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And if, when wrapp'd asleep on Fancy's arm,
Visions of bliss my riper years have cheer'd,
Of home, and love's fireside, and greetings warm,
For one by absence and long toil endeard,
The fabric of my hopes on thee hath still been rear'd.
Peace to thy smiling hearths, when I am gone;
And mayest thou still thine ancient dowry keep,
To be a mark to guide the nations on,
Like a tall watch-tower flashing o'er the deep ;-
Still mayest thou bid the sorrower cease to weep,
And dart the beams of Truth athwart the night
That wraps a slumbering world, till, from their sleep
Starting, remotest nations see the light,
And earth be bless'd beneath the buckler of thy might.
Strong in thy strength I go; and wheresoe'er
My steps may wander, may I ne'er forget
All that I owe to thee; and O may ne'er
My frailties tempt me to abjure that debt!
And what, if far from thee my star must set,
Hast thou not hearts that shall with sadness hear
The tale, and some fair cheeks that shall be wet,
And some bright eyes, in which the swelling tear Shall start for him who sleeps in Afric's deserts drear.
Yet I will not profane a charge like mine,
With melancholy bodings, nor believe,
That a voice, whispering ever in the shrine
Of my own heart, spake only to deceive;
I trust its promise, that I go to weave
A wreath of palms, entwined with many a sweet
Perennial flower, which time shall not bereave
Of all its fragrance,—that I yet shall greet
Once more the ocean queen, and cast it at her feet.
When the summer harvest was gather’d in,
And the sheaf of the gleaner grew white and thin,
And the ploughshare was in its furrow left,
Where the stubble land had been lately cleft,
An Indian hunter, with unstrung bow,
Look'd down where the valley lay stretch'd below.
He was a stranger, and all that day
Had been out on the hills, a perilous way,
But the foot of the deer was far and fleet,
And the wolf kept aloof from the hunter's feet,
And bitter feelings pass'd o'er him then,
As he stood by the populous haunts of men.
The winds of Autumn came over the woods
As the sun stole out from their solitudes,
The moss was white on the maple's trunk,
And dead from its arms the pale vine shrunk,
And ripened the mellow fruit hung, and red
Were the tree's wither'd leaves round it shed.
The foot of the reaper moved slow on the lawn,
And the sickle cut down the yellow. corn
The mower sung loud by the meadow side,
Where the mists of evening were spreading wide,
And the voice of the herdsman came up the lea,
And the dance went round by the greenwood tree.
Then the hunter turned away from that scene,
Where the home of his fathers once had been,
And heard by the distant and measured stroke,
That the woodman hew'd down the giant oak,
And burning thoughts flash'd o'er his mind
Of the white man's faith, and love unkind.
The moon of the harvest grew high and bright,
As her golden horn pierced the cloud of white-
A footstep was heard in the rustling brake,
Where the beech o'ershadow'd the misty lake,
And a mourning voice and a plunge from shore;-
And the hunter was seen on the hills no more.
When years had pass'd on, by that still lake-side
The fisher look'd down through the silver tide,
And there, on the smooth yellow sand display'd,
A skeleton wasted and white was laid,
And 'twas seen, as the waters moved deep and slow,
That the hand was still grasping a hunter's bow.
AN INDIAN AT THE BURYING-PLACE OF
It is the spot I came to seek,
My fathers' ancient burial-place,
Ere from these vales, ashamed and weak,
Withdrew our wasted race.
It is the spot, I know it well-
Of which our old traditions tell.
For here the upland bank sends out
A ridge toward the river side;
I know the shaggy hills about,
The meadows smooth and wide;
The plains, that, toward the southern sky,
Fenced east and west by mountains lie.
BURYING-PLACE OF THE INDIANS.
The sheep are on the slopes around,
The cattle in the meadows feed,
And labourers turn the crumbling ground
Or drop the yellow seed,
And prancing steeds, in trappings gay,
Whirì the bright chariot on its way.
Methinks it were a nobler sight
To see these vales in woods array'd, Their summits in the golden light,
Their trunks in grateful shade, And herds of deer, that bounding go O’er rills and prostrate trees below.
And then to mark the lord of all,
The forest hero, train'd to wars, Quiver'd and plumed, and lithe and tall,
And seam'd with glorious scars, Walk forth, amid his reign, to dare The wolf, and grapple with the bear,
This bank, in which the dead were laid,
Was sacred when its soil was ours; Hither the artless Indian maid
Brought wreaths of beads and flowers, And the gray chief and gifted seer Worship'd the God of thunders here,
But now the wheat is green and high
On clods that hid the warrior's breast,
And scatter'd in the furrows, lie
of his rest;
And there, in the loose sand, is thrown
Of his large arm the mouldering bone,
126 BURYING-PLACE OF THE INDIANS.
Ah little thought the strong and brave,
Who bore their lifeless chieftain forth;
Or the young wife, that weeping gave
Her first-born to the earth,
That the pale race, who waste us now,
Among their bones should guide the plough.
They waste us—aye—like April snow
In the warm noon, we shrink away;
And fast they follow, as we go
Towards the setting day,–
Till they shall fill the land, and we
Are driven into the western sea.
But I behold a fearful sign,
To which the white men's eyes are blind ;
Their race may vanish hence, like mine,
And leave no trace behind,
Save ruins o'er the region spread,
And the white stones above the dead.
Before these fields were shorn and till'd,
Full to the brim our rivers flow'd;
The melody of waters fill’d
The fresh and boundless wood;
And torrents dash'd, and rivulets play'd,
And fountains spouted in the shade.
Those grateful sounds are heard no more,
The springs are silent in the sun,
The rivers, by the blackening shore,
With lessening current run;.
The realm our tribes are crush'd to get
May be a barren desert yet..