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Ir is a sultry day; the sun has drunk The dew that lay upon the morning grass; There is no rustling in the lofty elm That canopies my dwelling, and its shade Scarce cools me. All is silent, save the faint And interrupted murmur of the bee, Settling on the sick flowers, and then again Instantly on the wing. The plants around Feel the too potent fervours: the tall maize Rolls up its long green leaves; the clover droops Its tender foliage, and declines its blooms. But far in the fierce sunshine tower the hills, With all their growth of woods, silent and stern, As if the scorching heat and dazzling light
Were but an element they loved. Bright clouds, Motionless pillars of the brazen heaven,—
Their bases on the mountains-their white tops
With a reflected radiance, and make turn
Languidly in the shade, where the thick turf,
Oh, come and breathe upon the fainting earth
Among the nearer groves, chestnut and oak
Lo, where the grassy meadow runs in waves!
Shaking a shower of blossoms from the shrubs,
AN INDIAN AT THE BURIAL-PLACE OF HIS
Ir 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
The meadows smooth and wide,-
A white man, gazing on the scene,
I like it not-I would the plain
Lay in its tall old groves again.
The sheep are on the slopes around,
The cattle in the meadows feed,
Or drop the yellow seed,
And prancing steeds, in trappings gay,
Methinks it were a nobler sight
To see these vales in woods arrayed, Their summits in the golden light,
Their trunks in grateful shade, And herds of deer, that bounding go O'er hills and prostrate trees below.
And then to mark the lord of all,
The forest hero, trained to wars,
This bank, in which the dead were laid,
Brought wreaths of beads and flowers, And the gray chief and gifted seer Worshipped the god of thunders here.
But now the wheat is green and high
On clods that hid the warrior's breast,
And scattered in the furrows lie
The weapons of his rest;
And there, in the loose sand, is thrown
Ah, little thought the strong and brave
Her first-born to the earth,
That the pale race, who waste us now, Among their bones should guide the plough.
They waste us-ay—like April snow
Towards the setting day,
Till they shall fill the land, and we
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.