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Upon that loved companion, and the groups
That wept around.—Full well the dying knew
The value of those holy charities
Which purge the dross of selfishness away;
And deep he felt that woman’s trusting heart,
Rent from the cherished prop, which, next to Christ,
Had been her stay in all adversities,
Would take the balm-cup best from that dear hand
Which woke the sources of maternal love,
That smile, whose winning paid for sleepless nights
Of cradle-care, that voice, whose murmured tone,
Her own had moulded to the words of prayer.
How soothing to a widowed mother’s breast
Her first-born's sympathy :
Be strong, young man!--
Lift the protector's arm, -the healer’s prayer,
Be tender in thy every word and deed.
A Spirit watcheth thee!—Yes, he who passed
From shaded earth up to the full-orbed day,
Will be thy witness, in the court of heaven,
How thou dost bear his mantle.
Leader in Israel!—Thou whose radiant path
Was like the angel’s standing in the sun,”
Undazzled and unswerving, it was meet
That thou should'st rise to light without a cloud.
It was generally believed by the first settlers of New England, that a mortal pestilence had, a short time previous to their arrival, in a great measure depopulated some of the finest portions of the country on the seaboard. Tile Indians themselves corroborated this opinion, and gave the English a terrific description of the ravages of the unseen Destroyer.
THE war-god did not wake to strife
The strong men of our forest-land;
No red hand grasped the battle-knife
At Areouski’s high command:—
We held no war-dance by the dim -
And red light of the creeping flame;
Nor warrior-yell, nor battle hymn,
Upon the midnight breezes came.
There was no portent in the sky,
No shadow on the round bright sun;
With light, and mirth, and melody,
The long, fair summer days came on.
We were a happy people then,
Rejoicing in our hunter-mood;
No foot-prints of the pale-faced men
Had marred our forest-solitude.
The land was ours—this glorious land—
With all its wealth of wood and streams—
Our warriors strong of heart and hand—
Our daughters beautiful as dreams
When wearied, at the thirsty noon,
We knelt us where the spring gushed up,
To taste our Father's blessed boon—
Unlike the white man's poison cup.
There came unto my father’s hut
A wan, weak creature of distress;
The red man's door is never shut
Against the lone and shelterless;
And when he knelt before his feet,
My father led the stranger in;
He gave him of his hunter-meat—
Alas! it was a deadly sin!
The strangers voice was not like ours—
His face at first was sadly pale,
Anon 'twas like the yellow flowers,
Which tremble in the meadow gale.
And when he him laid down to die,
And murmured of his father-land,
My mother wiped his tearful eye,
My father held his burning hand!
He died at last—the funeral yell
Rang upward from his burial sod,
And the old Powwah knelt to tell
The tidings to the white man's God!
The next day came—my father's brow
Grew heavy with a fearful pain;
He did not take his hunting-bow—
He never sought the woods again!
He died even as the white man died—
My mother, she was smitten too—
My sisters vanished from my side,
in. diamonds from the sun-lit dew.
And then we heard the Powwahs say,
That God had sent his angel forth,
To sweep our ancient tribes away,
And poison and unpeople earth.
And it was so—from day to day
The spirit of the plague went on,
And those at morning blithe and gay,
Were dying at the set of sun.—
They died—our free, bold hunters died—
The living might not give them graves-
Save when, along the water-side,
They cast them to the hurrying waves.
The carrion-crow, the ravenous beast,
Turned loathing from the ghastly dead;--
Well might they shun the funeral feast
By that destroying angel spread!
One after one, the red men fell;
Our gallant war-tribe passed away—
And I alone am left to tell
The story of its swift decay.
Alone—alone—a withered leaf-
Yet clinging to its naked bough;
The pale race scorn the aged chief,
And I will join my fathers now.
The spirits ...'. people bend
At midnight from the solemn west,
To me their kindly arms extend—
They call me to their home of rest!
He went amid these glorious things of earth, Transient as glorious, and along the beach
Of snowy sands, and rounded pebbles, walked,
Watching the coming of the evening tide,
Rising with every ripple, as it kissed
The gravel with a softly-gurgling sound,
And still advancing up the level shore,
Till, in his deep abstraction, it flowed round
His foot-prints, and awoke him. When he came
Where a long reef stretched out, and in its bays,
Scooped from the shelving rocks, received the sea,
And held it as a mirror deep and dark,
He paused, and, standing then against the ship,
He gave his signal. Soon he saw on board
The stir of preparation; they let down
A boat, and soon her raised and dipping oars
Flashed in the setting light, and round her prow
The gilt sea swelled and crinkled, spreading out
In a wide circle; and she glided on
Smoothly, and with a whispering sound, that grew
Louder with every dipping of the oars,
Until she neared the reef, and sent a surge
Up through its coves, and covered them with foam.
He stepped on board, and soon they bore him back
To the scarce rocking vessel, where she lay
Waiting the night wind. On the deck he sat,
And looked to one point only, save, at times,
When his eye glanced around the mingled scene
Of beauty and sublimity. Meanwhile
The sun had set, the painted sky and clouds
Put off their liveries, the bay its robe
Of o: and the stars were thick in heaven.
They looked upon the waters, and below
Another sky swelled out, thick set with stars,
And chequered with light clouds, which, from the north,
Came flitting o'er the dim-seen hills, and shot
Like birds across the bay. A distant shade
Dimmed the clear sheet; it darkened, and it drew
Nearer. The waveless sea was seen to rise
In feathery curls, and soon it met the ship,
And a breeze struck her. Quick the floating sails
Rose up, and drooped again. The wind came on
Fresher; the curls were waves; the sails were filled
Tensely; the vessel righted to her course,
And ploughed the waters: round her prow the foam
Tossed, and went back along her polished sides,
And floated off, bounding the rushing wake,
That seemed to pour in torrents from her stern.
The wind still freshened, and the sails were stretched,
Till the yards cracked. She bent before its force,
And dipped her lee-side low beneath the waves.
Straight out she went to sea, as when a hawk
Darts on a dove, and, with a motionless wing,
Cuts the light, yielding air. The mountains dipped
Their dark walls to the waters, and the hills
Scarce reared their green tops o'er them. One white point,
On which a light-house blazed, alone stood out
In the broad sea; and there he fixed his eye,
Taking his last look of his native shore.
Night wore away, and still the wind blew strong,
And the ship ploughed the waves, which now were heaved
In high and rolling billows. All were glad,
And laughed, and shouted, as she darted on,
And plunged amid the foam, and tossed it high
Over the deck, as when a strong, curbed steed
Flings the froth from him in his eager race.
All had been dimly star-lit; but the moon,
Late rising, silvered o'er the tossing sea,
And lighted up its foam-wreaths, and just threw
One parting glance upon the distant shores.
They meet his eye; the sinking rocks were bright,
And a clear line of silver marked the hills,
Where he had said farewell. A sudden tear
Gushed, and his heart was melted; but he soon
Repressed the weakness, and he calmly watched
The fading vision. Just as it retired
Into the common darkness, on his eyes
Sleep fell, and, with his looks turned to his home,
And—dearer than his home—to her he loved,
He closed them, and his thoughts were lost in dreams
Bright, and too glad to be realities.
Calm.]y he slept, and lived on happy dreams,
Till, fiom the bosom of the boundless sea,
Now spreading far and wide without a shore,
The cloudless sun arose, and he awoke.