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النشر الإلكتروني

AN INDIAN AT THE BURYING-PLACE OF HIS

FATHERS.

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.

A white man, gazing on the scene,
Would say a lovely spot was here,
And praise the lawns so fresh and green
Between the hills so sheer.

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,
And labourers turn the crumbling ground,
Or drop the yellow seed,

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 herds of deer, that bounding go
O'er rills and prostrate trees below.

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;
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 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 springs are silent in the sun,
The rivers, by the blackened shore,
With lessening current run;

The realm our tribes are crushed to get
May be a barren desert yet.

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GREEN RIVER.

WHEN breezes are soft and skies are fair,
I steal an hour from study and care,
And hie me away to the woodland scene,
Where wanders the stream with waters of green;
As if the bright fringe of herbs on its brink
Had given their stain to the wave they drink :
And they, whose meadows it murmurs through,
Have named the stream from its own fair hue.

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Yet pure its waters--its shallows are bright
With coloured pebbles and sparkles of light-
And clear the depths where its eddies play,
And dimples deepen and whirl away;

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,
The quivering glimmer of sun and rill

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.

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Yet, fair as thou art, thou shun'st to glide,
Beautiful stream! by the village side;

But windest away from haunts of men,
To quiet valley and shaded glen;

And forest, and meadow, and slope of hill
Around thee, are lonely, lovely, and still.
Lonely-save when, by thy rippling tides,
From thicket to thicket the angler glides;
Or the simpler comes with basket and brook,
For herbs of power on thy banks to look;
Or haply some idle dreamer, like me,
To wander, and muse, and gaze on thee.
Still save the chirp of birds that feed
On the river cherry and seedy reed,
And thy own wild music gushing out
With mellow murmur and fairy shout,
From dawn to the blush of another day,
Like traveller singing along his way.

That fairy music I never hear,

Nor gaze on those waters so green and clear,
And mark them winding away from sight,
Darkened with shade or flashing with light-
While o'er them the vine to its thicket clings,
And the zephyr stoops to freshen his wings-
But I wish that fate had left me free
To wander these quiet haunts with thee-
Till the eating cares of earth should depart,
And the peace of the scene pass into my heart;
And I envy thy stream, as it glides along,
Through its beautiful banks, in a trance of song.

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