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These wilds were his ;-amidst his chosen dell,
Where clustering wild-flowers fringed the gushing well,
His hut was rear'd; and there at closing day,
He heard his children's laughter-shout of play,
While, weary with the chase, his limbs were laid
In listless rest beneath the oak-tree's shade.
Then o'er the ocean-sea the white man came,
Held to his lips the cup of liquid flame,
With smooth, false words, and bold encroaching hand,
Wrench'd from the Cherokee his father's land,
Still on his fast receding footsteps prest,
And urged him onward to the distant west,
Till all the precincts of his narrowed ground,
Was closely hemm’d with cultured life around,
And burning cottages and mangled slain,
Had mark'd war's footsteps o'er the ravaged plain.
Wearied, at length, the pale-brow'd stranger swore,
To seek the Indian's hunting grounds no more;
Treaties and oaths the solemn compact seal'd,
And plenty crown'd once more the blood-stain'd field;
Then o’er the red-man's alter'd nature smiled
A kindlier spirit, and a soul more mild ;
Bright knowledge pour'd its sunlight o'er his mind,
His feelings soften’d, and his heart refined,
No longer then, when pass’d the storm-flash by,
He saw the lightning of Manitto's eye,
Or listen’d trembling, while his anger spoke,
As high o'er head the pealing thunder broke.
He learn'd to light in heaven his spirit's flame,
And blend a Saviour's with Jehovah's name.
Then tell us, ye, who have the power to save,
Shall all his hopes be crush'd in one wide grave ?
Shall lawless force, with rude, remorseless hand,
Drive out the Indian from his father's land,
Burst all the ties that bind the heart to home,
And thrust him forth 'mid distant wilds to roam ?
Oh no! to mercy's pleading voice give ear,
The wak’ning wrath of outraged justice fear,
Stain not with broken faith our country's name,
Nor weigh her tresses to the dust with shame!
Remember yet the solemn pledge you gave,
And lift the potent arm to shield and save !
GAYASHUTA TO THE SONS OF ONAS.
The following lines are a versification of a speech or letter delivered by the Cornplanter to the “Sons of Onas” (William Penn) from Gayashuta, a chief of the Seneca Nation.
My brothers ! Sons of Onas! hear
And Gayashuta's spirit shall rejoice;
For age has settled on his drooping head;
His hopes have wither’d, and his joys have fled.
When youth and strength were seated on his brow,
He felt not hunger, pain, and want, as now;
For then the wild deer bounded o'er the plain,
And never was his arrow sped in vain.
Our land embraced the mountain and the flood,
The chase-our pleasure—furnish'd us with food.
The red man's tribes the mighty Spirit bless'd,
And every stranger was his welcome guest.
With pleasure, when they sought our lonely haunts,
gave them shelter, and relieved their wants.
My brothers ! when your fathers sought our shores,
The wide extended fertile plains were ours.
They loved the land their mighty ships had found,
And Onas call'd his red-skinn'd brethren round-
They ask'd us, and we gave them of our land,
Whereon to plant, and where their wigwams stand :
And Gayashuta's voice was foremost heard,
To urge and aid the suit his friend preferr’d.
My brothers! Gayashuta had not thought,
When first the Groves of Pines* your fathers sought,
Of age or weakness-strength was in his frame,
And cowards shrunk beneath his eye of fame.
* The place where Philadelphia now stands was called by the Indians the Grove of the long pine trees.
Your fathers saw him then,-he now is old,
And you will ne'er his alter'd form behold,
His wither’d, bending form, that scarce appears
The ghost of what it was in former years.
He wonders, when his shadow meets his eye,
It is so shrunk, so changed from days gone by!
No longer can he track the flying game,
Or point the arrow with unerring aim ;
He has no children to supply his wants,
The whites have scared the wild deer from his haunts.
In hunting all the day the youth must toil,
And scarce the chase will yield sufficient spoil
To satisfy themselves—there is none left
For those who are of friends and strength bereft.
For Gayashuta is not here alone-
A remnant yet remains of days long gone.
They were your fathers' friends, they now are weak,
and feeble-shall they vainly speak !
My brothers ! Sons of Onas ! in his youth,
Your fathers gave this belt, the badge of truth,
To Gayashuta, this he sends to you,
The ancient bond of friendship to renew.
Look on this belt! and should it warm your heart,
Then comfort to your fathers' friends impart.
My brothers ! we are men, and only say
That we are hungry, naked, old, and gray.
We have no other friends on whom to call,
Than you, the Sons of Onas, friends to all.
It was a glorious sunset hour :-a scent
Of rich perfume, from many a twisted wreath
Of summer blossoms, clustering in their wild
And free profusion, 'neath a southern sky,
Came on the evening breeze, and streams went by
With a glad tone, and the hush'd birds came forth
From the thick woods, and lifted up the voice
Of their hearts' mirthful music. Painted wings
Were fluttering on the breeze, and the bees' hum
Made a glad melody:-
At a hill's foot,
Beside a gushing stream, and 'neath a clump
Of close embowering trees, there stood a cot,
At whose low door a mother sung to rest,
With a sad lullaby, her infant boy.
These southern climes are bright, are bright,
With their gorgeous summer flowers ! But I would my head might rest to-night
In my own loved native bowers :
They say this land is proudly blest
All other lands above,
But afar from here is the spot, that best
In the wide, wide world I love.
may want the perfumed airs of this,
It may want the glorious climeBut there is the thought of all the bliss
Of my happy childhood's time.
Better to roam 'neath burning skies,
Upon wastes of desert sand,
Than to load the air with slavery's sighs,
And to wear on your heart its brand.
Rest, love, and sleep-for thine infant years
Are a dream that knows no sorrow; Too soon wilt thou waken to bitter tears,
When manhood shall come like the morrow. Rest, love, rest !—for thou know'st not yet,
What a fearful doom is o'er thee!
That the name of slave on thy brow is set,
And a life of woe before thee.
“ There is a race of people inhabiting the Vale of Lieze, on the French side of the Pyrenees, who are supposed to be descended from the Saracens, and are entirely excluded from communion with the rest of mankind.They are even obliged to enter the churches by a separate door, and no one will make use of the holy water which their touch has polluted."
The vineyards of France ’neath their fruitage were bending,
And spread their rich clusters of blue to the sun, And high o'er the steep of the mountain ascending, The soft voice of song, with wild merriment blending,
Told where the gay harvester's toil was begun.
The sun its last glance o'er the landscape was flinging,
And sounds from afar came distinctly and clear; The birds from each covert their vespers were singing, And far in the vale the deep convent-bell ringing,
Sent up its sad tones to the wanderer's ear.
He Aung himself down with an aspect of sadness,
And listlessly gazed on the landscape below; His spirit by scorn had been goaded to madness, And now that bright scene, and those murmurs of gladness,
Seem'd rising before him to mock at his woe,
“Oh why,” he exclaim'd, as the bitter tear started,
“Oh why was I form’d with a bosom to feel ! Since thus I was doom’d from mankind to be parted, An outcast on earth, lone, and desolate-hearted,
Too vile with the vilest in worship to kneel.
" And thou-loved and lost one -oh why didst thou nourish
The weed that was trampled by all, save by thee; The gleamings of light in my young spirit cherish, And waken high feelings and hopes but to perish,
And leave my dark fate doubly dreadful to me?