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AN INDIAN AT THE BURYING-PLACE OF HIS
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-
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
The sheep are on the slopes around,
And prancing steeds, in trappings gay,
Whirl the bright chariot o'er the way.
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 then to mark the lord of all,
The forest hero, trained to wars, Quivered and plumed, and lithe and tall, And seamed 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 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 Of his large arm the mouldering bone.
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,-ay, like April snow
In the warm noon we shrink away;
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.
Before these fields were shorn and tilled,
Full to the brim our rivers flowed;
The melody of waters filled
The fresh and boundless wood:
And torrents dashed, and rivulets played,
And fountains spouted in the shade.
Those grateful sounds are heard no more:
The realm our tribes are crushed to get
WHEN breezes are soft and skies are fair,
Yet pure its waters--its shallows are bright
And the plane-tree's speckled arms o'ershoot
The swifter current that mines its root,
Through whose shifting leaves, as you walk the hill,
With a sudden flash on the eye is thrown,
Like the ray that streams from the diamond stone.
Oh! loveliest there the spring days come,
With blossoms, and birds, and wild-bees' hum ;
The flowers of summer are fairest there.
And freshest the breath of the summer air;
And sweetest the golden autumn day
In silence and sunshine glides away.
Yet, fair as thou art, thou shun'st to glide,
But windest away from haunts of men,
And forest, and meadow, and slope of hill
That fairy music I never hear,
Nor gaze on those waters so green and clear,