I strike the lyre with trembling hand,
As stranger in my native land,
For strangers must peruse the page,
Or friends at least of later age
Than those, who whilome ranged with me
Oer fertile mead, or barren lea,
What time we hied with joy from school
To dare the depth of whirling pool,
Or chase with bright and eager eye,
The bird, the bee, the butterfly;
Than those, who, were they by my side,
Would een assist the muse untried
And cheer me on the steep ascent,
Where I on purpose boldly bent,
Would fain pursue my devious way,
And gain the summit if I may.
Companions of the Morning-tide
Of Life, who wanderd far and wide
Oer oceans bosom, mountains crest,
Do you in lifes meridian rest,
As when within your native bowers,
Which innocence had strewd with flowers:
Or shelterd from the scorching beam
By friendly tree near trouting stream!
Say, have you gained enchanted ground!
Oh! if such rest on earth be found,
For pilgrims of our ripend years,
Reveal the place, to your compeers;
Compeers we still must be in time,
For years keep pace in every clime,
And one will gladly join you there,
For all seems sadly alterd here.
The moon with less than crescent
Faild to eclipse the pale star-light;
The desert was serene and still,
Save sound, perchance, from rippling rill,
Or when some zephyr might recall
A strain from distant waterfall;
Bearing, as on a spirits wing,
Music of Natures offering:
When lo! forth issuing from the shade
Of forest deep, an Indian maid,
Who, shrinking back, a moment stood
Appalld by treeless solitude;
Then gazd around with anxious eye
That plain, bound Eastward by the sky,
And on the West by gloomy fir,
Far towring pine, and juniper;
The North by distant mountain blue,
Whilst swamp and lake met Southern view:
The scrutiny at length complete,
And deer-skin tightend to her feet,
She shaking back her flowing hair,
Bounds swiftly forth like frightend deer;
Oh! that the power I could command,
Which poets sway in favord land,
Or that my trembling hand at will,
Could once assume the painters skill,
Then in her native garb arrayd
Should stand confessd the Indian maid.
In stature oer the standard height,
Slender, but not extremely slight;
Graceful, without a bend, her air,
And dark to blackness eyes and hair:
No covring on her head she wore,
But that which Nature gave, she bore
In such profusion, twould impede
A movement less than roebucks speed.
Spencer of down from wild birds nest,
Her bosoms fullness straight compressd,
Whilst fur, alternate dark and light,
Pressd all beside to instep slight.
And who was she, or what, the maid,
In forest covring thus arrayd;
And why all lonely wander there,
With watchful eye and anxious air!
SOLOA was the maidens name;
Her sire, an Indian known to fame:
Of thousands who once wanderd free,
Oer land or lake remain but three;
Brave NORAC and one warrior more,
To guard his daughter, and adore;
Adore in vain; ah! hapless lot,
Tho much with him, she lovd him not.
And why thus callous? Can the hour
Of danger cancel passions power,
Or changeful lot make us forget,
In what we were, what we are yet?
Ah, no, not such is Natures child;
Whether in desert country wild,
Or mid the citys ceaseless hum,
That passion reigns oer all as one.
She lovd another far away,
Whom she had met in early day:
Tho slight the chance that she again
Should meet him, other love was vain.
It chancd upon an autumn day,
She left her home the game to slay;
A huntress without guard or guide,
With bow and arrows by her side;
And taking too much western range,
Was taen and bound by Indians strange
From Canada, who sometimes came,
For valued fur, to take the game;
Nor game alone, but often life
Of Natives, in unequal strike;
Not that the latter were less brave
To face the foe, or friend to save,
But nursd in mountain solitude,
They neer possessd the deadly tube
With which the foe, all pitiless
And powerful, would still distress;
Which seemd by potent charm to slay,
Whilst feeble arrow fell midway.
With wandring band who thus would roam,
Soloa captured far from home,
Was forcd to sojourn for a space,
Whilst they pursued the vigrous chase.
A bower apart afforded there,
By one the youngest hunters prayer,
Whose stripling form too slight was deemd,
For dangrous hunt and so esteemd
Was doomd, ah, heavy doom for youth,
To guard around Soloas booth.
Night came and hunters far away;
Save him who thus was taskd to stay.
And sleeps the captive? can she sleep,
With none but foe, her watch to keep?
She can, for she had caught his eye,
Ere night-bird sang its lullaby:
When first upon Soloas view,
Appeard an eye of orient blue,
And nought but love-beams floating there
She knew there was no cause for fear!
That night, when all was hushd and still,
And slumber workd its fitful will,
She heard a voice as in a dream:
Maiden I am not what I seem!
Upstarting from her rushy bed,
Who art thou stranger, then she said,
And why thus enter to dispel
A dream of home I love so well?
My mother was an Indian maid, 1
With home like thine in forest shade;
A fathers form I never knew
They say he was a warrior true,
Who came from distant land to bring
Bribes to the Chiefs to serve a King.
He lovd, or, said he lovd: what then!
Ah! what are womans wiles to men!
Unmovd can they hear flatterys strain,
Or when did warrior sue in vain?
That maiden left her all for him;
For to her wild imagining,
The sun-tingd ocean rainbow sky,
Pales when compard to warrior high!
Bright and ecstatic was her dream,
Trifling to him as light moon-beam;
Nearly as brief, for three weeks flown
My mother was again alone:
Ah, what avails it now to tell,
Of whirling brain and bosoms swell,
The days, the nights, of agony,
Years not from mental suffring free?
Tis past! She lives! and I am here
Her hearts sole treasure; Indian fair,
In wishd-for time I hope again
To clasp her! have I spoken in vain?
Not so, Soloa soft replied
Your mother as in maiden pride,
Or worse than widowd wretchedness
Will ever on my memry press.
But what have I to do with thee,
And why reveal thy mystery?
Since to your tribe I now belong,
You would not do the captive wrong!
Perish the thought! the youth exclaimed,
Your confidence I sought and gaind,
My only wish to bear you free,
This night you must depend on me.
Quickly he loosd the deer-skin thong,
By which her feet were bound too long;
And swiftly, as on wings of fear,
Oer vale and mountain flew the pair.
Across their way full oft would spring
The startled fawn, or bird take wing,
And almost brush each bounding breast,
Whilst onward as for life they pressd.
Morn dawnd, as by an inland sea,
Or boundless lake, if such there be,
They sat them down to take their rest,
Till coming light illumd its breast;
Then by some branches well conceald
The maid a birchen bark reveald,
Which lightly launchd upon the wave,
was swift impelld by paddle stave.
Now speak again, Oh! gentle youth,
For yours is like the voice of truth!
But stopping short, Soloa said:
How thoughtless was the Indian maid,
Ah, me! Ive done you grievous wrong,
And we have tarried much too long,
For should you without me return,
Will not your rangers anger burn?
Evil for good I would not give,
I will return, then die or live.
Grieve you for that? the youth replied,
Thus free to share what ills betide
My breach of trust; then take relief,
My mothers sire is our tribes chief;
Tho old, yet potent is his arm,
They durst not do his grandson harm.
Relievd, Soloa smild with joy,
And fain would clasp the blooming boy;
But something in her breast forbade,
And checkd the effort passion made;
Then dashd the light boat on again,
But safely far from woody main,
Which lately had Soloa pressd,
More free than now, yet not so blessd!
Now swiftly passing down the lake,
The maiden points with glance elate,
See you yon highland far away,
But half reveald by hazy ray?
The hundred islands all are there,2
With channels dangrous, dark and drear,
Yet safe to those who know them well;
They wind by many fruitful dell,
And fish and fowl all tamely play,
In safe, secluded, glassy, bay:
That place one day must be our home,
Then should you ever higher roam,
And wish to see the Indian maid,
Be signal on that shore displayd.
It shall be so, the youth replied;
If thou wilt be the wandrers bride;
When manhood nerves my willing arm,
To keep thee safe from every harm,
If weary of sequesterd life,
I long to enter into strife,
Which christian hands will ever blend
With human lot, then more than friend
Ill bear thee far from these wild scenes,
To where my mother of me dreams,
And hers shall be your welcome home;
Then wilt thou thither with me roam?
I know not now, I must not say
I will, yet scarcely can say nay;
But if thy thoughts with mine agree,
Thou wilt one day return and see.
|The stag is bounding thro
The hare is on the spring;
The loom is gliding oer the lake,
The plover on the wing:
The mountain top again displays
Its shadow on the plain;
But merry mates of early days,
We neer behold again!
They tell me that the morning ray
Is fairer than the noon;
The blossom of the early day,
Much sweeter than the bloom:
For once I own the sages right,
My morning spent with thee;
But when the sun has gained his height
Where, Stranger, wilt thou be?
the boat is on the shore,
The huntress gaind her home once more,
Nor need the bard to parents tell,
The stranger there was welcomd well;
And watchd by Norac on his way
For leagues, until the close of day.
Now came the season when the bear
And wolf pursued the flying deer;
The fox waylaid, with cunning deep,
The hare or marten on the steep;
Th amphibious otter, beaver mild,
With instinct so like reasons child,
Safe from the foe, of such devoid,
By man alone could be destroyd;
Then Norac and Bravora, bent
On lengthy journey, hunting went,
And left, without a guard, at home,
The mother and the daughter lone
Nor yet all lonely, for a boy,
Some three years old, gave household joy;
Cheering by prattle all his own,
In soft melliffluous Indian tone.
But, ah! it chancd on luckless day,
That mother did with darling stray,
To cheer her with his notes of joy,
And banish memorys dark alloy:
By times he bounded gently on
By times he rested on the thong,
Which round her breast and shoulders hung,
And cradld oft her darling son;
Een so it was when on her view,
Appeard of Christian hunters two;
One levelld the unsparing gun,3
Aimd at the motherslew the son.
There was no cry, there was no moan,
If so she heard not, but when home
Was gaind, and band which formd his bed
Unlacd, she found the child was dead!
All silent then and motionless,
Stunnd by the weight of her distress,
That day that night in anguish spent,
Where every shade of woe was blent:
The dreaded foe so near her door,
Her husband far on dreary moor,
Six children, one by one, had died,
A daughter only by her side,
All friendless none to shieled her now
What could that mother do but bow
Her head, and lie her down to die?
But did she? Mark her kindling eye,
And hear her purpose low expressd;
Soloa! I can take no rest,
Until a Christian child I gain,
In place of one by Christian slain.
Forbear, my mother; oh! forbear!
What would you with the stranger here?
How little may the mother know
Of him, the wretch who struck the blow;
And how could you to other give
Such torture as is yours and live?
I know it, but feel rage to-day,
Which nothing but revenge can stay;
No more, I am resolved to go
Nought less can soothe thy mothers
Days passd away, and not a sound
From her, who oft made woods resound
With song of love in peaceful age,
With scream of wrath when war would rage!
At length, with feeble step and moan,
She did return, and not alone:
Into Soloas arms she tossd
A boy, the age of him she lost;
Then shrieking, cried, in accents wild,
Soloa! bring me my own child!
Hark! heard you not your brother call?
Yes, there he is, and brothers all
All seem to beckon me away.
Soloa I am going stay
Say to your father
All is oer
Sombrina sighs, and speaks no more!
My Mother! she has found a rest,
Beyond the hunters aim;
The babe which nestled on her breast,
May slumber there again.
My Father! he is far away,
And never may return;
What can the Indian maid to-day,
But for the absent mourn!
My Brothers! they are lowly laid
Where oft I love to stray;
Their bodiesin the fir-tree shade,
Their spiritsfar away!
The Fawn, forsaken,now
May woo the hunters dart;
For the stricken Deer has gaind her home
With the arrow in her heart!
The simple, nor less
Is over, and the maid again
Appears to think of earthly
Forgot in rayless suffering:
Recalld from her excitement wild,
By voice of long-unheeded child,
And gazing fondly on the boy,
A flashing thought gives transient joy;
Thou shalt return, thou lovd and lost,
To those on earth who love thee most,
For none can fill the void beside;
So mother found when brother died.
Ill bear thee to the shelterd cave,
There safeif secrecy can save
Well rest until our guardians come,
Who shall restore thee, gentle one!
By childrens side in fir-tree shade,
Sombrina now is lowly laid,
All signs of living there effaced,
Soloa to her back has laced
The child, and, with one silent wave
Of hand to Spirit, seeks the cave.
Few miles from thence a channel torn
By earthquake, or by water worn,
Stretchd on for many miles to sea,
With torrent roaring wild and free:
The banks with fern and brushwood crownd
The sides composd of broken ground,
Except that sometimes would appear
The rock so rude, or cavern drear;
Twas Indians wont by night to glide
Across the plain to channels side,
The prizd cosmetic to obtain,
The breast, the hands, the face to stain;
And many a fair and dimpled cheek,
Was spoild by that fantastic freak;
Thus fair by Nature, red by will,4
They were misnamd, and would be still.
And now, upon an evening mild,
Soloa wanders with the child,
But rests in woody verge till day,
Departing, makes more safe her way.
Soon as the friendly night had flung
Its mantle oer the lonely one,
She hied with joy to cavern drear,
And smild to think the child was there.
And weary days now pass away,
NoracBravorastill they stay
Whilst oft as safe proceeds the maid,
Unto the gloomy fir-tree shade;
Returning late from lovd ones sleeping,
Where she her vigils had been keeping,
Across the trackless plain she hied,
Her errand MercyLove her guide
Soloa gained the secret cave,
And found the child she wishd to save,
Too young for thought, too pure for care,
All safe and softly sleeping there;
Soon by its side she gently pressd
The rushy couch, and sank to rest;
As morning dawnd a sound was heard,
Like note of some peculiar bird;
A chirrup followd, quick and clear,
Soloa knew a friend was near;
Then swiftly did the maiden glide,
From cavernd way to rivers side,
And leaning gainst a shelving plane,
Awaited the repeating strain;
It came at length, the maid replied,
And blest Bravoras by her side.
My father! Is he on his way,
Or has aught happend, speak, I pray!
Not so, but safe, and bade me bear
The tidings, and protect you here;
Whilst he removes, to secret place,
The produce of our three weeks chase.
Returning late, I found your home
Razd to the ground, and tenants gone,
I need not ask, I know full well,
What it would pain you much to tell,
That home was found by Christian men,
And desolation followd then.
Even so, and worse,the maiden said,
For MotherBrotherall are dead!
Alas! that I should have to tell,
Of evil deed, or luckless spell.
But thus it was: one morn from home,
My mother with the child did roam,
Was met by hunters on the wild,
Who aimd at her, and killd the child;
She quickly turnd towards the glen,
Where was the home of cruel men;
Watching her time, she saw with joy,5
By cottage door, an infant boy,
The age of her lamented one,
And quickly oer her shoulder flung
The frightend child, and bore him home,
To fill the place of darling gone;
But vain the course she would pursue,
The stolen child was not the true!
Not him she bore thro winters cold,
And summers heat, till three years old
The last,child of her old age!
Ah! what could then her grief assuage?
Her other sons had perishd well,
To save a fathers life they fell,
And she was comfortedbut when
The last, most lovd, was taken,then
Thenreason reeld, whilst eye grew bright,
Her heart was broken there was night.
And now that dangers dire surround,
And mother recks not of the sound,
Why should the infant stranger share
The Indians danger and despair?
Oh! bear him hence, Oh, take him home,
Then unencumberd may we roam.
Bravora pausd awhile, and then,
With watchful glance from rock to glen:
What! would you send me now away
And hunters reeking for a prey?
Your father absent, mother gone,
I cannot leave you, bounding fawn!
Beside, I mind me, time is come,
When silent courtship must be done;
For it is full nine moons ago
Since first I ownd a lovers woe;
You promisd then within that time,
If your boy came not to be mine.
Oh! would you your affection prove,
Then speak not to me now of love!
Ah me! my first and only choice,
No more may hear Soloas voice,
And were he by, you still would share
All that one loving heart could spare;
But think, Bravora; deep the woe
Of womens hearts, when first they know
The raging force of passion vain,
Time they require to soothe the brain!
She rose and beckond with her hand
That he should leave her, a command
Bravora never yet withstood,
And so withdrew in sullen mood.
Now Westerly the sun
And to the sky new glory lends,
As lofty spirits, ere their fall,
Bestow on those they love their all.
A flowry bank, which, in the sheen
Of sunset, lookd like fairy scene,
Extended from oerhanging ledge
Of rocky cliff, to rivers edge:
Soloa and Bravora there
Reclind at ease, apart, but near,
At ease? ah, no! Soloas breast,
By ever varying passion pressd,
Heavd with remembrance of the past,
Too wildly dear, and sweet to last!
Her absent lover now would fill
Each thought, and powerless leave her will;
Anonthe Christian child would bear,
Of conflict dire, its dreadful share,
Bravora: tho she lovd him not,
Had shard with her each changing lot,
To which the wandring Indian yields
A willing suffrance, tho he FEELS!
And he had done so much for those
She lovd, since ruthless war arose,
That much was due from her full heart,
Where gratitude still held its part;
But all in vain, the recreant breast
Would still rebel; the life-blood,
By ancient cruelty away,
Gave not the doomd more agony:
Bravora watchd her changing eye,
And heard with pain each rending sigh,
And felt, as lovers feel, the cause
Was governd by capricious laws;
Then was his turn to feel the woe,
Which unrequited love can know;
And all unquenchd, his Indian blood
Oerwhelmd his reason like a flood.
Sudden from grassy couch he sprang,
The chasm with his wild whoop rang;
Twice was the bow brought to his eye,
The arrow drawn, but not let fly;
As oft it harmless fell to ground,
When gaze was met by gaze profound,
Never before had human form
Compressd so much of passions storm;
Never before had maidens eye,
Glancd lightning half so wild and high!
She stood as willing victim there,
Ready the direst deed to dare
From his rash hand, knowing full well,
Oer savage minds the passions spell;
And more than even this, she knew,
If she his madness would subdue,
It must not be by start or scream,
Uplifted hand or moving scene;
For had she deignd, by voice or look,
To sue for pity there, or shook
A single fibre in the blast,
That voice, that look, had been her last.
A moment, and a sound is heard
Is it the warbling of a bird,
Or sound of an Ĉolian lyre,
Which soothes unseen the Indians ire?
Ah, no! it is Soloas song;
Commencing low, and waxing strong:
Of early time the melting strain,
When childhood held its dreamy reign,
Of later days, when war began
To rage on the unpracticd man;
Of Christian breaking Indian law,
Of wrongs receivd from Carawa:
Anon; the strain is changd, and high
Thro cavernd cliffs the wild sounds
Portraying in all glowing song
How ruthless strife was borne along
How bravely fought her native tribe,
When strangers pressd on either side,
Far from the West the Carawa,
Who knew, save might, no human law
And from the East a Christian band,
Who wielded the death-dealing brand,
How when the battle gainst him turnd,
Brave Norac every offer spurnd
Of treachrous peace, nor would receive
The life an enemy might give;
But bade the remnant still fight on,
With death-dirge for their battle song;
And his brave sons selecting out,
Who nobly compassd him about,
Sought post of danger, deed of dread,
And cheerd them till the last was dead;
Then fell thrice wounded where he lay,
The last save one who fought that day,
Who bore him living from the plain,
Ah, who? She sighed, Bravoras name!
How sweet the sound
of womans voice,
In silent grove or lonely bower;
When oer her young hearts early choice,
She wakes or soothes deep passions power:
Or when the shades of night surround,
Of wedded love the happy home,
The ear yields to the soothing sound,
The heart to rapture all its own!
But never had the
Of song exceeded hers, whose hour,
Seemd but the last when she began,
Long ere she ended chaind the man!
Bravora stood entrancd awhile,
Lookd up was greeted with a smile,
And such a smile as only those
Bestow, who feel for others woes.
Enough, tis past, and moving oer
To where he had reclind before,
He beckond her to place above,
And thus began his lay of love:
Maid of the dark expressive eye,
Whose gazes by degrees instilling
Loves poison, wound more hopelessly
Than glances more intensely thrilling;
To thee, as to cloud-touching pine,
Bravora kneels, and will be kneeling;
Till that too placid brow of thine
Betrays some ray of softer feeling!
Soloa loving not
Sympathy for a lovers sadness;
Like twilight oer her senses steal,
And chase from thence her spirits
In vain thy callous heart bestows
Such thought on one thus wildly beating;
Compassion cannot yield repose,
Nor sympathy such sorrow sweeten!
Ah! no; when once our bosoms warm,
And love on its own shrine is burning;
Nothing beneath the sky can charm,
But ardent love for love returning!
Bravora with such thoughts as these,
What can I say your woe to lighten?
Be still thy gentle task to please,
And friendship into love may brighten!
The strain was sweet, and from the
Yet mingled still some shade of art,
Fearful to bid him hope no more,
The maiden deignd for once to pour
That balsam oer his feverd brain,
Her ripe design the best to gain;
And when she had succeeded well,
In breaking the love-potent spell,
Thus spoke the maid, who wishd to sway:
Tho for myself I could not pray,
Yet for another I can waive
All pride, when I would wish to save;
See where yon group of alders grow,
The nearest to the waters flow;
Well; just above them, and behind,
Securely shelterd from the wind,
A cave has long to me been known,
And oft in danger provd a home:
Now is another tenant there,
I tremble, but it is not fear;
Bravora do not look so wild
Alas! tis but the Christian child!
And you must bear him whence he came,
Return, and we will talk again!
The Indian, slowly rising, stood
With down-cast eye, in musing mood.
Is there much danger, then? she askd,
I would not have you hardly taskd.
Are Christian hunters in your way,
Or Carawas about the bay?
Can wolves be numrous on the shore?
I never knew you fear before!
It is not such, the Indian said,
I fear nor wolves nor
But should I reach the distant bower,
The Christians home Oh! then would
The greatest danger, safe the child,
They may take life of Indian wild.
Soloa pausd in anxious thought,
On mercy thus with danger fraught,
Then said: May you not safely bear
The child his home and kindred near,
And leave him where he may be found
By mother dear, on native ground?
Ah me! that child! I cannot rest,
Till slumbers it on mothers breast!
Oh! bear him hence, unharmd and free
Return, and I will rest with thee!
It shall be done, Bravora said
Tho Indian slumber with the dead.
But other things my thoughts distress,
For many dangers soon must press
Your father and yourself around,
This cannot long be secret ground,
And who will watch thy safety oer,
When poor Bravora is no more?
Sad then must be thy destiny!
Not of myself I think, but thee.
Oh! think not of me, now, she cried,
But that I soon may be thy bride;
And we will wander far from view,
Where none can reach, in mountain
Enough! I go, but leave the child,
To take him thro the forest wild
Were nothing, but to brave the foe,
With such encumbrance, courts the blow!
But I will reach the distant bay,
And guide a party on the way,
And glad them with the infant boy,
The fathers hope, the mothers joy.
When Indian speaks the deeds begun,
And long before the rising sun,
Bravora brushed the morning dew,
Mercy and love alone in view,
The day once more is
on the wane,
Bravora gazes on the plain;
And far beyond, from mountains crest,
Perceives the boundless oceans breast;
And resting there an hour alone,
The scene, the season, all his own
Thinks oer the past with anguish deep,
And for the first time fain would weep:
Just such an hour have thousands past,
Whose days have dwindled to the last,
They could not know, nor card to tell,
If known, what causd the bosoms
It was the scene, it was the hour,
To yield to memrys,
And musing upon by-gone days,
The phantoms of the past to raise,
To hear, or dream you hear, around,
From fairy plot, or haunted ground,
A lullaby of childhoods time
Or plaintive strain of youthful prime.
Descending now the mountains side,
And fast approaching oceans tide,
Bravora swiftly onward pressd,
Relievd by action more than rest.
He gains at length the home, he thought,
The same from whence the child was
With Indian freedom opes the door,
Reveals, by signs, that distant moor
Conceald the child they long had wept,
And he would shew them where it slept;
Alas! for him, those men had bound
Themselves by oath, wherever found,
An Indian red, beneath the sky,
That one or more, if there, should
spirit of lifes early morn,
Now heralds forth the coming night;
In misty shroud my fathers form
Descends as in his hour of might
The foeman to defy!
He breathes upon my burning brow,
I hear his war-cry even now,
To teach me how to die:
For the departed best can tell
The anguish of lifes last farewell!
Oh! were it but on
Where warrior true may strike a blow;
And, ere he perishd, bravely gain
One trophy from the dastard foe;
Then freely would he yield
The life that had been his full long;
But not for him the battle song,
The glory of the field:
Unknown, unhonord, he must die;
By Christians slain, with cowards lie.
But let me, ere my
On early scene a moment dwell,
The dim and distant past recall,
When thou, my father, fought and fell;
All lonely didst thou go,6
A fierce marauding band to brave,
Thy captive wife to shield or save,
From slavery and woe,
With battle blade and bow in band,
And harmless branch alone in hand.
Emblem of peace,
displayd in vain,
And scoffd at in an evil hour;
For foemen pressd the icy plain,
Who yielded not to pitys power,
Tho thou didst reason mild;
And plead with pathos wild and high,
That they would let the father die,
And mother join her child,
The treachrous answer, thou didst feel
Not hear the base assassins steel!
Yes! there, upon
that frozen lake,
The sanguinary contest dire,
Was witnessd by the wife, whose fate
Depended on one heros fire,
Nor seemd the struggle vain;
Ere raisd on high thy battle brand,
The foemen fell beneath thy hand,
And strewd the gelid plain,
Until they sped the fatal ball,
Heroic chief thou didst not fall!
And thine, since
then, yon misty form,
Which fading on the captives view,
Now mingles with the rushing storm,
And beckons that he may pursue,
And with thy spirit dwell;
Even so, the murdrers wait around,
The wolfs, the ravens cries resound;
The life and love, farewell!
Now let your direst vengeance flow;
Christians, Im ready, strike the blow
ceasd, he died, and they 7
Destroyd their infants chance that day.
Oh! if I knew where sleeps that brave
And faithful Indian, oer his grave
A stone of adamant should tell
To latest ages how he fell;
That from deep forest, dangrous wild,
Or from an unknown early grave,
Indian would save a Christian child,
And Christians slew who wishd to save!
Soloa passes weary days,
And wonders why so long delays
The fated messenger, who bore
Tidings of mercy to sea shore.
Oft to the child the maid would speak,
What keeps Bravora, what can keep
That faithful being thus away,
Have wolves or hunters made him prey?
Ah me! I would not be his bride,
Perhaps for me, for you, he died.
Thus mournd thimprisond maid in vain,
For hunters, now about the plain,
Prevented her from seeking still
A sight of him from distant hill,
Where it had been her wont to stray,
With hope of meeting on his way.
Ah! were it not for helpless child,
Soon would she hasten from the wild,
And seek her father, with him fly
To save, or with Bravora die.
But when a week and more had passd,
She knew her lover sighd his last.
Her father now her last sad thought
Risk as she might must still be sought.
Strong reason was there, she should brave
Surrounding dangers, for the cave,
No longer safe, when heard resound,8
With voice of man, the howl of hound;
Nor longer can her thoughts be bent
On aught save self and innocent:
Again she hears, with shuddring start,
No sound of wolves but blood-hounds bark,
And knew full well that all was oer,
That they would course to cavern door,
That reckless hunters would be there,
And death must follow, or despair!
She listend breathlessly, the sound
Had passed away to distant ground,
Now, Now, or never, and again
The child is laced, and oer the plain
She flies more swiftly than before,
As danger presses more and more,
She gains the forest, bounding through,
Her home is seen and lost to view;
Home of the dead, her home no more,
She hies towards the wave-washd shore,
Where last she left her frail canoe,
But will she gain it? Hark, Halloo!
The bay of hounds, the dreadful cry
Of hunters, fly, Soloa, fly!
Oh! welcome sight, the lakes in view,
She nears it fast, but there are two
Staunch blood-hounds now, almost within
The last terrific fatal spring;
Soloa! leave the child, and fly!
She pauses; if the men were nigh
It may be done, but hounds, forbear;
The child to atoms they would tear!
She pants, she fails, and feels the breath
Of blood-hound coursing to the death,
When sudden wakes the war-whoop strain.
Her father bounds across the plain;
With arrow fitted to the bow,
The foremost blood-hound is laid low;
Another from the same source flies,
Low as the first the second lies;
She stops, he beckons to fly on,
A moment more and he is gone,
Oh! had he really known how few
He had to fight for, the canoe
Might have receivd and borne him oer
The lake to safely distant shore.
It was not so, all was not known
To him who nobly fought for home.
For home, and wife, and child, he thought
For all he loved, for all he sought;
And bravely did he win his way
To where his wife and children lay,
And saw, with frantic whoop and bound,
The wig-wam razd, and broken ground,
The graves of those he hoped to meet,
Even from their graves he must retreat.
Soloa launchd her light canoe,
And paddles off with child, to view
The closing scene, or wait for him
Who passd away with tiger spring,
She heard his war-cry, far above
The shouts of those with whom he strove,
And now he breaks thro tangled brake,
And rushes on towards the lake;
Save him, Soloa! ah! they fire,
And wound him, he will not expire.
Again that gun, he staggers, falls,
But never once for mercy calls.
With Indian heart, and Indian eye,
Soloa sees her father die,
And feels that there are none to mourn,
Tho she should never more return.
Slowly she paddles the canoe,
Toward the island known to few,
Whilst ever and anon the strain
Of dirge, or death-song, gains the main.
She nears the channel, dark profound,
Is eddied by a whirlpool round,
Then swiftly darts the passage thro,9
Passing for aye from mortal view!