He produced a work of art which by its deep appreciation of natural beauty and the melancholy tenderness of its treatment of the ancient legend did more than any single work to bring about the romantic movement in European, and especially in German, literature.
The Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th edn. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1910-11) vol. 17, p. 268.
Thou shalt sleep in thy clouds, careless of the voice of the morning. Exult then, O sun, in the strength of thy youth!James Macpherson
Where art thou, beam of light? Hunters, from the mossy rock, saw ye the blue-eyed fair?James Macpherson
I look down from my height on nationsAnd they become ashes before me.James Macpherson
Sir, a man might write such stuff for ever, if he would abandon his mind to it.James Macpherson
The tender and the sublime emotions of the mind were never before so wrought up by the human hand. I am not ashamed to own that I think this rude bard of the North the greatest poet that has ever existed.James Macpherson
Par une de ces journées sombres qui attristent la fin de l'année, et que rend encore plus mélancoliques le souffle glacé du vent du Nord, écoutez, en lisant Ossian, la fantastique harmonie d'une harpe éolienne balancée au sommet d'un arbre dépouillé de verdure, et vous pourrez éprouver un sentiment profond de tristesse, un désir vague et infini d'une autre existence, un dégoût immense de celle-ci.James Macpherson
One is tempted to call them works of genius; they are quite Homeric in their internal unity, purity of phrasing, clear, ringing music of language and dramatic coloring.James Macpherson