deutschen epischen Originaldichter [Klopstock] billig gesetzet werden, billig einen nahen Platz erhalten; selbst in so fern der alte Barde mit unserm Gefühl, und mit unsern National–Begriffen von den ersten Zeiten weit mehr übereinstimmt, als ein Homer und Virgil.”[222]

I shall refrain from a detailed discussion of the character of the translation and would refer the reader to Hofmann–Wellenhof’s biography, pp. 163–91. Denis’s was the first translation to give the works of Ossian in full, and attracted attention by reason of that fact alone. He adhered as closely as possible to the original, but from the very nature of the case, he had often to expand.[223] Provincialisms abound. It cannot be denied that he failed to reproduce the spirit as given to the original by Macpherson, yet when all is said, Denis’s translation is facile princeps among the complete German translations. The hexameters lend an air of stateliness and dignity to the poems and give them more the air of a classic. What is more, the novel introduction of hexameters evoked a lively discussion and so stimulated the popular interest in Ossian. The translation became a model for the school of the bards, most of whom derived their knowledge primarily from the version of their revered confrère. During Denis’s lifetime, that is, until the opening of the new century, his translation remained the standard for Germany.[224] About the time of his death, the so–called Gaelic original[126] began to occupy the chief attention, and when Ahlwardt’s translation from the Gaelic appeared, it superseded that of Denis in the popular favor for a time, that is to say, until it began to be suspected that the Gaelic original was not all that was claimed for it.

The first collection of Denis’s poems, of the songs of Sined, appeared in 1772 under the title of Die Lieder Sineds des Barden. We have not far to go to discover a typical instance of the nature of Ossian’s influence. The very first poem, “An Ossians Geist,” will serve as a splendid example. The poem begins as follows:

Im schweigenden Thale des Mondes
Umkränzet von heiligen Eichen
Da walten die Geister der Barden,

Sie schweben auf Silbergewölken
Den thauigten Abhang herunter,

Dann heben sich Lieder der Vorzeit,
Und Harfen begleiten die Lieder,
Und sanftester Nachhall entzücket
Die lauschenden Wälder und Fluren umher.[225]

And so on. It is scarcely necessary to point out how closely the Ossianic spirit and nature coloring have been adhered to. The Ossianic paraphernalia are all present, the silent vale,[226] the moon, the sacred oaks, the ghosts of the bards, the clouds upon which they float along the sides of the mountains,[227] the songs of the times of old attuned to the accompaniment of the harp; not even the echo is missing, resounding from woods and fields. These and similar Ossianic properties are continually resorted to in Denis’s bardic productions. They give an archaic character to the whole, and lend a certain picturesqueness to the scene—when not employed to excess. We have further along “Saiten von Selma,” Ossian’s oft repeated ‘harp of Selma,’ “Zähren der Wehmuth,” “Wipfel der Eichen,” “moosige Trümmer,” etc. Denis proceeds to narrate the principal subjects of the poems of Ossian, and then confesses what an effect Ossian made upon him from the very outset; he tells us how he persisted in his purpose in spite of the[127] fact that many of his old listeners deserted him. He concludes with the following lines:

Und, Vater von Oscar![228] dein Folger
Bey kommenden Altern zu heissen!
Ha! dieser Gedanke gesellt mich
Im schweigenden Thale des Mondes zu dir![229]

We should expect Denis, as a strong admirer and pupil of Klopstock, to follow in the footsteps of his master by introducing the old Norse mythology into his bardic efforts. As a matter of fact, however, it is almost completely lacking, a circumstance perhaps best explained by his religious calling.[230] About the sole indications of an interest in Old Norse are the seven songs following the first poem. Being translations and paraphrases of Old Norse material, they do not concern us here.

Next come a number of occasional poems addressed to Maria Theresa and to Joseph II. On pages 85–143 we have the “Bardenfeyer am Tage Theresiens,” first published in Vienna in 1770, in which the various offices and qualities of the empress are sung by different bards. The spirit of Klopstock and Ossian hovers over all these poems, as will appear from the extracts to follow. We shall notice also that the bardic machinery and Ossian’s imagery are not neglected. The bards are described as “Die Geber des Ruhmes, die Söhne der Lieder,”[231] and are endowed with all the other characteristics of those of Ossian, as, for example, with the power of looking into the future.[232]

The poem “An Ossians Geist” showed us that Denis adopted the spirit world of Ossian, and like Klopstock and Gerstenberg, he has ghosts appear on all possible occasions, e. g., in “Theresia die Fürstinn,” which begins (p. 89):

Neiget euch nieder aus luftigen Hallen,
Herrscher der Vorzeit im Schmucke Walhallas!
Väter von Habsburg! neiget euch her![233]


So in Ossian “the forms of the fathers bend” from their ‘cloudy–hall.’

In the same poem (p. 92) we have a “verfinsterte Seele,” Ossian’s ‘darkened soul.’[234]

In the next poem, “Theresia die Gattinn,” we have several Ossianic expressions, e. g. (p. 98):

Er zog einher dem Hirschen gleich

In Rabenlocken fiel sein Haar.

We have had occasion before to point out Ossian’s comparisons to a deer, and his locks black as a raven’s wings. Theresa, in true Ossianic manner, is compared to the rainbow, a star, a pine,[235] etc., and in the following poem she is said to be fairer than the moon or an oak.[236] After the death of her husband she often visits his grave:

“Dort pfleget Sie der Wehmuth Lust,”[237]

“the joy of grief.” His ghost, of course, does his duty and pays her an occasional visit.[238]

A truly Ossianic picture and comparison are given in the third stanza of the following poem, “Theresia die Mutter” (p. 103):

Schön ist an des Himmels
Blauem Nachtgesichte
Dünsteloser Mond,
Wenn er unter Sternen
Sanftbeleuchtend wandelt;
Aber schöner ist doch Eine noch.

Ossian’s maidens are generally either “bright as the sun–beam,” or else “fair as the moon.” Compare also Ossian’s apostrophe to the moon, beginning of “Dar–Thula.” In another line of the poem (p. 106) we have “Seelen schmelzen” and likewise in “Calthon and Colmal,” p. 183, ll. 21–2: “The soul ... melted;” “Temora,” Bk. ii, p. 318, ll. 3–4, etc., etc.

The tenth stanza of “Theresia die Kriegerinn” is decidedly Ossianic:


Da rollete schnell von Thränen ein Guss
Die bärtigsten Wangen der Männer herab;
... da flogen, wie Blitz
Die wogigten Scheiden empor.[239]

Compare “Carric–Thura,” p. 149, ll. 35–6: “The tear rolled down her cheek,” etc. The comparison of swords to lightning, to beams of fire, or to meteors occurs again and again in Ossian.[240] In the following stanza the rush of the warriors is described (p. 110):

... so stürmet der Wind
Die Blätter des Hayns im Herbste mit sich.

Ossian is very fond of comparing the rush of a host to the wind.[241] Bartmar has to sing of battle, and it is not astonishing that we find in his song more traces of Ossian’s influence than in any other song of the “Bardenfeyer,” the general peaceful atmosphere of which does not offer the same possibilities for the insertion of Ossianic material. The ghosts of the fallen warriors make their appearance before the close of the battle. Theresa’s eye makes the warrior bold:

Und furchtbar im Flügel der düsteren Schlacht.
Sie standen, ein Fels, und rollten den Schwall
Der Krieger aus Norden zurück.[242]

Ossian’s warriors are ‘terrible’ and ‘dark’ in battle, they “stand like a rock”[243] and roll back the foe. Compare “Temora,” Bk. ii, p. 318, ll. 17–8: “Conar was a rock before them: broken they rolled on every side;” etc. Another stanza, the twenty–second, shows a close resemblance to an Ossianic image (p. 112):

“Doch wie sich der Lenz in Schauergewölk
Itzt hüllet, und itzo sein holdes Gesicht
Den Fluren entdeckt;”

Compare “Fingal,” Bk. vi, p. 265, ll. 22–4: “Like the sun in a cloud, when he hides his face ..., but looks again on the hills of grass!” Furthermore we have in the same poem (p. 113) a “Stein des Ruhmes,”[244] Ossian’s “stone of fame”[245] or “stone of renown.”[246]


The following poem, “Theresia die Fromme,” contains but few traces of Ossian’s influence. An expression borrowed directly from Ossian, however, is the “enge Haus,”[247] the “narrow house,” the grave, occurring continually in the poems of Ossian, e. g., “Oithona,” p. 173, l. 36, etc., etc. “Theresia die Weise” also contains a direct borrowing from Ossian, viz., Denis calls the echo (p. 128) “die Tochter des Felsen” just as Ossian styles it “the son of the rock.” Another Ossianic reminder is contained in the second stanza of this poem. The bard remarks (p. 126):

Oder, wenn ich den Fall eines der blühenden
Heldensöhne beseufzte,
Dem im Felde sein Hügel stieg.

Ossian’s bards “mourn those who fell”[248] and the warrior’s resting–place is marked by a hill or stones.—“Krümmungen heller Bäche” (p. 126) recall Ossian’s “bright winding streams.”[249]

I have had occasion several times to refer to the transitoriness of the warrior’s life as continually harped upon by Ossian. The soldier’s name is preserved in two ways, as was that of Fingal, i. e., in the song of the bards, and secondly by the stones over his grave. Bearing in mind that Denis translates ‘stones’ by ‘Trümmer,’ note the following lines (p. 131):

Menschen schwinden hinweg. Lassen sie Thaten nach,
Dann nennt Trümmer und Lied Thaten und sie zugleich

Ossianic is the phrase in “Theresia die Gütige” (p. 138):

Bis im Felde keine Spur
Unsrer Pfade mehr
Sichtbar ist.

So Fingal, Bk. v, p. 256, l. 27: “My footsteps [shall] cease to be seen;” etc.

The collection of occasional poems that follows the “Bardenfeyer” is addressed to Joseph II. Bardic properties are employed here in a similar manner as in the poems of the preceding series, but otherwise Ossian’s influence is almost inappreciable. The opening lines (p. 144), beginning “O Geist der Lieder!”[250] are truly[131] Ossianic. A comparison borrowed from Ossian is found in “Josephs Erste Reise” (p. 151):

... der im Frieden,
Aehnlich dem Adler am Felsengipfel,
Mit wachem Auge ruhet, und adlerschnell
Auf Störer seiner Ruhe sich niedersenkt.
Sie bluten, liegen, und der Sieger
Schwebet zurücke zum Felsengipfel.

And now for a few passages from “Temora.” Bk. ii, p. 319, ll. 32–3: “The eyes of Morven do not sleep. They are watchful, as eagles, on their mossy rocks;” p. 321, ll. 31–3: “Descending like the eagle of heaven, ... the son of Trenmor came.” Bk. iii, p. 330, ll. 11–2: “They return ..., like eagles to their ... rock, after the prey is torn on the field.” Another Ossianic comparison is the following (p. 155): “Die Fürsten stehn, Zwo Sonnen.” See “Temora,” Bk. vi, p. 349, l. 27: “Yet is the king ... a sun ...,” etc. The “Zweite Reise” contains a stanza that is modeled closely after a passage in Ossian (“Temora,” Bk. ii, p. 323, ll. 11–20):

Die Kinder Teuts ... sollten nur

Die Stelle zeichnen, wo sich umarmeten
Die Grössten Deutschlands, Joseph und Friederich,
Hin Eichen pflanzen, dass die spätsten
Enkel im Schatten sich diess erzählten.

In the poem, “Die Säule des Pflügers,” we encounter the following Ossianic reminiscences (p. 166): “In der Seele des Barden ist Licht des Liedes.”[251] And (p. 167):

Flügel des Blitzes hatte der hohe Gedanke,
Welcher dem Herrscher die Seele durchfuhr.[252]

In the same poem we have the Ossianic comparison (p. 168): “Die Seele so still, Wie scheidende Sonnen.”[253]

The poem “Auf den Oberdruiden an der Rur” and the following ones written in the bardic spirit contain Ossianic touches here and there in much the same way. “An einen Bardenfreund,” contains some verses of Ossianic description (p. 175):


In den Tagen des Herbsts, wenn sich der Abend bräunt,
Irr’ ich einsam den Hayn, irr’ ich die Fluren durch,

Ja, dann seyd ihr vor mir, Wälder mit seufzenden
Tannen! bist du vor mir, sprudelnder Erlenbach!
Und ihr Teiche voll Schilfes!
Von dem kühlenden West’ umrauscht.

The autumn, the darkening evening, the lonely wanderer in the grove and on the heath, the sighing pines, “the breeze in the reeds of the lake,”[254] combine to form an ideal Ossianic picture. More of the same kind is found in the poem.—“Der Strahl aus Osten” referring to the sun, as employed in the next poem, “Auf das Haupt der Starken bei den Markmännern” (p. 180) is undoubtedly Ossian’s “beam of the east.”[255]

In a poem addressed to Gleim, “Auf den Bardenführer der Brennenheere,” Denis refers to his translation of Ossian and to the favorable reception accorded it by Gleim (p. 186):

Ossians erhabne
Lieder nachzustimmen
Rang es,[256] und errang mir einen Gleim.

On pp. 189–90 we read:

Aber du, Gespielinn
Meiner Lieder, Harfe!
Theuer bist du mir,
Seit du mir mit Morvens
Neugeweckten Klängen
Dieses Mannes Herz gewonnen hast.

“An Friedrichs Barden” (Ramler) breathes the bardic spirit more intensely than some of the others we have been considering. When Denis calls ‘Thaten’ ‘Flammen’ (p. 191), we recall Ossian’s “Our deeds are streams of light.”[257] Denis’s druids dwell in caves, as they do in Ossian. “Druiden locket er hervor Aus ihrer Höhle,” he sings (p. 195) in “An den Oberbarden der Pleisse” (Weisse) and so Ossian addresses the druid as the “dweller of the rock.”[258]

The next song is addressed “An den Beredtesten der Donaudruiden” (Ignaz Wurz). The word ‘schwellen’ in the expression[133] “Thränen Schwellen in ... Augen” (p. 199) no doubt goes back to Ossian; compare “Dar–Thula,” p. 286, l. 17: “Tears swell in her ... eyes!” Denis uses the word frequently in other connections.[259]

Kretschmann’s poem, “Rhingulphs Lied an Sined,” which follows, is answered by Denis in “Sineds Gesicht, Rhingulphen dem Freunde der Geister gewidmet,” a poem teeming with Ossianic properties, the ghosts playing an especially prominent part. Intensely Ossianic is the following comparison (p. 207):

Und meine Freude . . . . . .
War, wie des Mondes Antlitz, wenn ein Dunst
Sich von der Erde schwingend es beschleicht.[260]

The ghost tells Denis that Rhingulph (p. 209):

... nannte dich den Freund an Ossians Busen,
Dem Ossian am Abend seiner Augen
Die Harfe liess.—

In a note to “Sineds Gesicht,” Denis quotes Kretschmann’s reply, in which the latter addresses him as “Sined, treuster Freund von Fingals Sohne!” and exclaims: “Hätt’ ich Ullins Lieder, böth ich dir sie an.”[261]—The succeeding poem, “An einen Jüngling,” enjoins a youth to conduct himself so that his fame may go down in the songs of the bards, that darkness may not dwell around his grave, that his name may not die like the thunder echoed by the hills, and gives him much similar advice such as Ossian was accustomed to extend to his Celtic heroes.

“Sineds Vaterlandslieder,” a series of four poems, contain the never–failing Ossianic paraphernalia as before. The bard sings in a grove, reclining upon moss in the shade of an oak, with the breeze trembling through the leaves and sighing in the harp.[262] In the opening line of the next poem, “Sineds Morgenlied,” the poet calls upon the harp to descend (p. 232): “Harfe! steig nieder.” Compare “Urlaub von der sichtbaren Welt” (p. 283):

Steig nieder, Schattenharfe!
Vom wiegenden Zweige der Tanne!

The ‘Schattenharfe’[263] is Ossian’s ‘shadowy harp,’ “Temora,” Bk.[134] vii, p. 361, l. 4, and in “Temora,” Bk. v, p. 340, l. 2, we read: “Descend from thy place, O harp.” The harp may hang on a branch, as in “Berrathon,” p. 380, l. 31.[264]—“Das Donnerwetter” contains occasional Ossianic nature touches. This poem is followed by six laments, “Sineds Klagen,” in which the grief now and again takes an Ossianic tone, as witness the opening verses of the first, an elegy on Gellert’s death (p. 253):

Schauerndes Lüftchen! woher?
Trüb ist der Tag. In dem entblätterten Hayne
. . . . . . . .
... sitz’ ich einsam
Auf mein Saitenspiel gelehnet,
Da kömmst du, Lüftchen! schwirrest mir
So kläglich, so kläglich die Saiten hindurch.[265]

Ossianic also is the tone of the opening lines of the second complaint, sung on a cloudy autumn day (p. 258):

Traurig ist der Tag!
Von der Himmelstochter
Blicken ungetröstet
Dämmert er dahin.
Graue Nebelsäulen
Steigen von Gebirgen.

Ossian calls the sun “the son of heaven,” not the “daughter,” but Denis made similar changes of this nature, e. g., in the opening line of “Dar–Thula” and elsewhere he translates “daughter of heaven,” referring to the moon, by “Sohn der Nacht.”[266] Denis adds a note to his translation in “Dar–Thula,” explaining that he took the liberty to institute the change, because moon in German, forsooth, is of the masculine gender.[267] And thus we arrive at ‘Himmelstochter.’ Compare furthermore “Carric–Thura,” p. 152, ll. 12–3: “Grey mist rests on the hills,” and the like; also the oft repeated ‘columns’ and ‘pillars’ of mist.—In the same complaint the line (p. 259): “Ein Seufzer reisst sich aus der Brust”[268] recalls Ossian’s “The sigh bursts from their breasts.”[269] In this poem Denis laments the taste of those to whom Witz is[135] everything. He can not follow in their footsteps, because (p. 261):

Greis Ossian in dem Geleite
Der Barden und Skalden besucht ihn.
Er höret am schweigenden Monde
Gesänge vergangener Alter.

The fourth complaint is an elegy on the death of Joh. v. Nep. Hohenwart, a friend of Denis, whose ghost is asked to appear.—The concluding stanza of the fifth contains an Ossianic comparison (p. 276): “Sein Leben bleibt ... ein Strom von ewighellem Lichte.” Compare “Temora,” Bk. i, p. 311, ll. 22–3: “My life shall be one stream of light.” Several Ossianic touches in the last poem of the collection, “Urlaub von der sichtbaren Welt,” have been referred to. Ossianic furthermore is the following picture (p. 284):

Kühle Lüfte säuseln,
Wiesenquellen lauten,
Durch die Tannenzacken
Blinkt der milde Mond;
Aber schweigend, schweigend steht der Hügel,
Der den Barden deckt.

‘Silent’ as a standing epithet frequently goes with ‘hill’ in Ossian, and the hill covering the dead has been noticed; we have it again on pp. 287–8.

Having now considered the poems of the first collection, we are ready to turn our attention to the new offspring of Denis’s muse that found a place in the first edition of Ossians und Sineds Lieder (1784), the first three volumes of which contain the translation of Ossian, revised with reference to the English edition of 1773.[270] Aside from the alterations necessitated by the conformity to the new English edition and the working over of “Comala” referred to above (p. 124), the changes are inconsiderable. The fragment of a Norse poem, “Fithona,” given by Macpherson in the preface to the edition of 1773, is translated and inserted among the songs of Sined, Vol. 4, pp. 98–100.—In his preface “An den Leser” in the first volume, Denis defends his choice of the hexameter in a few words and states: “Er [Denis] glaubt noch Ossians Aechtheit, obwohl er sich, als ein Zeitgenoss des XVIII. Jahrhundertes freuen müsste, wenn dieses Jahrhundert einen solchen Genius hervorgebracht hätte.” He is strengthened in his[136] belief by the statement made by Sturz that he (Sturz) had seen the originals.[271] The preface contains also a chronological bibliography of Ossianic publications from 1762 to 1783, which is by no means complete and contains several errors. The Fragments of 1760 are not mentioned at all. The songs of the five bards given by Macpherson in his note to “Croma” are translated and placed at the end of the third volume under the title “Die Octobernacht. Eine alte Nachahmung Ossians.”

I shall point out the most striking Ossianic characteristics in the poems that have not yet been dwelt upon. The poem “An Gott,” the first in the list,[272] contains nothing deserving of attention. In “Sined und der Tag seiner Geburt” (pp. 113–5), we have the hill covering the dead, the grove of oaks, druids, ghosts, etc. Towards the end Denis addresses his father:

Hättest du Lieder von Selma gehört,
Hättest du Sined gesehn im Kreise der Barden, dein Antlitz
Hätte von inniger Wonne geglänzt!—
Aber hängst du denn nicht ...
Itzo den thauenden Himmel herab? etc.

In “Der Fremde und Heimische,” the stranger asks whether the native has ever heard of Denis (p. 131):

Du kennst den Sänger nicht, der Ossians
Gepriesen Lied, das einst in Morven klang,
Den Kindern seines Volks ins Harfenspiel
Zu singen unternahm?

Next we have a series of five poems, “Sineds Träume,” in which we shall find occasional traces of Ossian’s influence, particularly in the second dream.

A typical bardic song is “Der Neugeweihte und Sined,” which contains several passages worthy of note. In the one beginning (p. 164):

... Als sich Fingals Sohn
Auf seinem leichten Nebel einst in Nacht
Zum Ohre meiner Ruhe niederliess,

Denis speaks of the reception of his Ossianic imitation. The following comparison at the end of the passage (p. 164) is Ossianic: “Und steht so fest Dem Tadel, wie den Wogen Morvens Fels.”—“Das[137] Kunstfeuer” contains a reference (p. 207) to an episode in the songs of Ossian, viz., Fingal’s encounter with Swaran, “Cath–Loda,” Duan i:

... Ist es Uthornas Nacht
Beschwert mit Himmelszeichen, als Lodas Geist
Aus seiner Wolkenburg nach Fingal
Glühende Schrecken umsonst versandte?—

In “Der Jugendgefährte” Denis’s lament (p. 216) sounds truly Ossianic:

Jüngling! Sined ist todt. Von seiner verlassenen Halle
Tönet kein freundlicher Laut,
Leitet kein Fusstritt in Schatten. Ihm haben die Söhne der Lieder
Traurig sein Grabmaal erhöht.

Ossianic touches also occur in the poems that have been added to the fifth volume. In the “Fünfte Reise” Denis speaks of bad advice disappearing “gleich dem Nebel” (p. 89); Ossian has frequent comparisons to the departure of mist. The first line (p. 91) of the “Sechste Reise” is typical: “Das Grau der Vorzeit hellt sich dem Barden auf.” “Der Zwist der Fürsten,” a series of three poems, contains several things of interest. In the first song we have Ossian’s striking on the shield as a sign of battle (p. 111). In the second Joseph’s shield is said to be “gleich dem Monde Mitten in Gewittern” (p. 113). Compare “Temora,” Bk. i, p. 306, ll. 4–5: “His shield is ... like the ... moon ascending through a storm,” and numerous other comparisons of a shield to the moon.—The lines (p. 117):

Die schauernde Gegend erglänzte
Von Waffen, wie feurige Flut.

recall “Fingal,” Bk. iv, ll. 2–3: “The heath flamed wide with their arms.” Ossianic in “Wiens Befreyung” (p. 124) is “Die Wolke des Tods,” “the cloud of death.”[273]—The line (p. 132): “Dein Rath ist Licht, und Flamme dein Muth,” reminds us of “Fingal,” Bk. ii, p. 228, l. 12: “Thy counsel is the sun,” and “Temora,” Bk. iv, p. 338, l. 23: “Valour, like a ... flame.”—Ossian calls the dew the “drops of heaven,”[274] and so Denis in “Der Blumenstrauss” (p. 157) “des Himmels Tropfen.”

The sixth volume, the Nachlese zu Sineds Liedern compiled and[138] edited by Joseph von Retzer, contains but little that demands our attention. It includes several religious songs, a few translations, and a number of occasional poems. Some of the poems were written prior to Denis’s acquaintance with Ossian, and these of course do not concern us here, but even the bardic songs contain little that is Ossianic, only now and then do we meet with a trace of the bard’s influence, as e. g., in “Der Heldentempel Oesterreichs” (p. 54): “Aus jeder Brust gedrängte Seufzer steigen,” reminding us of Ossian’s “The crowded sighs of his bosom rose.”[275]

The edition of 1791–2 is virtually identical with that of 1784. Testimony to the high rank the poems of Ossian still occupied in the minds of the German people is given in the preface, where we read: “Auch nur ein Wort von dem Werthe der Werke, ... zu sagen, wäre von mir eine unverzeihliche Kühnheit. Ossians Gesänge haben das Alter äherner Denkmaale überlebt, ...”

A cursory perusal of the facts collected above will at once lead us to the conclusion that Ossian meant much more to Denis than he did either to Klopstock or to Gerstenberg. When we consider the fact that Denis became wholly saturated with Ossian while working on his well–known translation, we no longer marvel at the circumstance that the characteristics of Ossian took such firm hold of him in the composition of his own songs. Again, it requires but a glance to see that at no time was Ossian’s influence stronger than during the years in which the translation was under way and those immediately following, that is, the influence is more noticeable in the poems contained in the edition of 1772 than in those written between 1772 and 1784. While the majority of his productions are of a mediocre character, they nevertheless furnish an extremely interesting picture of the extent to which the imitation of the old bard could be carried. And when we compare his original poems with his translation—instead of with Macpherson’s original—the similarity will appear even more pronounced. As Klopstock later on turned to the Revolution, as Gerstenberg found solace in the study of Kant, so Denis later in life became engrossed in bibliographical labors, and his Ossianic poetry fell into neglect.


§4. Karl Friedrich Kretschmann.[276]

In the same year that the first two volumes of Denis’s translation made their appearance and created such a stir in the literary world of Germany, another prominent example of bardic literature loomed up in a different quarter, “Der Gesang Rhingulphs des Barden als Varus geschlagen war,” which was published in the autumn of 1768, although the title–page bears the date 1769. This is the first instance we have of the employment of a bardic pseudonym. Kretschmann tells us that he received his impulse through Gerstenberg, whose “Gedicht eines Skalden” had appeared two years previously, and we can easily see that the form and conception of Kretschmann’s song are borrowed from Gerstenberg’s poem. The “Gesang” was followed in 1771 by “Rhingulphs Klage,” which served to establish firmly the contemporary fame the “Gesang” had gained for its author. In both of these poems the influence of Klopstock goes hand in hand with that of Ossian, just as is the case in so much of Denis’s poetry. But while Denis’s original poetic efforts were confined almost exclusively to vers d’ occasion, Kretschmann tried his hand not only at bardic and lyric poetry, but also at epigrams, fables, allegories, and even dramas and tales. The bardic fever thus forms a mere episode in Kretschmann’s poetic activity, and, although stray pieces in the bardic vein appear later, the influence of Ossian did not last much beyond the middle of the seventies. As it was, Kretschmann borrowed fewer poetic motifs and expressions from Ossian than Denis did and, on the whole, was influenced less by him. He was extremely sensitive to the opposition that the Bardengebrüll evoked, and he turned his attention into other channels just about the time that Denis began to devote most of his time to bibliographical researches.

Kretschmann’s epigrams, fables, dramas and tales do not, of course, concern us here, nor do the hymns, in which Klopstock’s influence predominates, and, although in his lyric poetry Gleim’s influence reigns supreme, the latter’s anacreontic tone occasionally appears side by side with Ossianic machinery and Klopstockian grandeur.[140] We have, therefore, in addition to the bardic songs to consider mainly his lyric productions.[277] Most of that portion of Kretschmann’s work in which the influence of Ossian is traceable is contained in the first volume of his collected writings. The poetical productions in the volumes are preceded by a sketch “Ueber das Bardiet.” It goes without saying, that Kretschmann was a firm believer in the authenticity of the poems of Ossian, and his admiration for the Celtic bard is apparent, when, in the strife over the priority of the bardic work of Klopstock, Gerstenberg, and himself, he takes the stand that “Vater Ossian war doch eher, denn wir alle!”[278] His theories as to the characteristics of the old Germanic bardic songs are based largely upon Ossian. “Vater Ossian, ein Kelte so gut als die Barden Germaniens,” he says, “überzeugt uns, dass dieses wirklich der Charakter der teutschen Bardenlieder gewesen seyn müsse.”[279] Ossian’s great success he attributes largely to the combination of the epic and lyric elements in his poems. Of course the venerable Ossianic fragments must be regarded as the great models of the new Bardiet. While he opposes the hexameter as the form in which the Bardiet shall be cast, yet, because of the beauty of the verse–structure, he cannot condemn Denis’s translation. Of Ossian’s fame in the days that are to come he is assured.[280]

The first poetic production in the volume is “Der Gesang Rhingulphs,” to some of the Ossianic touches in which attention will be called. Norse mythology is introduced in the song, but not to the same extent as in Gerstenberg’s or Klopstock’s synchronous work along similar lines. The bardic paraphernalia, the moon, the grove, the oak, the echo, the harp, and so forth, meet us here as they do in Denis, and it will not be necessary to point them out. Laying aside these bardic properties, there really is little in the song that can be traced directly back to Ossian. In the first four cantos as well as in “Rhingulphs Klage” and other poems of Kretschmann, we meet with the form Tohro for Thor.[281] Scheel is no doubt correct in attributing this odd form to the frequency of names in –o[141] found in Saxo Grammaticus and to the fondness of Ossian for similar forms,[282] e. g., Aldo, Artho, Branno, Brumo, etc., etc.

A real bardic scene is presented in the following lines of the first song (p. 51):

Der mächtge Wohlklang füllte den Hain,
Da brausten die Eichen,
Da rauschten die Tannen
Holdselig darein.

And in the same song we have the “Geist der Lieder” (p. 56)[283] as well as a typical Ossianic ghost (p. 55). In the second canto we read (p. 62):

Frisch wie der Eichenbaum,
Wächst Teutschlands Jugend auf.

Compare “Carric–Thura,” p. 152, l. 20: “Thy family grew like an oak.”—In this song we have two Ossianic pictures, the one (p. 64):

Auf einmal tritt ....
Die Sonn’ empor, und vorger Nacht
Lezte graue Nebel fliehen.

And the other (p. 72):

... in den Lüften flog der Sturm,
Und Sausen war im alten Haine.

The echo makes its appearance in the second canto (p. 72): “Und Fels und Wald erklang,” in the third (p. 79), the fourth (p. 107), and elsewhere.[284] I do not wish to imply that the author thought of Ossian each time he employed the echo, but there can be no doubt of the fact that Ossian is in large measure responsible for the fondness which the bardic poets had for the echo.[285] “Die mosigte Höle” (p. 72) goes back to Ossian’s mossy cave.[286] In the fourth canto we come to the battle proper and here Ossianic imagery is not lacking, e. g., the lines (p. 96):

Dort, wo der kühnsten Krieger Mengen
Sich wie Gewitterwolken drängen?—
Dort wird der Führer Varus stehn!

suggest Ossian’s “Their heroes follow, like the gathering of the rainy clouds;”[287] “Like the clouds, that gather to a tempest ...! so met the sons of the desert round ... Fingal;”[288] etc. Further along we have (p. 97): “Sein Schwert ... strahlt wie Blitz.”[289] When we read of warriors being hewn down like thistles by the mower (p. 100), we are reminded of the passage in “Fingal,” Bk. ii, p. 231, ll. 12–3: “Cuthullin cut off heroes like thistles.”—The fifth song opens with a comparison in the Ossianic vein (p. 111):

Wie wenn der lezte Wintersturm
Noch eine Nacht mit Sausen,
Mit Schnee und Hagel, fürchterlich
Durchwütete; dann schnell entwich,
Auf fernem Gebürge zu brausen:
Der erste göldne Frühlingstag,
Der lauschend hinter Wolken lag,
Steigt freundlich nun hernieder;

So weicht von uns des Krieges Wuth.

The comparison of wrath to a storm is not foreign to Ossian,[290] and the entire passage bears a resemblance to a paragraph in “The Songs of Selma.”[291] In the same song we have druids (p. 115) and the thistle again (p. 117),[292] also the compound “Schild–Zerbrecher” (p. 118), which is Ossian’s “breaker of the shields.”[293]

The next poem to be considered is “Die Klage Rhingulphs des Barden,” which is divided into four cantos and shows Ossian’s influence in much the same way as the “Gesang.” Ghosts are introduced at the very beginning (p. 131). Both Ossian and Klopstock no doubt are represented in the lines (p. 132):

Wie der Wasserfall brausend die Kluft durchflieht,
Wälze dich wild über Felsenherzen mein Lied!—[294]

The lines (p. 133):

In Rauch zerdampft des Helden
Lichtheller Ruhm vor dir.


recall Ossian’s “fame, that fled like the mist.”[295] The following comparison is Ossianic (p. 134):

Denn er fiel, er fiel,

So reisst im Haine Teutebergs
Des Sturmes Fluth die Eiche hin.[296]

Ossian’s frequent “melting of the soul” may be responsible for (p. 137):

Und ihre Seele schmolz
In ... Minnegesang.

Compare “Croma,” p. 178, ll. 14–5: “Thy song is lovely! ... but it melts the soul.”—Thusnelda sheds ‘tears of joy’ and embraces her father with “schneebeschämenden” (p. 139) arms. He strikes the shield (p. 141) to summon warriors, and Hermann feels “Die sanfte Wehmuth” (p. 147).—In the second canto we notice the following (p. 155):

So wie die Feuersbrunst ...
Entflammt sich oft dein Grimm ...
Verzehrt die Zellter ...

‘Burning’ or ‘flaming wrath’ occurs frequently in Ossian, where rage is also occasionally compared to a fire. Notice also “They were consumed in the flames of thy wrath,”[297] “His rage was a fire that always burned,”[298] etc. Ossianic are the tone and atmosphere in the following passage (p. 159):

Ich schlich in Wald
Bey Sternen Schimmer;
Warf mich aufs Moos
Der Felsentrümmer:

In hohen dicken Wipfeln brausten
Die Geister luftger Nacht:

Und siehe, mir war,
Als stünd’ ein Mann am Stamme
Der alten Eiche hingelehnet,
Mit wildflatterndem Haar.

and again (p. 161):


Da sauste von Wacholderhügeln
Ein rascher Wind ihm in das Haar;
Ich merkte, dass auf seinen Flügeln
Der Geist des Römers war.

The “Strahl von seinem Ruhme” (p. 173) in the third canto recalls Ossian’s “beam of fame.”[299]—Ossian’s warriors continually lean on their shields, and Kretschmann may have had this in mind when he wrote the line (p. 179): “Siegmund stand, gelehnt auf seinen Schild.” Certain it is that the comparisons in the line (p. 179) “Dein Schild der Mond, dein Schwert der Blitz”[300] are Ossianic.—In the fourth canto the stanza beginning (p. 196): “Ich lag, und schlief so süss” is decidedly Ossianic. As he slept ‘grey ghosts arose’ (p. 197):

Der falbe Nebel dämmerte licht:
Und mitten in wirbelnden Schimmern
Erblickt’ ich ein Gesicht.

It is the face of Irmgard, of which he says (p. 197): “Der Vollmond scheint so lieblich nicht!” Ossian also compares the face to a moon and speaks of a maiden “fair as the full moon.”[301] The spirit departs in good Ossianic style (p. 200):

... da verschwand der Geist,
Wie der Nebel am Teiche zerfleusst
Wenn der Morgenwind erwacht.[302]

A typical Ossianic picture is the following (p. 206), in which the form of comparison also savors of Ossian:

So wie die alte Eiche,
An allen Zweigen entlaubt,
Hoch auf dem waldigten Berge trauert;
Der sinkende Nebel verhüllt ihr Haupt:
So sass, umringt von finsterm Harme,
Ingwiomar, der greise Mann.

Likewise in Ossian we have an oak “clothed in mist”[303] and the comparison of a warrior to a “leafless oak.”[304] Compare also: “But now he is pale and withered like the oak.”[305] Ossian again[145] and again arranges comparisons in exactly the manner we have here, i. e., the first member is followed by an independent sentence in the indicative mode. Take, e. g., such a passage as the following: “As rushes a stream of foam from the dark shady deep of Cromla ... Through the breaches of the tempest look forth the dim faces of ghosts. So fierce,” etc.[306] Likewise Ossianic is this scene (pp. 207–8):

... Wenn der Sturm der Nacht
Mit allen seinen Winden erwacht,
Die schwarze schlosende Wolke saust,
Der Wald mit allen Zweigen braust,
Der Donner brüllt, die Haide brüllt,
Das wilde Wasser rauschend schwillt,
Ueber die Felsen ins Thal sich giest, etc.,

as are also the following comparisons (p. 210):

Da fuhr hastig, mit blankem Schwert
Der Held hervor . . . . .
. . . . . . . . so fährt
Der schnelle Blitz . . . .
Herab aus finstern Gewittern.—
Von der Linken zur Rechten flog
Sein Schwert einen flammenden Kreis; da bog
Der Schwarm zurück, und Herman stand
Wie durchs Gewitter der Mond sich wand:
Einsamglänzend gebietet er.

Compare such expressions as “Ryno as lightning gleamed along,”[307] “brightened, like the full moon of heaven; when the clouds vanish away,”[308] “risen ... from battle, like a meteor from a stormy cloud,”[309] and the like.—The poem that follows, “Die Jägerin,” includes anacreontic as well as bardic elements, without containing anything specifically Ossianic. It has the ‘grove of oaks’ (p. 224), the ‘snowy breast’ (p. 232), the ‘Geist der Lieder’ (p. 229), the unavoidable echo (p. 227), and other bardic phrases that had by this time become quite common.

The last poem of the first volume is “Kleist,” in three cantos, which cannot be said to have been strongly influenced by Ossian, although the same old bardic paraphernalia of harps and spirits[146] and the like are employed and occasional Ossianic reminders occur e. g., the expression (p. 259): “Ihrer Waffen Schein War furchtbar,” reminds us of Ossian’s “Terrible was the gleam of the steel,”[310] etc. We must again point out that although similar expressions occur also in Homer and elsewhere, Ossian served to intensify the impression. Kretschmann and most of the other bardic poets certainly knew their Ossian better than they did their Homer, and I think we can give Ossian the benefit of the doubt in most instances.—The figure of the stars trembling: “Da bebten die Sterne” (p. 259), also probably goes back to Ossian, as does the line “Thauvoll war sein Haar” (p. 259), with which compare, e. g., “Filled with dew are my locks.”[311]

In the second volume of Kretschmann’s works, which contains “Hymnen,” “Scherzhafte Lieder,” “Sinngedichte,” and a few other poems, there are but scattered signs of Ossian’s influence scarcely worthy of mention. Only in the “Anhang einiger kleinen Bardenlieder” do we find the bardic tendency more strongly pronounced and in consequence more frequent traces of Ossian. In the first of these bardic poems, “Die teutsche Schamhaftigkeit,” we have a “Mädchen, rabenschwarz von Haaren,”[312] but the comparison was a common one by this time and need not be referred to Ossian. In the one “An den ersten Weinstock” we have the echo once more (p. 230); likewise in “Das Traumgesicht” (p. 236). In the “Frühlingslied” the nightingale is called the bardic bird, “Du Bardenvogel Nachtigall” (p. 232), the expression no doubt going back to Klopstock’s Bardale.[313] In the same poem the bard lies on the moss in the cave of the rock (pp. 232–3), and we have the following Ossianic lines (p. 233):

Nur selten blinkte durch die Nebeldecken
Der späten Sonne Blick.

Compare Ossian’s “the sun looks through mist.”[314] In the last poem of the Anhang, “Das Traumgesicht,” the bardic character stands out more prominently than in any of the preceding ones. The very first line gives us “Zukunftspähende Druiden” (p. 236),[147] and soon the ghost of the dreamer’s father hovers from the dark oaks (p. 237).—In all these bardic songs Gleim’s influence is distinctly noticeable. In the second stanza of the “Friedenslied” (p. 147), we have “tiefgestimmte Saiten,” whereas the original version in the Leipziger Musen Almanach for 1780 (p. 40) had “Distelumkränzte Saiten.”

Volumes 3 and 4 of the works contain comedies. In the fifth volume we have first some “Vermischte Gedichte und Fragmente,” one of which is addressed to Denis: “An Sined den Harfen–Druiden.” It is written in the bardic spirit with here and there an Ossianic touch. At the beginning we have an imitation of the Ossianic mood of forsakenness and wildness.[315] The spirit of song again appears[316] and also the echo (p. 14). The poet hears the call of the harp, he follows the sound, until he sees “den Sänger am Eichenbaum” (p. 14).—On pp. 15–6 we read:

Und nun kenn’ ich dich, Sined,
Den Freund an Ossians Busen,
Dem er am Abend
Seiner Augen die Harfe liess.

Aber ach, kenn’ ich denn nicht,
Sined, Ossians Harfe,
Die vom Rauschen der Speere,
Vom Säuseln der Schwerter gern begleitet wird?

Another bardic song is that “An Telynhardt,”[317] addressed to Hartmann,[318] and containing the lines (p. 50):

Dann tritt ... unter die Bardenschaar,
. . . . . . . . . .
Da wirst du zittern, so wie Rhingulph
Zitterte, wenn er zu Ossian hintrat.

The following poem “An den Herrn B. von F. * * *” sets up Ossian as a model and ends with the exclamation (p. 53):

O dringe fürder bis zum Ziele,
Und komm’ als Ossian zurück!

The following passage is worthy of note (p. 52):


Als Ossian, in Deiner Blüte,
Der süssen Harfe schwur;
Da harrt’ er oft am heissen Tage,
In kalten Nächten, auf der Flur;
Und sucht’ und fand Natur und Wahrheit,
Bis ihn der ehrenvolle Zweig umlaubt,
Den ihm nicht Helle’s Barde,
Der Barde Roms nicht raubt.

We see from the above lines that Kretschmann also was not inclined to set Ossian below Homer or Vergil, and that it was Ossian’s naturalness that appealed to him, his freedom from rules and conventions.[319]

The remainder of the fifth volume does not offer anything for our purpose. The sixth and last volume, which was not published until 1799, is made up of “Fabeln,” and of “Lyrische, Vermischte und Epigrammatische Nachlesen.” In these later poems no traces of Ossian’s influence are discernible, except in the cycle of the Seasons, where we encounter an Ossianic description now and then, although no distinct imitation is traceable.

I believe that the examples given have borne out the statement made in the introduction. Kretschmann was really never saturated with Ossian as Denis was. That he admired the Gaelic bard, he does not hesitate to admit, but aside from his fondness for the poems that were in everybody’s mouth in his day, he felt no scientific curiosity to enter more deeply into the question of their authenticity. The fact that Klopstock and Herder regarded the poems as genuine, satisfied him completely. And when the bardic ghost stalked through the land, he willingly paid his tribute—wrote a number of bardic songs—and then retired on his laurels to seek new fields of poetical activity distinctly hostile to a continuation of Ossianic influence. Even his later lyric poems, where we might look for lingering tokens of its presence, reveal nothing of the sort. The bard and the grove and the oak of course still make their bow upon occasion, but these were so firmly engrafted in the lyric poetry of Germany by this time, that Ossian can no longer be called to account for each individual occurrence. More of this when we reach the Göttinger Hain.


§5. Minor Bards.

The paragraphs on Denis and Kretschmann have amply demonstrated just how the so–called bards were dependent upon Ossian. There is little difference between the bardic work of these two and that of the remaining bards, the names of many of whom have been consigned to oblivion, and it would serve little purpose to take up the entire work of each separately. I shall therefore content myself with pointing out some of the more striking Ossianic characteristics in a number of selections of bardic poetry taken at random.

Lorenz Leopold Haschka (1749–1827), in whose lyric poetry the influence of Klopstock and Denis is visible, has a bardic poem in the Litterarische Monate,[320] “Cronnan und Minona[321] an Annas Hügel” (pp. 8–14), the very title of which proclaims Ossian’s presence. The first two names are taken from “Carric–Thura.” The hill we have encountered before, and in the poem we even have the four stones at the corners of the grave.[322] Then we read (pp. 11–2):

Horch’ auf! Da winselts das Farrenkraut
Kläglich hindurch, wie Sterbelaut
Auf Harfen!—Annas Seelchen ists, Minona!
Sie wünschet die Stimme des Lobes zu hören!

The sound emitted by the harp to herald a person’s approaching death,[323] the desire of the ghost to hear the voice of fame are both taken from Ossian. Then we have ‘Disteln’ (p. 10) and a “Tochter der Schattenharfe” (p. 12), Ossian’s shadowy harp again.[324] Anna’s ghost hovers over Tonthena (p. 13), the star mentioned several times in Ossian.[325]

In the same magazine we have several other bardic songs by Haschka. In the one “Bei Annas von Gluck Hügel,” we have the echo called the “Sohn des Felsen” (p. 14) as in Ossian;[326] likewise in “Auf Elisabeth von H.” (p. 307) the echo is the[150] “Bergsohn.”—“An den Gespielen meiner Harfe” contains the image of the youth standing tall “der luftigsten Eiche gleich” (p. 18), with which compare “He stands tall, ... as an oak.”[327] After his death, the youth lies “unter den graulichten Vier Steinen” (p. 19), Ossian’s “four grey stones.”[328] Note also the following (p. 19):

Wenn ich dann, gleich der Blume, verwelkt bin
Und, ihren Blättern ähnlich, mein dürr Gebein
Zerstreut liegt, ...
. . . . . .
Dann komm zu meinem blumichten Hügel her
Mit allen deinen Liedern, und gieb, mein Freund,
Dem Winde meinen Geist, und meine
Harfe dem niedrigsten Espenzweige.

As for the first stanza, see supra, pp. 93–4. When we strike an imitator of one of the leading bards, the chances of a direct influence on the part of Ossian are naturally lessened. More than likely Haschka was in this instance indebted to Klopstock more than to Ossian directly, or to Homer or the Bible, for that matter. The situation in the second stanza is thoroughly Ossianic and calls for no further comment.

In “Die Kraft der Tonkunst” we encounter the bardic machinery again as well as Ossianic rhetorical figures. The moon, e. g., is called the “Nachtschild” (p. 210). Then we have the ‘sending round the shell’ (p. 212),[329] “der Wehmut ... Wonne” (p. 215),[330] and the following noteworthy passage (p. 215):

Schwindend itzt, wie Lonas Stimme
Einst im Widerhalle starb,
Da waldeinwärts Jäger riefen:
Ossian! Der Felsen Sohn
Heischer widerseufzt’:

In the poem “Auf Elizabeth von H.,” Elizabeth is said to resemble the morning–sun (p. 307). In the same poem we have the ‘snow of the bosom’ (p. 308) and in the “Geburtslied” the ‘hand of snow’ (p. 310).[331]


In Karl Mastalier’s (1731–95) “Ode auf den Freyherrn von Laudon,” we have Ossian’s ‘trembling harp’ several times.[332] “Das Nationaltheater” shows traces of Ossian’s influence in the bardic paraphernalia and the imagery. The moon is termed the ‘daughter of the silent night.’[333] On the whole, Mastalier’s poems were but little influenced by Ossian, and there is nothing that distinguishes his poetry particularly from the usual run of bardic productions.

Knorr’s[334] “Der Barde an seinen Freund K * * *,” which appeared in the Leipziger Musenalmanach for 1776, is written in the Ossianic vein. The bard sits by the grey oak and asks the breeze to lift his black locks. “Wie Sänger Ossian Hebt er sich vom heiligen Eichbaum,” we read on p. 95.

In the same number of the almanac we have a bardic song by Brown, entitled “Die Nacht,” in which we find Ossianic description and Norse mythology side by side. In the opening lines of the poem, the Ossianic Stimmung is imitated to prepare for the appearance of the ghost.[335] A few quotations from the poem may not be amiss:

Und auf dem bemoosten Hügel,
Ueber den des Sturmes Flügel
Flattert, walle ich allein.[336]

The mossy hill, the wings of the storm, the lonely wanderer are all Ossianic, as is the lament (p. 216):

Auch mich, auch mich, schliesst einst im Felde
Ein aufgethürmter Hügel ein,
Auch ich werd’ unter Eichenschatten

Wo am bemoosten Steine, etc.

In “Das Gesicht,” a bardic poem that appeared anonymously in the Almanach der deutschen Musen for 1773 (pp. 23–5), we have a splendid illustration of how far the imitation of Ossianic apparitions was carried.—The situation of a ghost appearing upon a stream of light and the beholder trembling in terror, as presented in “Die Erscheinung” by N——ch,[337] is Ossianic.

The Barden–Almanach der Teutschen for 1802 contains a bardic[152] poem, “Wodan und Braga,” with Ossianic nature touches, as the following extract will show (pp. 174–6):

Welch ein Aechzen weht vom Hayn der Fichten,
. . . . . . . . .
Blut’ge Schatten, ...
Wimmeln aus der Finsterniss hervor,
. . . . . . . . .
Schreiten über Hayde, Sumpf und Moor.

Plötzlich, gleich dem Aufruhr wilder Wogen,
Braus’t der Sturm, und hohler Donner kracht:
Unterm dunkelblauen Himmelsbogen
Rollt er, rollt er in Gewitter–Pracht.

... aus der Felsen–Oede
Donnert Nachhall durch den Fichten–Wald.

Sufficient examples have been given to show the nature of Ossianic imitation as practiced by the minor bardic poets. Among the features they admired in Ossian was his independence of all rules and conventions, and here they approach the writers of the Storm and Stress. Nor did they hesitate to place him on a level with Homer. Interesting in this connection is the following statement by Bernold: “Und wo nahm denn Ossian seine Regeln her? aus der Natur—und doch übertrifft dieser Dichter in meinen Augen noch einigermassen den Homer selbst und taugt wenigstens für einen Schweizer besser zu einem Vorbild als jener, indem seine besungenen Gegenstände, sowohl in als ausser der Natur, den unsrigen näher kommen und ungleich ähnlicher sind, als jene der Griechen und Römer oder anderer Nationen.”[338] What Ossian meant to them is laid down in a poem “An Heyder,” by J. G. Schulz, published in the Leipziger Musenalmanach for 1783, with a striking quotation from which (pp. 152–3) we shall leave this portion of our subject.—Grim sickness has chased the joyous muses away from the poet’s side; no friend can aid, no book console him:


Nur Ossians des Barden Klage
Umgiebt in meinem Jammer mich.
Da seh ich ihn in seiner Väter Höhle,
Voll tiefen Schmerz die heisse Seele,
Um Oskarn, der vor Ihm erblich
Die väterliche Zähre weinen:
Und höre seiner Harfe Jammerlaut
Durch dumpfe Klüfte wiederhallen.
Ich seh wie ihm auf ihren luftgen Hallen
Die Geister der Vergangenheit erscheinen,
Und Fingaln, der hernieder schaut
Auf seinen alten müdgeweinten Sohn,
Den er von allen einsam übrig siehet,
Den Barden, den des Tages Schimmer fliehet.—
. . . . . .
Hier find ich all die vielen Leiden,
Das karge Loos der Sterblichkeit,
Und die Erinnrung an verflossne Freuden,
Die zu den gegenwärtgen Leiden
Noch Schwefel in die Flamme streut.—



Ackermann, K.E. 9.

Adelung 47, 48, 50, 67.

Ahlwardt, C. W. 40, 48, 50, 51, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 74, 89, 126.

Aikin, A.L. 13.

Aikin, J. 13.

Alstrup 32.

Arnault, V. A. 34.

Arnot, Hugo 30.

Aschenberg, W. 38.

Auffenberg, J. v. 54.

Authenrieth, G. 61.

Baggesen 64, 89.

Balbach, J. 25, 31, 5354.

Baour–Lormian 48.

Becker, W. G. 37, 38, 46, 47.

Berlepsch, Emilie v. 41, 43.

Bernold 152.

Bernoulli, J. 25.

Beschnitt, J. 63.

Bilfinger 89.

Birckenstädt, F. 43.

Blair, Hugh 7, 20, 24, 25, 33, 38, 40, 45, 48, 54, 57, 58, 72, 73, 76, 77, 79, 121.

Blankenburg, F. v. 35.

Bodmer 23.

Boie 9, 18.

Böttger A., 58, 59, 61.

Böttiger, K. A. 35, 50, 101, 102.

Bouterwek, F. 2728, 51.

Brachmann, Luise 46, 49.

Brahms, J. 16, 63, 67.

Brinckmeier, E. 56, 62.

Brion, Friederike 12, 57.

Brown, 151.

Bruce, M. 39.

Buchanan, J. L. 33.

Buchner, W. 63.

Bürger 16, 4041, 67.

Buri, C. K. E. W. 53.

Butenschön, J. F. 40.

Cameron, Ewen 15.

Campbell, A. 42.

Campbell, H. 57.

Cesarotti 3, 6, 24, 79, 120.

Clark, John 18, 22, 23.

Clarke, K. H. 63.

Claudius 10, 12, 13, 67.

Clemen 59.

Coupigny, A. P. 12.

Cramer, K. F. 67.

Cramer, K. G. 37.

Crome, L. G. 6, 7, 15, 32, 45, 80.

Curths, Karl 45.

Curtius, J. 54.

Dalberg, H. v. 17.

Denina, C. G. M. 28.

Denis 1, 5, 78, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 30, 31, 32, 34, 40, 58, 60, 67, 69, 73, 79, 80, 81, 84, 85, 90, 91, 92, 103, 104, 105, 106, 119138, 139, 140, 147, 148, 149.

Dippoldt, H. K. 48.

Ditters von Dittersdorf, K. 63, 67.

Döring, H. 56.

Drummond 57, 60.

Duff 34.

Dühn M. H., 17.

Dunker, W. 63.

Dusch, J. J. 103.

Ebert, J. A. 72, 90.

Ebrard, A. 61.

Eginhard 84.
Ehrmann, E. 62, 103.

Elwert, A. 24.

Engelbrecht, J. A. 5, 76, 77.

Epheu, F. L. See Hanker.

Ernault, E. 62.

Eschenburg, J. J. 9, 15, 29.

Faujas de Saint–Fond, B. 36.

Fielitz, W. 62.

Fink 52.

Flügge, C. W. 32, 34.

Förster, L. G. 54, 55.

Frederick the Great 83.

Freiligrath 55, 63, 67.

Freudentheil, W. N. 33, 50.

Gade, N. W. 63.

Garnett, T. 39, 42, 43.

Gellert 134.

Gemmingen, O. v. 26, 40.

Gerard, F. 65.

Gerstenberg 6, 26, 32, 52, 67, 78, 82, 87, 93, 103119, 120, 123, 127, 138, 139, 140.

Gessner 67, 103.

Gleim 86, 89, 90, 121, 132, 139, 147.

Godefroy, J. 65.

Goeckingk 16, 28.

Goethe 11, 12, 15, 17, 21, 56, 57, 60, 64, 65, 67, 73, 74, 99, 102, 128, 130.

Gohren, L. v. 44.

Gottschalk, L. M. 64.

Graham 52.

Grässe, J. G. T. 56.

Gräter, F. D. 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 38.

Grimm, J. 51, 62, 67.

Gurlitt, J. G. 1, 7, 22, 25, 28, 34, 39, 42, 43, 44, 46, 56, 65.

Hagedorn 83.

Halem, G. A. v. 19, 24, 2829, 45, 46.

Haller 5, 7, 27, 67, 83.

Hanker, G. 16, 17.

Hardenberg, F. v. 67.

Hardorf, G. 47.

Harklots, K. A. 64.

Harmes. See Berlepsch.

Harnisch, C. 64.

Harold, E. v. 13, 16, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 32, 35, 38, 39, 41, 42, 43, 56.

Hartmann, G. D. 103, 147.

Haschka, L. L. 89, 103, 149150.

Hasselqvist, T. 63.

Hauffen, A. 30.

Haug, B. 19.

Heller, H. J. 60.

Henoch, F. 12.

Herder 8, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 21, 22, 27, 31, 33, 35, 41, 44, 48, 56, 58, 59, 60, 63, 67, 71, 106, 122123, 148.

Hermann, F. 64.

Hill 34.

Hofmann–Wellenhof, P. v. 5, 66, 119, 125.

Hohenwart, J. v. N. 135.

Hölderlin 67.

Hölty 67.

Home, H. 12, 23, 34.

Homer 7, 12, 23, 33, 37, 42, 62, 66, 72, 73, 76, 78, 79, 91, 92, 93, 94, 106, 120, 121, 122, 125, 146, 148, 150, 152.

Horace 93.

Hoven, F. W. v. 20, 21, 35, 64.

Huber 52.

Huber, V. A. 57

Ideler, C. L. 40, 51, 55.

Jachmann, R. 61.

Jacobi, J. G. 13.

Jani 28.

Johnson, Samuel 13.

Jones, E. 28.

Jongues, A. d. 45.

Jung, F. W. 49, 51.

Justi, K. W. 27, 47, 65.

Kant 138.

Karsch 103.

Kastner, J. G. 64.

Kauffmann, M. A. C. 90.

Kind, J. F. 45.

Kistemaker, J. H. 37.

Klausing, A. E. 12.

Klöntrup, J. Ae. 26.
Klopstock 10, 12, 1718, 60, 67, 69, 71, 72, 73, 82102, 103, 104, 120, 122, 123, 127, 138, 139, 140, 142, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150.

Klotz 73.

Knebel, K. L. v. 44.

Knorr 151.

Körner, T. 12.

Kosegarten, G.L. 32, 39, 43, 52, 67, 99.

Köster, J. 91, 93, 97.

Krafft, P. 64.

Kramer 29.

Kretschmann 17, 19, 25, 37, 67, 103, 104, 133, 139148, 149.

Krug von Nidda, F. A. F. 89

Kunzen, F. L. A. 64.

Küttner, K. G. 25.

Laing, M. 38, 44, 46, 47, 48, 56, 92, 102.

Lappenberg, J. M. 60.

Lenz 12, 13, 14, 16, 21, 57, 63, 67, 92.

Lessing 71, 77, 127.

LeTourneur 34.

Lilienfeld, G. v. 37.

Link, H. F. 52, 57.

Loebell, J. W. 59, 102.

Logan, J. 39.

Lombard, J. G. 28.

Lösch, E. 57, 59.

Löwe, J. C. G. 64, 67.

Ludwig, J. F. 38.

M’Arthur, J. 3.

Macdonald, H. 50.

Macdonald, J. 35, 36, 42, 44, 50, 102.

Macfarlan, R. 3, 8, 10.

Macgregor, P. 57.

MacKenzie, H. 3.

Mackenzie, J. 44.

Mackintosh, J. 102.

MacLachan 42.

Macnab 38.

Macpherson, John 7, 9, 79, 85.

Mallet 103.

Mastalier 151.

Matthisson 7, 45, 67.

Meissner, C. 26.

Mendelssohn–Bartholdy, F. 64.

Merck 11, 14, 23, 56, 67.

Merian, J. B. 25.

Meyer, F. L. W. 29, 30, 31, 41.

Milton 69, 92, 93, 120.

Montengon 40.

Müller, F. 104.

Müller, F. A. 29.

Müller, J. v. 48.

Münch, E. H. J. 55.

Neumann, K. G. 43, 44, 46, 56.

Nicolai, A. F. 14, 22, 39, 61.

Nicolai, C. F. 121, 127.

Nöldeke, G. F. 28.

Nolte, J. W. H. 40, 51, 55.

Novalis. See Hardenberg.

Oelrichs, O. A. H. 25.

Opin 16.

O’Reilly 60.

Orpheus 88.

Oswald 59, 60.

Parker, J. C. D. 64.

Percy, Bishop 71, 76, 106.

Perière, J. F. A. de la 53.

Petersen, J. W. 21, 49, 51.

Pfaff, C. H. 30.

Prevod 98.

Rabener 37.

Rambach. 31.

Ramler 37, 125, 132.

Raspe, R. E. 4, 9, 75, 76, 77.

Rausch, F. 60.

Ravius, S. F. J. 37.

Rebbach, A. v. 24.

Rehberg, F. 65.

Reichardt, J. F. 64.

Reiner, C. 31.

Retzer, J. F. v. 24, 40, 91, 138.

Reyer, 46.

Rhode, J. G. 37, 38, 44, 52, 53.

Robinson, Mrs. (T. A. L. v. Jacob) 52, 57, 60, 61, 63, 74, 85.

Rosen, G. 33.

Rousseau 70, 111.
Rüdiger, J. C. C. 32.

Ruhl, J. C. 65, 72.

Rungaldier, I. 64.

Runge, P. O. 47, 65.

Saam, F. 19.

Saunders, Bailey 3, 5, 65, 66.

Saxo Grammaticus, 141.

Schenk, M. 25.

Schiller 21, 33, 35, 62, 67, 102, 119.

Schlegel, A. W. 41, 44, 65, 67.

Schlegel, F. 41, 52, 60, 67.

Schmid, C. H. 6, 7, 8, 14, 20.

Schmidt, C. E. K. 15.

Schnabel, B. 63.

Scholz, G. 38.

Schönfeld, F. v. 11.

Schreiber, C. 46, 47.

Schröder, W. 37, 74.

Schubart, L. A. 34, 35, 36, 49, 51, 54.

Schubert, F. 64, 67.

Schulten, H. A. 28.

Schulz, J. G. 152.

Schundenius, C. H. 36.

Schütze, J. S. 47, 49.

Seckendorff, K. S. v. 39, 45, 64, 67.

Shakspere 52, 71, 72, 102, 109.

Shaw 22, 23.

Sinclair, J. 3, 48, 51.

Smith, J. 20, 27, 28, 30, 79.

Soltau, D. W. 50.

Stäudlin, C. F. 44.

Stäudlin, G. F. 23.

Stern, L. C. 63.

Sternfeld, J. Blodig v. 22.

Stöber, A., 12, 57.

Stolberg, C. 18, 19, 53, 99.

Stolberg, F. 14, 18, 19, 46, 47, 53, 67, 99.

Stuhr, P. F. 58.

Sturm. See Rambach.

Sturz, H. P. 15, 18, 136.

Sulzer, J. G. 12, 13, 18, 27, 31, 33, 35, 50.

Suttner–Erenwin, H. v. 62.

Tacitus 84, 85, 95, 103.

Taillasson, J. J. 45.

Talvj. See Robinson.

Thomas, A. 64.

Thomson, Jas. 70.

Tieck 30, 31, 67.

Trost, K. F. 23.

Trumbull, J. 65.

Tytler, W. 32.

Ursinus, A. F. 6, 7, 15.

Velde, K. F. van der 54.

Vergil 120, 121, 125, 148.

Voltaire 10.

Voss 28, 67.

Waag, E. 10, 60.

Wachsmuth, K. H. 22, 23, 27, 31.

Weber, B. A. 64.

Weisse, 6, 9, 20, 67, 79, 80, 132.

Weitsch, F. G. 43, 44, 65.

Wendeborn, G. F. A. 28.

Wiedemann, C. R. W. 36.

Willamov 103.

Winckelman. 76.

Windisch, E. 6162 , 63.

Wittenberg, A. 5, 16, 77.

Wood, R. 72.

Wurz, I. 132.

Young, A. 30.

Young, E. 71, 72, 73, 83.

Zimmer, H. 63.

Zumsteeg, J. R. 21, 64, 67.


  1. Cf. infra, p. 136.

  2. Cf. infra, p. 42.

  3. Prague, Vienna, Zurich, and Basel are included in the list of places of publication, a fact that calls for no further explanation.

  4. Fingal appeared early in December, 1761, although 1762 is the date given on the title–page Cf. Bailey Saunders, The Life and Letters of James Macpherson, London, 1895, p. 161.

  5. These as well as all later references to the Poems of Ossian are made to the Tauchnitz Edition (1847), which contains the complete works and is probably more easily accessible than any other, particularly on the continent.

  6. Macpherson’s first dissertation is the one entitled “A Dissertation Concerning the Aera of Ossian,” the second the “Dissertation concerning the Poems of Ossian.”

  7. The almanacs were generally published in the year before that for which they were intended, but the date covered by them is given in this bibliography.

  8. The title has ‘den.’

  9. The date of publication (1775) is not given on the title–page.

  10. Meyer’s Klassiker Ausgaben, Goethe, Vol. 2, p. 480, has p. 230.

  11. References to the Allg. Lit. Zeitung and several other papers are given in pages, although the numbers refer to columns.

  12. Ossian, Fils de Fingal, ... Poésies Galliques, Traduites sur l’Anglois de M. Macpherson, Par M. Le Tourneur, 2 vols., Paris, 1777.

  13. Vincent–Antoine Arnault, 1766–1834.

  14. Edinburgh, 1798.

  15. The date of the first appearance of the poems of Ossian is often stated erroneously as 1762, so Kürschner’s Dtsche Nat.–Litt., Klopstock, Vol. 3, p. xx; Hettner’s Literaturgesch. des 18. Jahrh., iii, 2, p. 122; Klopstock’s Works, ed. Boxberger, Vol. 5, p. xxi; Hofmann–Wellenhof in his biography of Denis, p. 165, etc., etc.

  16. Macpherson was born in 1736, not in 1738 as generally stated. Cf. Saunders, The Life and Letters of James Macpherson, pp. 32–4.

  17. For exact titles of these and following publications, cf. Bibliography.

  18. We must not overlook the fact, however, that Macpherson’s Ossian appeared at a time when literary forgeries were common.

  19. It has occurred to me that the picture of Ossian and Malvina entered into Goethe’s conception of the harper and Mignon in Wilhelm Meister, but more of this in the chapter on Goethe.

  20. Besides these names Ryno, Toskar, Alpin, Minona, Minvane, Comala, Daura, and others were at one time not uncommon in Germany, and now and again we hear of an Ossian—there is an Ossian H. in Leipzig at this day. Several of the names mentioned were employed as pseudonyms and all of them figure prominently in the poetry of the day.

  21. Cf. infra, pp. 122–3.

  22. Cp. Fraser’s Mag., N. S., Vol. 21, p. 520.

  23. German translations of the latter appeared in Leipzig, 1760, and 1787.

  24. Cf. infra, pp. 78–9, 91.

  25. Cf. J. Barnstorff, Young’s Nachtgedanken und ihr Einfluss auf die deutsche Litteratur, Bamberg, 1895 (Dissertation).

  26. It had played a rôle in Klopstock’s work, but was first widely promulgated by Werther.

  27. The ‘joy of grief’ ([Greek: himeros nooio]) is found also in Homer, e. g., Iliad, 23, 108, but not until the appearance of Ossian did it assume importance.

  28. Cf. Retzer, Denis’ Lit. Nachlass, Vol. 2 (1802), p. 169.

  29. Cf. l. c., p. 172. Letter dated Wien, Dec. 8, 1769.

  30. For exact data cf. Bibliography.

  31. Cp. supra, p. 73.

  32. Cf. review in the Neue Bibl. der schönen Wissenschaften, Vol. 2, i, pp. 54–88.

  33. Cf. Han. Mag., 1763, p. 1468.

  34. Cf. ibid., p. 1467.

  35. Cf. ibid., p. 1468.

  36. Cf. Lessing, Anti–Goeze, No. 8. Wittenberg’s reply: Sendschreiben an den Herrn Hofrath Lessing.

  37. Cf. Zuschrift, op. cit., which is signed J. A. Engelbrecht.

  38. Cp. infra, p. 106.

  39. Cf. Gött. Anz., 1765, i, p. 129.

  40. Cf. l. c., 1765, i, p. 130.

  41. Cf. l. c., 1767, ii, p. 1140. Cp. supra, p. 72.

  42. Cf. l. c., 1765, i, p. 130.

  43. Cf. ibid.

  44. Cf. l. c., 1767, ii, p. 1140.

  45. Cp. Gött. gel. Anz., 1765, i, p. 129; supra, p. 72.

  46. Cf. Neue Bibl., Vol. 3, i, p. 38.

  47. Gedichte, Leipzig, 1795, Cf. Meusel. Lexikon, Vol. 2, pp. 237–8.

  48. Cf. Letter of Nov. 14, 1771. Muncker, Lessings Verhältnis zu Klopstock, p. 224.

  49. Cf. Scheel, Vierteljahrschrift für Litteraturgeschichte, Vol. 6, pp. 188–94; Seuffert, Gött. gel. Anz., 1895, i, p. 72.

  50. Cf. infra, p. 120.

  51. Cf. Scherer, Gesch. der deutschen Litt., 7th ed., p. 643.

  52. Cf. Tacitus de German. 3: “Sunt illis haec quoque carmina, quorum relatu, quem baritum (barditum) vocant...” Cp. Knothe, Kretschmann, Zittau, 1858, pp. 17–8.

  53. For different shades of meaning cf. Hermanns Tod, xv; Hermanns Schlacht Ein Bardiet. Klopstock’s note.

  54. Cf. Sponda, II. 9–12.

  55. Cf. Der Hügel, und der Hain, II. 12–4. He refers here not to Ossian alone, but to Caedmon, “der grösste Dichter nach Ossian unter unsern Alten,” the Heliand, etc.—seiner = the songs of the bards of his fatherland.

  56. Cf. J.M. Lappenberg, Briefe von und an Klopstock. Braunschweig, 1867, p. 164.

  57. Cf. ibid., p. 172.

  58. Servian folk–songs. Cf. Talvj, Volkslieder der Serben, 2d ed., Leipzig, 1853. Preface.

  59. Cf. Lappenberg, op. cit., p. 210.

  60. Cf. Muncker, Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock. Geschichte seines Lebens und seiner Schriften. Stuttgart, 1888, p. 390.

  61. Cf. Bibliography, supra, p. 7.

  62. Cf. Lappenberg, op. cit. p. 210.

  63. Cf. Tacitus, Agric., II. Cp. infra, p. 123.

  64. Cf. Letter to Gleim, dated Copenhagen, June 31, 1769. Klopstock u. seine Freunde ... herausgegeben von Klamer Schmidt, 2 vols., Halberstadt, 1810. Vol. 2, pp. 214–5.

  65. Cf. Der Hügel, und der Hain, l. 4, where the term Celten is used to signify all the Germanic peoples, ‘including the Celts.’

  66. Cf. Vol. 6, ii, p. 232 (1800).

  67. The earliest impulse of any import toward the introduction of Norse mythology proceeded from Gerstenberg’s Lied eines Skalden (1766), which exerted a wide influence. For an account of Klopstock’s relation to the Lied eines Skalden, cf. Scheel, Vierteljahrschrift, Vol. vi.

  68. Cf. Friedr. Gottl. Klopstocks Wingolf. Kritische Ausg. nebst Commentar von Jaro Pawel, Wien, 1882; Kürschner’s Dtsche Nat.–Litt., Klopstock, Vol. 3, pp. 4–29.

  69. Bacchus.

  70. Cp. Die deutsche Sprache, l. 26: “Orpheus der Celt.”

  71. When Klopstock speaks of the songs of the bards, he does not refer particularly to the songs of Ossian, but rather to the German hero–songs and battle–songs. He used the term in this sense before the songs of Ossian appeared.

  72. Cf. Klopstocks Oden. Erläutert von Heinrich Düntzer. 2d ed., Leipzig, 1878, i, p. 392.

  73. Baggesen wrote a bardic ode, An die Telyn, pp. 171–3, Taschenbuch for 1802. Hgbn von J. G. Jacobi, Hamburg. Haschka employs the term in Der Entschluss der Männinnen, Litt. Monate, pp. 111–3; Bardale he uses in the poem Der Frühling, l. c., p. 314, and Filea in the Geburtslied, l. c., p. 311 (cp. infra, pp. 149–50). Bilfinger, in the bardic poem entitled Hartmanns Tod, speaks of the “Klang der Telyn,” Almanach der deutschen Musen for 1778, p. 255. Friedrich Krug von Nidda speaks of the Telyn in his poem Der Feldherr und der Barde, Taschenbuch zum geselligen Vergnügen, 1813, p. 119. Cp. infra, p. 147.

  74. Cf. supra, p. 85.

  75. Cf. Lappenberg, op. cit., p. 211.

  76. Cf. ibid., p. 218.

  77. Marie Angélique Catharine Kauffmann, 1741–1807, the Swiss historical and portrait painter.

  78. Cf. Klopstock und seine Freunde, Vol. 2, p. 228.

  79. Cf. Letter of Klopstock to Gleim, Bernstorff, Aug. 28, 1770, l. c., p. 247.

  80. Cf. Lappenberg, op. cit., pp. 226–7.

  81. Cf. Vom deutschen Hexameter. Aus den Fragmenten Ueber Sprache und Dichtkunst. Hamburg, 1779, pp. 117–9. Klopstocks sämmtliche Werke, ed. Back u. Spindler, Leipzig, 1823–30, Vol. 15, pp. 165–6.

  82. Cp. supra, pp. 72, 78–9.

  83. Cf. Retzer, Denis Lit. Nachlass, 1801–2, Vol. 2, p. 116.

  84. Cf. Gelehrtenrepublik, p. 178.

  85. Cf. § xiii.

  86. Cf. Lappenberg, op. cit., p. 171.

  87. Cf. supra, p. 81.

  88. Cf. History of Scotland, London, 1800.

  89. Gerstenberg was sagacious enough to notice Macpherson’s borrowings and upon this conviction he based his first scruples as to the authenticity of the poems. Cf. infra, p. 105.

  90. Cf. op. cit.

  91. Cf. Vetterlein, Klopstocks Oden und Elegieen, 3 vols. Leipzig, 1827–8. Vol. 2, p. 106, after whom Düntzer, op. cit., Vol. 1, p. 349.

  92. Cp. “bemoste Steine,” Hermannsschlacht, Sc. 2, and Ossian’s continually recurring “mossy stones.”

  93. Cp. infra, p. 127.

  94. Cf. Muncker, op. cit., p. 384.

  95. Cf. p. 208, ll. 1–18 (Tauchnitz).

  96. Cf. The Songs of Selma, p. 208, l. 13.

  97. Cf. Fingal, Bk. ii, p. 231, ll. 10–12, Bk. iv, p. 249, ll. 11–6, 24–7; Temora, Bk. iii, p. 326, ll. 28–32, Bk. viii, first 9 ll., p. 361; etc., etc.

  98. Cf. supra, p. 93.

  99. Cf. op. cit.

  100. Cf. p. 212, ll. 15–6 (Tauch.).

  101. Not the country, as Muncker and others.

  102. Cf. op. cit., Vol. 1, pp. 137–8.

  103. Cf. Vol. 2, pp. 90–1.

  104. Cf. Deutsches Museum, 1782, i, pp. 165–8.

  105. Cf. l. c., 1782, ii, pp. 389–95.

  106. Cp. l. 50 of the ode Kaiser Heinrich (1764): “Dein ist der Vorzeit edler Gesang!” etc.

  107. The first edition had a chorus in the second scene corresponding to the one cited, except that the last line read: “Wie die Frühlingsluft in der Eiche,” and a stanza by two bards in the third scene beginning:

    Ihr Sohne Thuiskon’s, der Bardengesang
    Schweigt von den Schlachten der lang vergangnen Zeit.
  108. In the first edition only.

  109. Not May 9, as Back und Spindler and others. Cf. Archiv für Literaturgeschichte, Vol. 3, p. 397

  110. Cf. supra, p. 91.

  111. Cf. ibid. But cf. Löbell, Die Entwicklung der deutschen Poesie, etc., Braunschweig, 1856, Vol. 1, p. 282.

  112. Cf. Arch. für Litteraturgesch., Vol. 3, p. 404.

  113. Cf. Memoirs of the Life of Sir James Mackintosh, 2 vols., London, 1835. Vol. 1, p. 345. Letter dated July 28, 1807.

  114. Cf. Ehrmann, Die Bardische Lyrik im Achtzehnten Jahrhundert. (Diss.) Halle, 1892; reviewed in the Gött. gel. Anz., 1895, i, pp. 69–80, where a Vorgeschichte of the new Bardentum is given on pp. 69–72. Kürschner’s Dtsche Nat. Litt., Vol. 48, etc.

  115. Denis first received the name from Kretschmann; cf. Lieder Sineds des Barden, 1772, p. 173, note.

  116. It must not be forgotten, however, that this giving of names was no uncommon thing a century and a half ago, the names of Greek poets being frequently resorted to, e. g., Gessner—the German Theocritus, Madame Karsch—Sappho, Willamov—Pindar, etc., and likewise Klopstock—Homer, Gerstenberg—Alciphron.

  117. The term bard was not exclusively confined to German poetry, but speaking broadly, bardic and German were synonymous. Cf. Ehrmann, op. cit., p. 14.

  118. Max Koch, in his review of Ehrmann’s Bardische Lyrik, Lit. Centralblatt, 1893, pp. 796–7, does not consider Ossian as the chief source of the introduction of the spirits of the departed, but I am inclined to refer most of this business to Ossian.

  119. Cf. Ehrmann, op. cit., p. 47.

  120. Cf. l. c., pp. 4–59, where examples are given.

  121. Cf. l. c., p. 59.

  122. Briefe über Merkwürdigkeiten der Litteratur. Erste und Zweyte Sammlung. Schleswig und Leipzig. 1766. Dritte Sammlung. 1767. Continued in Ueber Merkwürdigkeiten der Litteratur. Hamburg und Bremen. 1770.

  123. On pp. 103–5. Cp. supra, p. 78. The letter further contains paragraphs on The Reliques of ancient English poetry (pp. 105–8) and on Dänische Kiämpe–Viser (pp. 108–15).

  124. Cf. l. c., p. 104.

  125. Cf. Vierteljahrsch. für Litteraturgesch., Vol. 2, pp. 180–1.

  126. Cf. Works, 1815–6. Vol. 2, p. 90.

  127. Cf. l. c., p. 92.

  128. Cf. Vierteljahrsch. für Litteraturgesch., Vol. 2, p. 182.

  129. Cf. Works, Vol. 2, p. 97.

  130. Cf. V. f. L, l. c.

  131. Cf. Works, Vol. 2, p. 98. Compare Gerstenberg’s Schlachtlied: “Feuerbraunen Angesichts, Ihr Auge blutroth, starr ihr Blick.” This poem shows the influence of Ossian, especially in the refrain: “Die Sonne sinkt, und stiller wird’s im Thal, Und Geisterschatten lispeln durch die Luft.”

  132. Cf. l. c., p. 93.

  133. Cf. l. c., pp. 93–5.

  134. Cf. l. c., p. 104.

  135. Cf. l. c., p. 144.

  136. Cf. l. c., p. 145.

  137. Cf. Temora, Bk. iv, p. 337, l. 34 and p. 339, ll. 25–6.

  138. Cf. Works, Vol. 2, p. 146.

  139. Cf. l. c., p. 81.

  140. Cf. ibid.

  141. Cf. l. c., p. 85.

  142. Cf. Jacobs, Gerstenbergs Ugolino, Berlin, 1898.

  143. Cf. Works, Vol. 1, pp. 386–7.

  144. Cf. l. c., pp. 395–6.

  145. Cf. op. cit., pp. 105–6.

  146. Cf. Works, Vol. 1, p. 402.

  147. Cf. l. c., p. 408.

  148. Cf. Comala, p. 139, l. 33; The Songs of Selma, p. 211, l. 5; etc., etc.

  149. Cf. Works, Vol. 1, p. 424.

  150. Cf. Jacobs, op. cit., p. 106.

  151. Cf. Works, Vol. 1, p. 467. Act 4.

  152. Cf. l. c., p. 497. Act 5.

  153. Cf. l. c., p. 438.

  154. Cf. l. c., p. 440.

  155. Cf. Jacobs, op. cit., p. 106.

  156. Cf. Works, Vol. 1, p. 445.

  157. Jacobs has Fingal by mistake.

  158. Cf. l. c., p. 494.

  159. Cf. l. c., p. 456.

  160. Cf. l. c., p. 457.

  161. Cf. l. c., p. 464.

  162. Cf. l. c., pp. 487–8.

  163. Cf. Knebel’s Literarischer Nachlass und Briefwechsel, Leipzig, 1835, Vol. 2, p. 87. Notice by Boie. For further particulars, cf. Jacobs, op. cit., pp. 127–45.

  164. Cf. Calthon and Colmal, p. 182, ll. 1–2. Cp. Berrathon, p. 377, l. 21: “My dwelling was not always in caves.”

  165. Cf. Carthon, p. 156, ll. 15–6. Cp. Fingal, Bk. ii. p. 234, l. 14: “Her hair was the wing of the raven;” Dar–Thula, p. 279, l. 36: “Thy hair like the raven’s wing,” etc.

  166. Cp. Dar–Thula, p. 279, l. 36–p. 280, l. 3. In this connection the following extract from a review of a Correspondence entre S.A.R. le Prince Gustave de Suède avec S.E. le Senateur Schaeffer (1772) in the Frankfurter gelehrte Anzeigen, 1772, p. 277, deserves to be quoted: ... “aber, zwo Maximen haben wir drin vermisst, die doch, unsrer Meinung nach, durchgehends in einer Fürstlichen Erziehung herrschen sollten: die, welche David seinem Sohne gab: Sey ein Mann! und die, welche Fingal dem Seinigen einprägte: Bend the Strong in Arms, but spare the feeble Hand. Be thou a Stream of many Tides against the foe of thy people, but like the gale that moves the grass to those who ask thy aid.”

  167. Cf. The Songs of Selma, pp. 208–10.

  168. Cf. Works, Vol. 1, p. 109.

  169. Cf. Vol. 77, i, pp. 116–8 (1787).

  170. The reviewer in the Neue Bibl. der schönen Wissenschaften, Vol. 34, ii, p. 284, criticizes this scene rather sarcastically. He says: “Und nun gerathen die Herren in eine poetische Entzückung und deklamiren sich mancherley im ossianischen Schwung vor. Nachdem sie sich aber beiderseits aus diesem Schwindel erholt haben,” etc.

  171. Cf. Works, Vol. 1, pp. 104–7.

  172. Cf. l. c., pp. 107–9.

  173. Cf. Act 1, i, 3; p. 52.

  174. Cf. Act 4, 6; p. 252.

  175. Cf. Act 2, i, 1; p. 100. Ossian’s heroines all have snow–white hands, arms, necks and bosoms, and generally raven–black locks. Cp. Lathmon, p. 277, l. 9: “Her hair spreads on her neck of snow.”

  176. Cf. Act 4, 3; p. 214.

  177. Cf. p. 184, Tauchnitz.

  178. Cp. e. g., Cath–Loda, Duan i, pp. 128–9, Oithona, pp. 172–4, etc.

  179. Cf. Act 2, ii; p. 129. Cp. The Battle of Lora, p. 303, ll. 17–8: “The moon looks into thy cave,” etc.

  180. Cf. Vol. 34, ii, p. 298.

  181. Cf. l. c., p. 288.

  182. Cf. 1789, i, p. 719.

  183. Cf. Works, Vol. 1, pp. 25–6.

  184. Cf. Act 2, ii, 4; p. 132. Song of Minona.

  185. Cf. ibid., p. 133.

  186. Cf. ibid., p. 134.

  187. Cf. Act 3, ii, 4; pp. 171–2.

  188. As to the nature of these songs, cf. Ryno’s explanations to Edelstan, Act 4, 3 pp. 219–25.

  189. Cf. Act 4, 3; p. 220.

  190. Cf. Act 2, ii, 5; p. 137.

  191. Cf. Act 3, ii, 2; p. 166.

  192. (Du Geist.) Cp. Fingal, Bk. ii, p. 227, l. 5: The ghost sat upon “a dark–red stream of fire.” etc.

  193. Cf. Act 3, ii, 5; pp. 201–2.

  194. Cf. Act 5, 1; p. 306.

  195. Cf. Act 5, 2; p. 325.

  196. In Ossian Brumo is a place of worship in Craca. Cf. Temora, Bk. ii, p. 319, l. 25. Cp. Fingal, Bk. vi, p. 265, ll. 28–9: “Within the circle of Brumo, he spoke to the stone of power.”

  197. Cf. Act 5, 4; p. 343.

  198. Cf. Act 4, 8; p. 282.

  199. It has been stated and doubted that Leonore’s disguise in the last act of Schiller’s Fiesco was suggested by Ossian. I shall give my views on the question in connection with the chapter on Schiller.

  200. Cf. Works, Vol. 1, p. 365.

  201. Cf. P. v. Hofmann–Wellenhof, Michael Denis Ein Beitrag zur Deutsch–Oesterreichischen Literaturgeschichte des xviii. Jahrhunderts. Innsbruck, 1881.

  202. Denis first became acquainted with Ossian in Cesarotti’s translation in the year 1763.

  203. Notice that in the case of Denis, Klopstock was not uninstrumental in instilling veneration for the Celtic Homer; Gerstenberg, on the other hand, is not mentioned. Cp. supra, p. 82.

  204. Cf. Retzer, Denis’ Lit. Nachlass, 1801–2, Vol. 2, pp. 158–9.

  205. Cf. ibid., p. 124. Letter of Gleim to Denis, dated Halberstadt, May 3, 1769.

  206. Cf. Allg. Deutsche Bibl., Vol. 10, i, p. 64.

  207. Cf. ibid., p. 65.

  208. Cf. ibid., p. 69.

  209. For a detailed notice of this essay cf. the paragraphs on Herder, for which all further remarks on Herder’s attitude will be reserved.

  210. Cf. Allg. deutsche Bibl., Vol. 17, ii, p. 438.

  211. Cf. ibid., p. 442.

  212. Cf. ibid., p. 445.

  213. Cf. ibid., pp. 445–6; cp. supra, pp. 85–6.

  214. Cf. Neue Bibl. der schönen Wissenschaften, Vol. 8, i, p. 99 (1769).

  215. Cf. ibid., p. 101.

  216. Cf. ibid.. pp. 102–5. Episode of Morna, daughter of Cormac, Fingal, Bk. i, p. 219, l. 13–p. 220, l. 34.

  217. Cf. ibid., pp. 105–8.

  218. Cf. ibid., pp. 108–9. Fingal, Bk. ii, p. 230, l. 28–p. 231, l. 6.

  219. Cf. Ossians und Sineds Lieder, Vol. 1, pp. 117–32; cp. p. 120, note.

  220. Cf. ibid., Vol. 4, pp. 81–97.

  221. Cf. Gött. Anz. von gel. Sachen, 1768, ii, p. 1285.—In regard to the form of Comala, cp. also Ehrmann, op. cit., p. 87.

  222. Cf. ibid., p. 1282.

  223. For examples cf. Hofmann–Wellenhof, op. cit., pp. 182–4.—The different meters employed are discussed on pp. 174–81 of the biography.

  224. Ramler read Fingal in Denis’s translation with his pupils in the Berlin cadet–school and explained the epic to receptive ears. In a letter dated Oct. 5, 1777, he writes to Denis of his success in the following words: “Was für einen Eindruck die mächtigen und natürlichen schönen Gedanken Ihres Ossians auf meine achtzehnjährigen Zuhörer gemacht haben, kann ich Ihnen nicht beschreiben. Sie waren traurig, wenn die Stunde sobald zu Ende gieng; und wenn ich des folgenden Tages das Buch wieder öffnete, stieg ihre Seele ihnen in die Augen. Sie verschlangen alles;” etc. Cf. Michael’s Denis Lit. Nachlass, 1801–2. Vol. 2, p. 137.

  225. Cf. Die Lieder Sineds des Barden, pp. 1–2.

  226. Cp. Cath–Loda, ii, p. 133, l. 26; The Songs of Selma, p. 212, l.5; also The Death of Cuthullin, p. 292, l. 22; “The silent valleys of night,” etc.

  227. Cp. The Death of Cuthullin, p. 292, ll. 20–1.

  228. Ossian.

  229. Cf. Lieder Sineds, p. 4. It was a common circumstance for a German poet at that time to assume that the mantle of some great forerunner had fallen upon his shoulders, teste Nicolai, who wished to be considered Lessing’s successor; Denis hints at his representation of Ossian more than once.

  230. Cf. Hofmann–Wellenhof, op. cit., p. 213.

  231. Cf. Lieder Sineds, p. 85, Gruss des Tages. Cp. Beurlaubung des Tages, p. 142: “Auf Ihren Barden sey der Geist der Lieder.”

  232. Cf. ibid., Theresia die Mutter, p. 107.

  233. Cp. e. g., Berrathon, p. 380, last 3 ll.

  234. Cf. Temora, Bk. iv, p. 334, ll. 7–8; Bk. vii, p. 357, l. 23, etc.

  235. Cf. Lieder Sineds, pp. 96–7.

  236. Cf. ibid., p. 103.

  237. Cf. ibid., p. 100. Also Urlaub von der sichtbaren Welt (p. 287), and Drittes Vaterlandslied (p. 223): “Wonne der Wehmuth.” Cp. Goethe’s poem, “Wonne der Wehmuth,” and infra, p. 150.

  238. Cf. ibid., pp. 100–1.

  239. Cf. ibid., p. 110. Cp. Theresia die Starkmüthige, p. 120: “Des ... Schwertes Blitz,” and p. 121: “Blitz des Schwertes.”

  240. Cf. Calthon and Colmal, p. 184, ll. 22–3, The Songs of Selma, p. 211, ll. 6–7, Fingal, Bk. iv, p. 248, l. 26, etc., etc. Cp. infra, p. 142.

  241. Cf. Sul–Malla of Lumon, p. 201, ll. 17–9.

  242. Cf. Sineds Lieder, p. 111.

  243. Cf. Fingal, Bk. iii, p. 239, l. 23, etc.

  244. Similarly An den Obersten der Barden Teuts, p. 184, etc.

  245. Cf. Fingal, Bk. vi, p. 264, l. 25, etc.

  246. Cf. Temora, Bk. i, p. 310, l. 24.

  247. Cf. Lieder Sineds, p. 117. Cp. Goethe’s Faust, Part 2, l. 11529.

  248. Cf. Fingal, Bk. vi, p. 264, l. 24.

  249. Cf. Lathmon, p. 275, l. 2.

  250. The “Geist der Lieder” is repeatedly referred to in the Lieder Sineds, e. g., pp. 142, 182, etc. Cf. Ehrmann, op. cit., p. 40, and cp. infra, pp. 141 and 147.

  251. Cf. The War of Caros, p. 188, ll. 1–2: “The light of the song rises in Ossian’s soul.”

  252. Cf. Temora, Bk. iv, p. 338, ll. 8–9: “The light–winged thought that flies across the soul.” Bk. vi, p. 350, ll. 11–2: “As lightning ... a thought came rushing along my soul.”

  253. Cf. Dar–Thula, p. 279, last 2 ll.: “Thy soul was generous and mild, like the hour of the setting sun,” etc.

  254. Cf. Carric–Thura, p. 146, ll. 3–4; cp. Temora, Bk. iii, p. 328, l. 6; etc.; also Ossians und Sineds Lieder, 1784, Vol. 4, p. 148.

  255. Cf. Lathmon, p. 275, l. 16.

  256. Mein Spiel.

  257. Cf. Temora, Bk. ii, p. 323, l. 28.

  258. Cf. Comala, p. 140, l. 27, and note.

  259. Cp. Sineds Lieder, pp. 224, 235, etc.

  260. Cf. e. g., Croma, p. 179, ll. 16–7: The joy “was like the faint beam of the moon spread on a cloud in heaven.”

  261. Cf. Sineds Lieder, pp. 209–10, note.

  262. Cf. ibid., p. 215.

  263. Cp. Urlaub, pp. 284, 288, Vierte Klage, p. 270, and infra, p. 149.

  264. Cp. also Ossians und Sineds Lieder, 1784, Vol. 4, p. 149, p. 203; Vol. 5, p. 151.

  265. Cf. particularly Temora, Bk. i, p. 313, ll. 1–3 and the note; also Bk. vii, p. 355, ll. 20–1.

  266. Cp. Das Kunstfeuer, Ossians und Sineds Lieder, 1784, Vol. 4, p. 206.

  267. Cf. ibid., Vol. 3, p. 50.

  268. Cp. infra, p. 138.

  269. Cf. The Battle of Lora, p. 298, ll. 14–5.

  270. Denis had originally translated from the English edition of 1765.

  271. Cf. Bibliography, 1777.

  272. Cf. Ossians und Sineds Lieder, Vol. 4, pp. 101–2.

  273. Cf. Temora, Bk. i, p. 307, l. 3.

  274. Cf. Temora, Bk. ii, p. 324, l. 6; Berrathon, p. 374, l. 7.

  275. Cf. Dar–Thula, p. 287, ll. 4–5; cp. ibid., p. 285, ll. 30–1.

  276. Cf. Kürschner’s Dtsche Nat.–Lit., Vol. 48, pp. 305–11.—Carl Friedrich Kretschmann, (der Barde Rhingulph). Von Dr. Hermann Fried. Knothe, Zittau, 1858.

  277. When we speak of the lyric poems, we mean those that are not distinctively bardic. The bardic poems are naturally, as a rule, of a lyric nature.

  278. Cf. Works, Vol. I, p. 2.

  279. Cf. ibid., p. 9.

  280. Cf. ibid. pp. 26–7.

  281. Cf. ibid., pp. 48, 73, 88, 106, etc.

  282. Cf. Vierteljahrschrift für Litteraturgeschichte, Vol. 6, p. 199.

  283. Cf. supra, p. 130.

  284. Cf. pp. 142, 209, 210, 283, etc.

  285. Cf. Leitzmann in his review of Ehrmann’s Bardische Lyrik, Literaturblatt für germ. und rom. Phil., Vol. 16, pp. 223–4 (1895).

  286. Cf. Temora, Bk. viii, p. 363, l. 24; p. 368, l. 3; etc.

  287. Cf. Fingal, Bk. i, p. 217, ll. 8–9.

  288. Cf. Fingal, Bk. iv, p. 247, ll. 33–5.

  289. Cp. supra, p. 129, infra, p. 144.

  290. Cf. The Songs of Selma, p. 211, l. 6. Towards the end of the first canto of the Klage (p. 147) we have: “Des Sturmes Zorn.”

  291. Cf. Tauchnitz, p. 211, ll. 5–12.

  292. Cp. also Rhingulphs Klage, p. 138, etc.

  293. Cf. Fingal, Bk. i, p. 217, l. 19; Temora, Bk. v, p. 341, l. 31, etc. The passage in Fingal has “Thou breaker of the shields,” and so Kretschmann: “du Schild–Zerbrecher.”

  294. Cp. supra, pp. 93 and 97.

  295. Cf. Fingal, Bk. v, p. 259, next to the last line.

  296. Cf. supra, pp. 97–8, 110–1.

  297. Cf. The Songs of Selma, p. 211, ll. 8–9. Cp. supra, p. 100, but cp. Exodus, xv, 7, Psalms lix, 13, etc.

  298. Cf. Temora, Bk. vi, p. 352, l. 23; also ibid., p. 350, l. 17 and note, etc.

  299. Cf. Temora, Bk. iv, p. 338, l. 13.

  300. Cp. supra, pp. 129 and 142.

  301. Cf. Fingal, Bk. v, p. 257, l. 30.

  302. Cf. The War of Caros, p. 192, ll. 15–6, etc.

  303. Cf. Temora, Bk. iii, p. 329, ll. 24–5.

  304. Cf. The War of Caros, p. 191, l. 8.

  305. Cf. The War of Inis–Thona, p. 204, ll. 30–1.

  306. Cf. Fingal, Bk. i, p. 221, ll. 4–7.

  307. Cf. ibid., Bk. iii, p. 240, l. 25.

  308. Cf. ibid., Bk. vi, p. 265, ll. 4–5.

  309. Cf. Temora, Bk. vii, p. 357, ll. 2–30.

  310. Cf. Fingal, Bk. iii, p. 240, l. 12.

  311. Cf. Temora, Bk. vi, p. 354, ll. 3–4.

  312. Cf. Works, Vol. 2, p. 223; cp. supra, p. 128.

  313. Cf. supra, p. 89.

  314. Cf. Temora, Bk. ii, p. 324, ll. 28–9.

  315. Cf. Works, Vol. 5, p. 13. Cp. Ehrmann, op. cit., pp. 54–5.

  316. Cf. Vol. 5, p. 13; cp. supra, p. 130.

  317. The word Telyn, as we have seen, was adopted by the bards from Klopstock. Kretschmann uses it in the poem An Vater Gleim, and elsewhere. Cp. supra, p. 88.

  318. Gottlob David Hartmann, 1752–75, who in a letter to Denis, dated Tübingen, Sept. 24, 1772, confesses that he owes everything to him (Denis) and his Ossian. (Cf. Retzer, Denis’ Lit. Nachlass, 1801–2, Vol. 2, p. 194.) Hartmann has a poem An den Barden Rhingulph, which begins (Alm. der deutschen Musen for 1773, p. 12): “O Hermanns Barde, der Du an Ossians Empörtem Busen Schlachtengesang gehorcht,” and in which the word Telyn is also used (p. 13).

  319. Cp. Die Regeln, Works, Vol. 5, p. 338.

  320. For full title cf. Bibliography, supra, p. 14.

  321. Haschka was apparently extremely fond of the name Minona, for we meet with it several times again in the same collection. In the Liebeslied (pp. 21–2) Minona is the ideal maiden love; then we have a poem entitled An Minona (pp. 22–3), another one Minona (pp. 116–7), still another one Cronnan und Minona (p. 218), and she occurs once more in Der Blumenstrauss (p. 312).

  322. Cf. The Songs of Selma, p. 211, l. 15; Fingal, Bk. i, p. 218, l. 29; etc., etc.

  323. Cp. supra, p. 134.

  324. Cp. supra, p. 133.

  325. Cf. Cathlin of Clutha, p. 196, l. 3; Sul–Malla of Lumon, p. 199, l. 13, etc.

  326. Cf. The Songs of Selma, p. 212, ll. 32–3; cp. supra, p. 130, and infra, p. 150.

  327. Cf. Temora, Bk. iii, p. 329, ll. 23–4; cp. supra, pp. 97–8, 110–1, 141, and 144.

  328. Cf. e. g., Temora, Bk. i, p. 310, l. 29.

  329. Cf. Carthon, p. 157, l. 23.

  330. Cp. supra, p. 128.

  331. Cf. Fingal, Bk. iv. p. 245, l. 8.

  332. Cf. Almanach der deutschen Musen for 1772, pp. 106–7.

  333. Cf. Litt. Monate, p. 127. Cp. Dar–Thula, p. 278, l. 5; p. 279, l. 11, etc.

  334. Cf. Goedeke’s Grundriss, 2d ed., Vol. 4, p. 112, 27.

  335. Cf. Ehrmann, op. cit., pp. 54–5, and supra, p. 147.

  336. Cf. Leipziger Musenalmanach for 1776, p. 212.

  337. Cf. Taschenbuch für Dichter und Dichterfreunde, 1778, pp. 87–8.

  338. Cf. Aus den Papieren des Barden von Riva. Telliade, etc. Herausgegeben von Ernst Götzinger. St. Gallen, 1891. p. 12 (Vorrede zur Telliade).


Transcriber’s Notes

The following are inconsistently used in the text:

The following errors have been corrected:

Some possible errors have been left unchanged:

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