Tecumseh: A Drama

By Charles Mair




TECUMSEH (Chief of the Shawanoes).
THE PROPHET (Brother of Tecumseh).
TARHAY (a Chief in love with Iena).
STAYETA (Chief of the Wynadots).
                        Warriors, Braves, Josakeeds and Runners.
MAMATEE (Wife of Tecumseh).
IENA (Niece of Tecumseh).
WEETAMORE, WINONA, and other Indian Maidens.


GENERAL HARRISON (Governor of Indian Territory).
BARRON (an Indian Agent).
TWANG, SLAUGH, GERKIN and BLOAT (Rough Citizens of Vincennes).
             Five Councillors of Indian Territory, Officers, Soldiers,
                                  Volunteers, Orderlies and Scouts.


GENERAL BROCK (Administrator of the Government of Upper Canada).
COLONOL (afterwards General) PROCTOR.
MACDONEL, (Aides-de-camp to General Brock).
ELLIOT, (Colonels of Canadian Volunteers).
ROBINSON, (Captains of Canadian Volunteers).
LEFROY (a poet-artist, enamoured of Indian life, and in love with Iena).
Two Old Men of York, U. E. Loyalists, and other Citizens, Alien
    Settlers, Officers, Soldiers, Volunteers, Orderlies and Messengers. [Page 10]





Enter the PROPHET.

     PROPHET. Twelve moons have wasted, and no tidings
Tecumseh must have perished! Joy has tears
As well as grief, and mine will freely flow—
Sembling our women’s piteous privilege—
Whilst dry ambition ambles to its ends.
My schemes have swelled to greatness, and my name
Has flown so far upon the wings of fear
That nations tremble at its utterance.
Our braves abhor, yet stand in awe of me,
Who ferret witchcraft out, commune with Heaven,
And ope or shut the gloomy doors of death.
All feelings and all seasons suit ambition!
Yet my vindictive nature hath a craft,
In action slow, which matches mother-earth’s:
First seed-time—then the harvest of revenge.
Who works for power, and not the good of men,
Would rather win by fear than lose by love.
Not so Tecumseh—rushing to his ends,
And followed by men’s love—whose very foes
Trust him the most. Rash fools! Him do I dread,
And his imperious spirit. Twelve infant moons [Page 11]
Have swung in silver cradles o’er these woods,
And still no tidings of his enterprise,
Which—all too deep and wide—has swallowed him,
And left me here unrivalled and alone.


               There is a message in your eyes—what now?
     RUNNER. Your brother, great Tecumseh, has returned,
And rests himself a moment ere he comes
To counsel with you here.
                                                                                [Exit Runner.
     PROPHET.                               He has returned!
So then the growing current of my power
Must fall again into the stately stream
Of his great purpose. But a moment past
I stood upon ambition’s height, and now
My brother comes to break my greatness up,
And merge it in his own. I know his thoughts—
That I am but a helper to his ends;
And, were there not a whirlpool in my soul
Of hatred which would fain ingulf our foes,
I would engage my cunning and my craft
‘Gainst his simplicity, and win the lead.
But, hist, he comes! I must assume the rôle
By which I pander to his purposes.


     TECUMSEH. Who is this standing in the darkened robes?
     PROPHET. The Prophet! Olliwayshilla, who probes
The spirit-world, and holds within his ken
Life’s secrets and the fateful deeds of men.
The “One-Eyed!” Brother to the Shooting Star—
     TECUMSEH. With heart of wax, and hands not made for
     PROPHET. Would that my hands were equal to my hate!
Then would strange vengeance traffic on the earth;
For I should treat our foes to what they crave— [Page 12]
Our fruitful soil—yea, ram it down their throats,
And choke them with the very dirt they love
’Tis you, Tecumseh! You are here at last,
And welcome as the strong heat-bearing Spring
Which opens up the pathways of revenge.
What tidings from afar?
     TECUMSEH. Good tidings thence!
I have not seen the Wyandots, but all
The distant nations will unite with us
To spurn the fraudful treaties of Fort Wayne.
From Talapoosa to the Harricanaw
I have aroused them from their lethargy.
From the hot gulf up to those confines rude,
Where Summer’s sides are pierced with icicles,
They stand upon my call. What tidings here?
     PROPHET. No brand has struck to bark our enterprise
Which grows on every side. The Prophet’s robe,
That I assumed when old Pengasega died—
With full accord and countenance from you—
Fits a strong shoulder ampler far than his;
And all our people follow me in fear.
     TECUMSEH. Would that they followed you in love!
My ears are open to my brother’s tongue.
     PROPHET. I have myself, and by swift messengers,
Proclaimed to all the nations far and near,
I am the Open-Door, and have the power
To lead them back to life. The sacred fire
Must burn forever in the red-man’s lodge,
Else will that life go out. All earthly goods
By the Great Spirit meant for common use
Must so be held. Red shall not marry white,
To lop our parent stems; and never more
Must vile, habitual cups of deadliness
Distort their noble natures, and unseat
The purpose of their souls. They must return
To ancient customs; live on game and maize;
Clothe them with skins, and love both wife and child,
Nor lift a hand in wrath against their race. [Page 13]
     TECUMSEH. These are wise counsels which are noised
And many nations have adopted them
And made them law.
     PROPHET.                  These counsels were your own!
Good in themselves, they are too weak to sway
Our fickle race. I’ve much improved on them
Since the Great Spirit took me by the hand.
     TECUMSEH. Improved! and how? Your mission was
               to lead
Our erring people back to ancient ways—
Too long o’ergrown—not bloody sacrifice.
They tell me that the prisoners you have ta’en—
Not captives in fair fight, but wanderers
Bewildered in our woods, or such as till
Outlying fields, caught from the peaceful plough—
You cruelly have tortured at the stake.
Nor this the worst! In order to augment
Your gloomy sway you craftily have played
Upon the zeal and frenzy of our tribes,
And, in my absence, hatched a monstrous charge
Of sorcery amongst them, which hath spared
Nor feeble age nor sex. Such horrid deeds
Recoil on us! Old Shataronra’s grave
Sends up its ghost, and Tetaboxti’s hairs—
White with sad years and counsel—singed by you!
In dreams and nightmares, float on every breeze.
Ambition’s madness might stop short of this,
And shall if I have life.
     PROPHET.                   The Spirit Great
Hath urged me, and still urges me to all.
He puts his hand to mine and leads me on.
Do you not hear him whisper even now—
“Thou art the Prophet?” All our followers
Behold in me a greater than yourself,
And worship me, and venture where I lead.
     TECUMSEH. Your fancy is the common slip of fools,
Who count the lesser greater being near. [Page 14]
Dupe of your own imposture and designs,
I cannot bind your thoughts! but what you do
Henceforth must be my subject; so take heed,
And stand within my sanction lest you fall.
     PROPHET. You are Tecumseh—else you should choke
               for this!
                                                                                [Crosses the stage and pauses.
Stay! Let me think! I must not break with him—
’Tis premature. I know his tender part,
And I shall touch it.
                                             Brother, let me ask,
Do you remember how our father fell?
     TECUMSEH. Who can forget Kanawha’s bloody fray?
He died for home in battle with the whites.
     PROPHET. And you remember, too, that boyish morn
When all our braves were absent on the chase—
That morn when you and I half-dreaming lay
In summer grass, but woke to deadly pain
Of loud-blown bugles ringing through the air.
They came!—a rush of chargers from the woods,
With tramplings, cursings, shoutings manifold,
And headlong onset, fierce with brandished swords,
Of frontier troopers eager for the fight.
Scarce could a lynx have screened itself from sight,
So sudden the attack—yet, trembling there,
We crouched unseen, and saw our little town
Stormed, with vile slaughter of small babe and crone,
And palsied grandsire—you remember it?
     TECUMSEH. Remember it! Alas, the echoing
Of that wild havoc lingers in my brain!
O wretched age, and injured motherhood,
And hapless maiden-wreck!
     PROPHET. Yet this has been
Our endless history, and it is this
Which crams my very veins with cruelty.
My pulse bound to see those devils fall
Brained to the temples, and their women cast
As offal to the wolf. [Page 15]
     TECUMSEH. Their crimes are great—
Our wrongs unspeakable. But spare our own!
These gloomy sacrifices sap our strength;
And henceforth from your wizard scrutinies
I charge you to forbear. But who’s the white
You hold as captive?
     PROPHET.                              He is called LEFROY—
A captive, but too free to come and go.
Our warriors struck his trail by chance and found
His tent close by the Wabash, where he lay
With sprainèd ankle, foodless and alone.
He had a book of pictures with him there
Of Long-Knife forts, encampments and their chiefs—
Most recognizable; so, reasoning thence,
Our warriors took him for a daring spy,
And brought him here, and tied him to the stake.
Then he declared he was a Saganash—
No Long-Knife he! but one who loves our race,
And would adopt our ways—with honeyed words,
Couched in sweet voice, and such appealing eyes,
That Iena, our niece—who listened near—
Believing, rushed, and cut him from the tree.
I hate his smiles, soft ways, and smooth-paced tread,
And would, ere now, have killed him but for her;
For ever since, unmindful of her race,
She has upheld him, and our women think
That he has won her heart.
     TECUMSEH.                   But not her hand!
This cannot be, and I must see to it:
Red shall not marry white—such is our law.
But graver matters are upon the wing,
Which I must open to you. Know you, then,
The nation that has doomed our Counsil-Fires—
Splashed with our blood—will on its Father turn,
Once more, whose lion-paws, stretched o’er the sea,
Will sheathe their nails in its unnatural sides,
Till blood will flow, as free as pitch in spring,
To gum the chafed seams of our sinking bark. [Page 16]
This opportunity, well nursed, will give
A respite to our wrongs, and heal our wounds;
And all our nations, knit by me and ranged
In headship with our Saganash allies,
Will turn the mortal issue ’gainst our foes,
And wall our threatened frontiers with their slain.
But till that ripened moment, not a sheaf
Of arrows should be wasted, not a brave
Should perish aimlessly, nor discord reign
Amongst our tribes, nor jealousy distrain
The large effects of valour. We must now
Pack all our energies. Our eyes and ears
No more must idle with the hour, but work
As carriers to the brain, where we shall store,
As in an arsenal, deep schemes of war!
                                                                                [A noise and shouting without.
But who is this?

[Enter BARRON accompanied and half dragged by warriors.
            The PROPHET goes forward to meet him.

     BARRON. I crave protection as a messenger
And agent sent by General Harrison.
Your rude, unruly braves, against my wish,
Have dragged me here as if I were a spy.
     PROPHET. What else! Why come you here if not a
Brouillette came, and Dubois, who were spies—
Now you are here. Look on it! There’s your grave!
                               [Pointing to the ground at BARRON’S feet.
     TECUMSEH. (Joining them.) Nay, let him be! This
          man is not a spy.
     (To BARRON.) Give me your message!
     BARRON. The Governor of Indiana sends
This letter to you, in the which he says (Reading letter)
“You are an enemy to the Seventeen Fires.
I have been told that you intend to lift [Page 17]
The hatchet ’gainst your father, the great Chief,
Whose goodness, being greater than his fear
Or anger at your folly, still would stretch
His bounty to his children who repent,
And ask of him forgiveness for the past.
Small harm is done which may not be repaired,
And friendship’s broken chain may be renewed;
But this is in your doing, and depends
Upon the choice you make. Two roads
Are lying now before you: one is large,
Open and pleasant, leading unto peace,
Your own security and happiness;
The other—narrow, crooked and constrained—
Most surely leads to misery and death.
Be not deceived! All your united force
Is but as chaff before the Seventeen Fires.
Your warriors are brave, but so are ours;
Whilst ours are countless as the forest leaves,
Or grains of sand upon the Wabash shores.
Rely not on the English to protect you!
They are not able to protect themselves.
They will not war with us, for, if they do,
Ere many moons have passed our battle flag
Shall wave o’er all the forts of Canada.
What reason have you to complain of us?
What have we taken? or what treaties maimed?
You tell us we have robbed you of your lands—
Bought them from nameless braves and village chiefs
Who had no right to sell. Prove that to us,
And they will be restored. I have full power
To treat with you. Bring your complaint to me,
And I, in honour, pledge your safe return.”
     TECUMSEH. Is this it all?
     BARRON. Yes, all. I have commands
To bear your answer back without delay.
     PROPHET. This is our answer, then, to Harrison:
Go tell that bearded liar we shall go
With forces which will pledge our own return! [Page 18]
     TECUMSEH. What shall my answer be?
     PROPHET. Why, like my own—
There is no answer save that we shall go.
     TECUMSEH. (To BARRON.) I fear that our complaint lies
          all too deep
For your Chief’s curing. The Great Spirit gave
The red men this wide continent as theirs,
And in the east another to the white;
But, not content at home, these crossed the sea,
And drove our fathers from their ancient seats.
Their sons in turn are driven to the Lakes,
And cannot farther go unless they drown.
Yet now you take upon yourselves to say
This tract is Kickapoo, this Delaware,
And this Miami; but your Chief should know
That all our lands are common to our race!
How can one nation sell the rights of all
Without the consent of all? No! For my part
I am a Red Man, not a Shawanoe,
And here I mean to stay. Go to your chief,
And tell him I shall meet him at Vincennes.
                                             [Exeunt all but TECUMSEH.
What is there in my nature so supine
That I must ever quarrel with revenge?
From vales and rivers which were once our own
The pale hounds who uproot our ancient graves
Come whining for our lands, with fawning tongues,
And schemes and subterfuge and subtleties.
O for a Pontiac to drive them back
And whoop them to their shuddering villages!
O for an age of valour like to his.
When freedom clothed herself with solitude,
And one in heart the scattered nations stood,
And one in hand. It comes! and mine shall be
The lofty task to teach them to be free—
To knit the nations, bind them into one,
And end the task great Pontiac begun! [Page 19]


Enter LEFROY, carrying his rifle, and examining a knot of
                                         wild flowers.

     LEFROY. This region is as lavish of its flowers
As Heaven of its primrose blooms by night.
This is the Arum which within its root
Folds life and death; and this the Prince’s Pine,
Fadeless as love and truth—the fairest form
That ever sun-shower washed with sudden rain.
This golden cradle is the Moccasin Flower,
Wherein the Indian hunter sees his hound;
And this dark chalice is the Pitcher-Plant,
Stored with the water of forgetfulness.
Whoever drinks of it, whose heart is pure,
Will sleep for aye ’neath foodful asphodel,
And dream of endless love. I need it not!
I am awake, and yet I dream of love.
It is the hour of meeting, when the sun
Takes level glances at these mighty woods,
And Iena has never failed till now
To meet me here! What keeps her? Can it be
The Prophet? Ah, that villain has a thought,
Undreamt of by his simple followers,
Dark in his soul as midnight! If—but no—
He fears her though he hates!
                                                       What shall I do?
Rehearse to listening woods, or ask these oaks
What thoughts they have, what knowledge of the past?
They dwarf me with their greatness, but shall come
A meaner and a mightier than they,
And cut them down. Yet rather would I dwell
With them, with wildness and its stealthy forms—
Yea, rather with wild men, wild beasts and birds,
Than in the sordid town that here may rise.
For here I am a part of Nature’s self,
And not divorced from her like men who plod [Page 20]
The weary streets of care in search of gain.
And here I feel the friendship of the earth:
Not the soft cloying tenderness of hand
Which fain would satiate the hungry soul
With household honey combs and parloured sweets,
But the strong friendship of primeval things—
The rugged kindness of a giant heart,
And love that lasts,
                                                         I have a poem made
Which does concern Earth’s injured majesty—
Be audience, ye still untroubled stems!


     There was a time on this fair continent
When all things throve in spacious peacefulness.
The prosperous forests unmolested stood,
For where the stalwart oak grew there it lived
Long ages, and then dies among its kind.
The hoary pines—those ancients of the earth—
Brimful of legends of the early world,
Stood thick on their own mountains unsubdued.
And all things else illumined by the sun,
Inland or by the lifted wave, had rest.
The passionate or calm pageants of the skies
No artist drew; but in the auburn west
Innumerable faces of fair cloud
Vanished in silent darkness with the day.
The prairie realm—vast ocean’s paraphrase—
Rich in wild grasses numberless, and flowers
Unnamed save in mute Nature’s inventory,
No civilized barbarian trenched for gain.
And all that flowed was sweet and uncorrupt.
The rivers and their tributary streams,
Undammed, wound on forever, and gave up
Their lonely torrents to weird gulfs of sea,
And ocean wastes unshadowed by a sail.
And all the wild life of this western world
Knew not the fear of man; yet in those woods,
And by those plenteous streams and mighty lakes,
And on stupendous steppes of peerless plain,
And in the rocky gloom of canyons deep,
Screened by the stony ribs of mountain hoar
Which steeped their snowy peaks in purging cloud,
And down the continent where tropic suns
[Page 21]
Warmed to her very heart the mother earth,
And in the congeal’d north where silence self
Ached with intensity of stubborn frost,
There lived a soul more wild than barbarous:
A tameless soul—the sunburnt savage free—
Free, and untainted by the greed of gain:
Great Nature’s man content with Nature’s food.

But hark! I hear her footsteps in the leaves—
And so my poem ends.

                                  Enter IENA, downcast.

                                              My love! my love!
What! Iena in tears! Your looks, like clouds,
O’erspread my joy which, but a moment past,
Rose like the sun to high meridian.
Ah, how is this? She trembles, and she starts,
And looks with wavering eyes through oozing tears,
And she would fly from me. Why do you weep?
     IENA. I weep, for I have come to say—farewell.
     LEFROY. Farewell! I have fared well in love till now;
For you are mine, and I am yours, so say
Farewell, farewell, a thousand times farewell.
     IENA. How many meanings has the word? since yours
Is full of joy, but mine, alas, of pain.
The pale-face and the Shawanoe must part.
     LEFROY. Must part? Yes, part—we parted yesterday—
And shall to-day—some dream disturbs my love.
     IENA. Oh, that realities were dreams! ’Tis not
A dream that parts us, but a stern command.
Tecumseh has proclaimed it as his law—
Red shall not marry white; so must you leave;
And therefore I have come to say farewell.
     LEFROY. That word is barbed, and like an arrow aimed.
The maid who saved my life would mar it too!
     IENA. Speak not of that! Your life’s in danger now.
Tecumseh has returned, and—knowing all—
Has build a barrier betwixt our loves,
More rigid than a palisade of oak. [Page 22]
     LEFROY. What means he? And what barrier is this?
     IENA. The barrier is the welfare of our race—
Wherefore his law—“Red shall not marry white.”
His noble nature halts at cruelty,
So fear him not! But in the Prophet’s hand,
Darnk, dangerous and bloody, there is death,
And, sheltered by Tecumseh’s own decree,
He who misprizes you, and hates, will strike—
Then go at once! Alas for Iena,
Who loves her race too well to break its law.
     LEFROY. I love you better than I love my race;
And could I mass my fondness for my friends,
Augment it with my love of noble brutes,
Tap every spring of reverence and respect,
And all affections bright and beautiful—
Still would my love for you outweigh them all.
     IENA. Speak not of love! Speak of the Long-Knife’s
Oh, it is pitiful to creep in fear
O’er lands where once our fathers stept in pride!
The Long-Knife strengthens, whilst our race decays,
And falls before him as our forests fall.
First comes his pioneer, the bee, and soon
The mast which plumped the wild deer fats his swine.
His cattle pasture where the bison fed;
His flowers, his very weeds, displace our own—
Aggressive as himself. All, all thrust back!
Destruction follows us, and swift decay.
Oh, I have lain for hours upon the grass,
And gazed into the tenderest blue of heaven—
Cleansed as with dew, so limpid, pure and sweet—
All flecked with silver packs of standing cloud
Most beautiful! But watch them narrowly!
Those clouds will sheer small fleeces from their sides,
Which, melting in our sight as in a dream,
Will vanish all like phantoms in the sky.
So melts our heedless race! Some weaned away,
And wedded to rough-handed pioneers, [Page 23]
Who, fierce as wolves in hatred of our kind,
Yet from their shrill and acid women turn,
Prizing our maidens for their gentleness.
Some by outlandish fevers die, and some—
Caught in the white man’s toils and vices mean—
Court death, and find it in the trader’s cup.
And all are driven from their heritage,
Far from our fathers’ seats and sepulchres,
And girdled with the growing glooms of war;
Resting a moment here, a moment there,
Whilst ever through our plains and forest realms
Bursts the pale spoiler, armed, with eager quest,
And ruinous lust of land. I think of all—
And own Tecumseh right. ’Tis he alone
Can stem this tide of sorrows dark and deep;
So must I bend my feeble will to his,
And, for my people’s welfare, banish love.
     LEFROY. Nay, for your people’s welfare keep your love!
My heart is true: I know that braggart nation,
Whose sordid instincts, cold and pitiless,
Would cut you off, and drown your Council Fires.
I would defend you, therefore keep me here!
My love is yours alone, my hand I give,
With this good weapon in it, to your race.
     IENA. Oh, heaven help a weak untutored maid,
Whose head is warring ’gainst a heart that tells,
With every throb, I love you. Leave me! Fly!
     LEFROY. I kneel to you—it is my leave-taking,
So, bid me fly again, and break my heart!

                                  (IENA sings.)

Fly far from me,
     Even as the daylight flies,
And leave me in the darkness of my pain!
Some earlier love will come to thee again,
     And sweet new moons will rise,
And smile on it and thee.

Fly far from me,
     Even whilst the daylight wastes—
Ere thy lips burn me in a last caress;
[Page 24]
Ere fancy quickens, and my longings press,
     And my weak spirit hastes
For shelter unto thee!

Fly far from me,
     Even whilst the daylight pales—
So shall we never, never meet again!
Fly! for my senses swim—Oh, Love! Oh, Pain!—
     Help! for my spirit fails—
I cannot fly from thee!

                                             [IENA sinks into LEFROY’S arms.

     LEFROY. No, Iena! You cannot fly from me—
My heart is in your breast, and yours in mine;
Therefore our love—

                                  Enter TECUMSEH, followed by MAMATEE.

     TECUMSEH.      False girl! Is this your promise?
Would that I had a pale-face for a niece—
Not one so faithless to her pledge! You owe
All duty and affection to your race,
Whose interest—the sum of our desires—
Traversed by alien love, drops to the ground.
     IENA. Tecumseh ne’er was cruel until now.
Call not love alien which includes our race—
Love for our people, pity for their wrongs!
He loves our race because his heart is here—
And mine is in his breast. Oh, ask him there,
And he will tell you—
     LEFROY. Iena, let me speak!
Tecumseh, we as strangers have become
Strangely familiar through sheer circumstance,
Which often breeds affection or distain,
Yet, lighting but the surface of the man,
Shows not his heart. I know not what you think
And care not for your favour or your love,
Save as desert may crown me. Your decree,
“Red shall not marry white,” is arbitrary,
And off the base of nature; for if they [Page 25]
Should marry not, then neither should they love.
Yet Iena loves me, and I love her.
Be merciful! I ask not Iena
To leave her race; I rather would engage
These willing arms in her defence and yours.
Heap obligation up, conditions stern—
But send not your cold “Nay” athwart our lives.
     IENA. Be merciful! Oh, uncle, pity us!
     TECUMSEH. My pity, Iena, goes with reproach,
Blunting the edge of anger; yet my will
Is fixed, and the command to be obeyed—
This stranger must depart—you to your lodge!
     MAMATEE. Tecumseh, I am in the background here,
As ever I have been in your affection.
For I have ne’er known what good women prize—
Earth’s greatest boon to them—a husband’s love.
     TECUMSEH. My nation has my love, in which you share,
With special service rendered to yourself;
So that your cabin flows with mouffles sweet,
And hips of wapiti and bedded robes.
Teach me my duty further if your will!
My love is wide, and broods upon my race.
     MAMATEE. The back is clad—the heart, alas! goes
Oh, I would rather shiver in the snow—
My heart downed softly with Tecumseh’s love—
Than sleep unprized in warmest couch of fur.
I know your love is wide, and, for that I
Share but a millionth part of it, and feel
Its meagreness, I plead most eagerly
For this poor white, whose heart is full of love,
And gives it all to her.
     TECUMSEH.                        It cannot be!
You know not what you ask. ’Tis ’gainst our law,
Which, breached, would let our untamed people through.
     LEFROY. I care not for your cruel law! The heart
Has statutes of its own which make for love.
     TECUMSEH. You’d cross me too! This child’s play of
          the heart, [Page 26]
Which sterner duty has repressed in me,
Makes even captives bold. (Aside.) I like his courage!
     MAMATEE. If duty makes Tecumseh’s heart grow cold,
Then shame on it! and greater shame on him
Who ever yet showed mercy to his foes,
Yet, turning from his own, in pity’s spite
Denies it to a girl. See, here I kneel!
     IENA. And I! O uncle, frown not on our love!
     TECUMSEH. By the Great Spirit this is over much!
My heart is made for pity, not for war,
Since women’s tears unman me. Have your will!
I shall respect your love, (To LEFROY.) your safety too.
I go at once to sound the Wyandots
Concerning some false treaties with the whites.
The Prophet hates you, therefore come with me.
[The PROPHET rushes in with a band of Braves.
     PROPHET. She’s here! Take hold of her and bear her
     TECUMSEH. Beware! Lay not a finger on this girl!
                                                     [The Braves fall back.
     PROPHET. There is no law Tecumseh will not break,
When women weep, and pale-face spies deceive.
     MAMATEE. Ah, wretch! Not all our people’s groans
          could wring
A single tear from out your murderous eye.
     PROPHET. (Lifting his axe.) This is my captive, and his
          life is mine!
     IENA. (Rushing to LEFROY.) Save him! Save him!

                                                      [TECUMSEH interferes.

                                  END OF FIRST ACT. [Page 27]





     TECUMSEH. No guard or outlook here! This is most strange.
Chance reigns where prudence sleeps.

                                      Enter a BRAVE.
                                                      Here comes a brave
With frenzy in his face. Where is the Prophet?
     BRAVE. He fasts alone within the medicine lodge,
And talks to our great spirit. All our braves,
Huddling in fear, stand motionless without,
Thrilled by strange sounds, and voices not of earth.
     TECUMSEH. How long has it been thus?
     BRAVE.                               Four nights have passed
And none have seen his face; but all have heard
His dreadful tongue, in incantations deep,
Fetch horrors up—vile beings flashed from hell,
Who fought as devils fights, un the lodges
Shook its base with struggling, and the earth
Quaked as, with magic strength, he flung them down.
These strove with him for mastery of our fate;
But, being foiled, Yohewa has appeared,
And, in the darkness of our sacred lodge,
Communes with him.
     TECUMSEH. Our Spirit great and good!
He comes not here for nought. What has he promised?
     BRAVE. Much! for henceforth we are invulnerable.
The bullets of the Long-Knives will rebound,
Like petty hailstones, from our naked breasts; [Page 28]
And, in the misty morns of our attack,
Strange lights will sine on them to guide our aim,
Whilst clouds of gloom will screen us from their sight.
     TECUMSEH. The prophet is a wise interpreter,
And all his words, by valour backed, will stand;
For valour is the weapon of the soul,
More dreaded by our vaunting enemies
Than the plumed arrow, or the screaming ball.
What wizardry and witchcraft has he found
Conspiring ’gainst our people’s good?
     BRAVE.                                               Why, none!
Wizard and witch are weeded out, he says;
Not one is left to do us hurt.
     TECUMSEH (aside)             ’Tis well!
My brother has the eyeball of the horse,
And swerves from danger. (To BRAVE) Bid our warriors come!
I wait them here.
                                                                                          [Exit BRAVE.
                                         The prophet will soon follow.
     LEFROY. Now opportunity attend my heart,
Which waits for Iena! True love’s behest,
Outrunning war’s, will bring her to my arms
Ere cease the braves from gasping wonderment.
     TECUMSEH. First look on service ere you look on love;
You shall not see her here.
     LEFROY.                                    My promises
Are sureties of my service—
     TECUMSEH.                    But your deeds,
Accomplishments; our people count on deeds.
Be patient! Look upon our warries
Roped round with scars and cicatrized wounds,
Inflicted in deep trial of their spirit.
Their skewered sides are proofs of manly souls,
Which, had one groan escaped from agony,
Would all have sunk beneath our women’s heels,
Unfit for earth or heaven. So try your heart,
And let endurance swallow all love’s sighs. [Page 29]
Yoke up your valour with our people’s cause,
And I, who love your nation, which is just,
When deeds deserve it, will adopt you here,
By ancient custom of our race, and join
Iena’s hand to yours.
     LEFROY.                Your own hand first
In pledge of this!
     TECUMSEH.       It ever goes with truth!
     LEFROY. Now come some wind of chance and show me her
But for one heavenly moment! as when leaves
Are blown aside in summer, and we see
The nested oriole.

     [Enter Chiefs and warriors—The warriors cluster
          around TECUMSEH, shouting and discharging their

     TECUMSEH.                        My chiefs and braves!
     MIAMI CHIEF. Fall back! Fall back! Ye press too close on him.
     TECUMSEH. My friends! our joy us like two meeting streams,
Which draw into a deep and prouder bed.
                                                     [Shouts from the warriors.
     DELAWARE CHIEF. Silence, ye braves! Let great
          Tecumseh speak!
                                                         [The warriors fall back.
     TECUMSEH. Comrades, and faithful warriors of our race!
Ye who defeated Harmar and St. Clair,
And made their hosts a winter’s feast for wolves!
I call on you to follow me again,
Not now to war, but as forearmed for fight.
As ever in the past so is it still:
Our sacred treaties and infringed and torn;
Laughed out of sanctity, and spurned away;
Used by the Long-Knife’s slave to light his fire,
Or turned to kites by thoughtless boys, whose wrists [Page 30]
Anchor their father’s lies in front of heaven.
And now we’re asked to Council at Vincennes;
To bend to lawless ravage of our lands,
To treacherous bargains, contracts false, wherein
One side is bound, the other loose as air!
Where are those villains of our race and blood
Who signed the treaties that unseat us here;
That rob us of rich plains and forests wide;
And which, consented to, will drive us hence
To stage our lodges in the Northern Lakes,
In penalties of hunger worse than death?
Where are they? that we may confront them now
With your wronged sires, your mothers, wives and babes,
And, wringing from their false and slavish lips
Confession of their baseness, brand with shame
The traitor hands which sign us to our graves.
     MIAMI CHIEF. Some are age-bent and blind, and others sprawl,
And stagger in the Long-Knife’s villages;
And some are dead, and some have fled away,
And some are lurking in the forest here,
Sneaking, like dogs, until resentment cools.
     KICKAPOO CHIEF. We all disclaim their treaties. Should they come,
Forced from their lairs by hunger, to our doors,
Swift punishment will light upon their heads.
     TECUMSEH. Put yokes upon them! Let their mouths be bound!
For they are swine who root with champing jaws
Their father’s fields, and swallow their own offspring.

     Enter the PROPHET in his robe—his face discoloured.

Welcome, my brother, from the lodge of dreams!
Hail to thee, sagest among men—great heir
Of all the wisdom of Pengasega!
     PROPHET. (aside) This pale-face here again! This hateful snake, [Page 31]
Who crawls between our people and their laws!
(To TECUMSEH) Your greeting, brother, takes the chill from mine,
When last we parted you were not so kind.
     TECUMSEH. The Prophet’s wisdom covers all. He knows
Why Nature varies in her handiwork,
Moulding one man from snow, the next from fire—
     PROPHET. Which temper is your own, and blazes up,
In winds of passion like a burning pine.
     TECUMSEH. ’Twill blaze no more unless to scorch our foes.
My brother, there’s my hand—for I am grieved
That aught befell to shake our proper love.
Our purpose is too high, and full of danger;
We have too vast a quarrel on our hands
To waste our breath on this.
                                      [Steps forward and offers his hand.
     PROPHET.                         My hand to yours.
     SEVERAL CHIEFS. Tecumseh and the prophet are
     TECUMSEH. Now, but one petty cloud distains our sky.
My brother, this man loves our people well.
                                                         (pointing to LEFROY.)
     LEFROY. I know he hates me, yet I hope to win
My way into his heart.
     PROPHET.                         There—take my hand!
(Aside.) I must dissemble. Would this palm were poison!
     (To TECUMSEH.) What of the Wyandots? And yet I know!
I have been up among the clouds, and down
Into the entrails of the earth, and seen
The dwelling-place of the devils. All my dreams
Are from above, and therefore favour us.
     TECUMSEH. With one accord the Wyandots disclaim
The treaties of Fort Wayne, and burn with rage.
Their tryst us here, and some will go with me
To Council at Vincennes. Where’s Winnemac?
     MIAMI CHIEF. That recreant has joined our enemies,
And with his peace-pipe sits beside their fire,
And whiffs away our lives. [Page 32]
     KICKAPOO CHIEF.                 The Deaf-Chief, too,
With head awry, who cannot hear us speak
Though thunder shouted for us from the skies,
Yet hears the Long-Knives whisper at Vincennes;
And, when they jest upon our miseries,
Grips his old leathern sides, and coughs with laughter.
     DELAWARE CHIEF. And old Kanaukwa—famed when we
          were young—
Has hid his axe, and washed his honours off.
     TECUMSEH. ’Tis honour he has parted with, not honours;
Good deeds are ne’er forespent, nor wiped away.
I know these men; they’ve lost their followers,
And, grasping at the shadow of command,
Where sway and custom once had reality,
By times, and turn about, follow each other.
They count for nought—but Winnemac is true,
Though over-politic; he will not leave us.
     PROPHET. Those wizened snakes must be destroyed at once!
     TECUMSEH. Have mercy, brother—those poor men are old.
     PROPHET. Nay, I shall tease them till they sting themselves;
Their rusty fangs are doubly dangerous.
     TECUMSEH. What warriors are ready for Vincennes?
     WARRIORS. All! All are ready.
Tecumseh leads us on—we follow him.
     TECUMSEH. Four hundred warriors will go with me,
All armed, yet only for security
Against the deep designs of Harrison.
For ’tis my purpose still to temporize,
Not lightly break with him till once again
I scour the far enplacements of our tribes,
Then shall we close at once on all our foes.
They claim our lands, but we shall take their lives;
Drive out their thievish souls, and spread their bones
To bleach upon the misty Alleghanies;
Or make death’s treaty with them on the spot, [Page 33]
And sign our bloody marks upon their crowns
For lack of schooling—ceding but enough
Of all the lands they covet for their graves.
     MIAMI CHIEF. Tecumseh’s tongue is housed in wisdom’s cheeks;
His valour and his prudence march together.
     DELAWARE CHIEF. ’Tis wise to draw the distant nations on.
This scheme will so extend to Long-Knife force,
In lines defensive stretching to the sea,
Their bands will be but morsels for our braves.
     PROPHET. How long must this bold project take to
Time marches with the foe, and his surveyors
Already smudge our forests with their fires.
It frets my blood and makes my bowels turn
To see those devils blaze our ancient oaks,
Cry, “Right!” and drive their rascal pickets down.
Why not make war on them at once?
     TECUMSEH.                                        Not now!
Time will make room for weightier affairs.
Be this the disposition for the hour:
Our warriors from Vincennes will all return,
Save twenty—the companions of my journey—
And this brave white, who longs to share our toil,
And win his love by deeds in our defence.
You, brother, shall remain to guard our town,
Our wives, our children, all that’s dear to us—
Receive each fresh accession to our strength;
And from the hidden world, which you inspect,
Draw a divine instruction for their souls.
Go, now, ye noble chiefs and warriors!
Make preparation—I’ll be with you soon.
To-morrow we shall make the Wabash boil,
And beat its current, racing to Vincennes.
                       [Exeunt all but TECUMSEH and the PROPHET.
     PROPHET. I shall return unto our sacred lodge,
And there invoke the Spirit of the Wind [Page 34]
To follow you, and blow good tidings back.
     TECUMSEH. Our strait is such we need the help of heaven.
Use all your wisdom, brother, but—beware!
Pluck not our enterprise while it is green,
And breed no quarrel here till I return.
Avoit it as you would a rattling snake;
And, when you here the sound of danger, shrink,
And face it not, unless with belts of peace.
White wampum, not the dark, till we can strike
With certain aim. Can I depend on you?
     PROPHET. Trust you in fire to burn, or cold to freeze?
So may you trust in me. The heavy charge
Which you have laid upon my shoulders now
Would weigh the very soul of rashness down.
                                                                   [Exit the PROPHET.
     TECUMSEH. I think I can depend on him—I must!
Yet do I know his crafty nature well—
His hatred of our foes, his love of self,
And wide ambition. What is mortal man?
Who can divine this creature that doth take
Some colour from all others? Nor shall I
Push cold conclusions ’gainst my brother’s sum
Of what is good—so let dependence rest!



     GERKIN. Ain’t it [.] about time Barron was back, Jedge?
     TWANG. I reckon so. Our Guvner takes a crazy sight more pains than I would to sweeten that ragin’ devil Techumseh’s temper. I’d sweeten it with sugar o’lead if I had my way.
     SLAUGH. It’s a reekin’ shame—dang me if it ain’t. And that two-faced one-eyed brother o’ his, the Prophet—I’ll be darned if folks don’t say that the Shakers in them ‘ere parts claims him for a disciple! [Page 35]
     TWANG. Then Shakers is a queer lot. They dance jest like wild Injuns, and thinks we orter be kind to the red rascals, and use them honestly.
     GERKIN. Wall! That’s what our Guvner ses too. But I reckon he’s shammin’ a bit. Twixt you and me, he’s on the make like the rest o’ us. Think o’ bein’ kind to a red devil that would lift your har ten minutes arter! And as for honesty—I say “set ’em up” every time, and then rob ’em. That’s the way to clar them out o’ the kentry. Whiskey’s better ’n gunpowder, and costs less than fightin’ ’em in the long run.


     TWANG. That’s so! Hello, Major, what’s up? You look kind o’riled to-day.
     BLOAT. Wall, Jedge, I do feel right mad—have you heerd the news?
     TWANG. No! Has old Sledge bust you at the kyards again?
     BLOAT. Old Sledge be darned! I had jest clar’d him out o’ continentals—fifty to the shilling’—at his own game, when in ript Roudi—the Eyetalian that knifed the Muskoe Injun for peekin’ through his bar-room winder last spring—jest down from Fort Knox. You know the chap, General; you was on his jury.
     SLAUGH. I reckon I do! The Court was agin him, but we acquitted him afore the Chief-Justice finished his charge, and gave him a vote o’ thanks to boot. There’s a heap o’ furriners creepin’ inter these parts—poor downtrodden cusses from Europe—and, if they’re all like Roudi, they’ll do—a’most as hendy with the knife as our own people. But what’s up?
     BLOAT. Roudi saw Barron at Fort Knox, restin’ thar on his way back from the Prophet’s Town, and he sez that red assassin Tecumseh’s a-cumin’ down with four hundred o’ his painted devils to converse with our Guvner. They’re all armed, he sez, and will be here afore mid-day. [Page 36]
     SLAUGH. Wall! our Guvner notified him to come—he’s only gettin’ what he axed for. There’ll be a deal o’ loose har flitterin’ about the streets afore night, I reckon. Harrison’s a heap too soft with them red roosters; he hain’t got cheek enough.
     GERKIN. I’ve heerd say the Guvner, and the Chief Justice too, thinks a sight o’ this tearin’ red devil. They say he’s a great man. They say, too, that our treaty Injuns air badly used—that they shouldn’t be meddled with on their resarves, and should hev skoolin’.
     BLOAT. Skoolin’! That gits me! Dogoned if I wouldn’t larn them jest one thing—what them regler officers up to the Fort larns their dogs—“to drap to shot,” only in a different kind o’ way like; and, as for their resarves, I say, give our farmers a chance—let them locate!
     TWANG. That’s so, Major! What arthly use air they—plouterin’ about their little bits o’ fields, with their little bits o’ cabins, and livin’ half the time on mush-rats? I say, let them move out, and give reliable citizens a chance.
     SLAUGH. Wall, I reckon our Guvner’s kind’s about played out. They call themselves the old stock—the clean pea—the rale gentlemen o’ the Revolooshun. But, gentlemen, ain’t we the Revolooshun? Jest wait till the live citizens o’ these United States and Territories gits a chance, and we’ll show them gentry what a free people, with out institooshuns, kin do. There’ll be no more talk o’ skoolin for Injuns, you bet! I’d give them Kernel Crunch’s billet.
     GERKIN. What was that, General?
     SLAUGH. Why, they say he killed a hull family o’ redskins, and stuck ’em up as scar’-crows in his wheat-fields. Gentlemen, there’s nothin’ like original idees!
     TWANG. That war an original idee! The Kernel orter hev tuk out a patent. I think I’ve heerd o’ Crunch. Warn’t he with Kernel Crawford, o’ the melish’, at one time?
     SLAUGH. Whar?
     TWANG. Why over to the Muskingum. You’ve heerd o’ them Delaware Moravians over to the Muskingum, surely? [Page 37]
     SLAUGH. Oh, them converted chaps! but I a’most forgit the circumstance.
     TWANG. Wall, them red devils had a nice resarve thar—as yieldin’ a bit o’ sile as one could strike this side o’ the Alleghanies. They was all convarted by the Moravians, and pertended to be as quiet and peaceable as the Shakers hereabout. But Kernel Crawford—who knew good sile when he sot his eyes on it—diskivered North with provisions—or thort they did, which was the same thing. So—one fine Sunday—he surrounds their church with his melish’—when the Injuns was all a-prayin’—and walks in himself, jest for a minute or two, and prays a bit so as not to skeer them too soon, end then walks out, and locks the door. The Kernel then cutely—my heart kind o’ warms to that man—put a squad o’ melish’ at each winder with their bayonets pinted, and sot fire to the Church, and charred up the hull kit, some that warn’t thar skinned out o’ the kentry, and got lands from the British up to the Thames River in Canady, and founded what they call the Moravian Town thar; and thar they is still—fur them Britishers kind o’ pampers the Injuns, so they may git at our scalps.
     SLAUGH. I reckon we’ll hev a tussle with them gentry afore long. But for Noo England we’d a hed it afore now; but them Noo Englanders kind o’ curries to the Britishers. A war would spile their shippin’, and so they’re agin it. But we hain’t got no ships spile this western kentry, and so I reckon we’ll pinch in.
     GERKIN. We’d better get out of this Injun fry-pan fust, old hoss! I could lick my own weight in wild-cats, but this ruck o’ Injuns is jest a little too hefty.
     BLOAT. Maybe they want to come to skool, and start store and sich!
     GERKIN. Gentlemen, I mean to send my lady down stream, and I reckon you’d better do the same with your [Page 38] ’uns—jest for safety like. My time’s limited—will you liquor?
     ALL. You bet!
     BLOAT. (Meditatively.) Skoolin’! Wall, I’ll be darned!


Enter GENERAL HARRISON, and some Officers of the American Army.

     HARRISON.      What savage handiwork keeps Barron back?

                                        Enter BARRON.

Ah, here he comes, his looks interpreting
Mischief and failure! It is as I feared.
What answer do you bring?
     BARRON.                          Tecumseh comes
To council, with four hundred men at back,
To which, with all persuasion, I objected—
As that it would alarm our citizens,
Whose hasty temper, by suspicion edged,
Might break in broils of quarrel with his braves;
But, sir, it was in vain—so be prepared!
Your Council records may be writ in blood.
     HARRISON. Will he attack us, think you?
     BARRON.                                                     No, not now.
His present thought is to intimidate.
But, lest some rash and foul-minded citizen
Should spur his passion to the run, fore-arm!
     HARRISON. Tut! Arms are scarce as soldiers in our town,
And I am sick of requisitioning.
Nay, we must trust to something else than arms.
Tecumseh is a savage but in name—
Let’s trust to him! What says he of our treaties? [Page 39]
     BARRON. Oh, he discharges them as heavy loads,
Which, borne by red men only, break their backs.
All lands, he says, are common to his race;
Not to be sold but by consent of all.
     HARRISON. Absurd! This proposition would prevent
All purchase and progress. No, indeed;
We cannot tie our hands with such conditions.
What of the Prophet? Comes he with the rest?
     BARRON. The Prophet stays behind.
     HARRISON.                                            He is a foil
Used by Tecumseh to augment his greatness;
And, by good husbandry of incantation,
And gloomy charms by night, this Prophet works
So shrewdly on their braves that every man,
Inflamed by auguries of victory,
Would rush on death.
     1st OFFICER.                       Why, General, I heard
He over-trumpt you once and won the trick.
     HARRISON. How so?
     1st OFFICER. Well, once, before his braves, ’tis said,
You dared him to a trial of his spells,
Which challenge he accepted, having heard
From white men of a coming sun-eclipse.
Then, shrewdly noting day and hour, he called
Boldly his followers round him, and declared
That he would hide the sun. They stood and gazed,
And, when the moon’s colossal shadow fell,
They crouched upon the ground, and worshipped him.
     HARRISON. He caught me there, and mischief came of it.
Oh, he is deep. How different those brothers!
One dipt in craft, the dye of cruelty,
The other frank and open as the day.

                              Enter an ORDERLY.

     ORDERLY. Tecumseh and his braves have reached the landing!
                                             [Excitement. All rise hastily. [Page 40]
     HARRISON.     This room is smaller than our audience:
Take seats and benches to the portico—
There we shall treat with him.
                                    [Exuent all but GENERAL HARRISON.
                                                    Could I but strain
My charge this chief might be my trusty friend.
Yet I am but my nation’s servitor;
Gold is the king who overrides the right,
And turns our people from the simple ways
And fair ideal of their father’s lives.


       [Curtain rises and discovers GENERAL HARRISON, army officers and                citizens, or various quality, including TWANG, SLAUGH, GERKIN and                BLOAT, seated in the portico. A sergeant and guard of soldiers near by.

Enter TECUMSEH and his followers with LEFROY in Indian dress. They all                 stop at the grove.

     HARRISON. Why halts he there?
Go tell him he is welcome to our house.
                             [An Orderly goes down with message.
     1st OFFICER. How grave and decorus they look—“the mein
Of pensive people born in ancient woods.”
But look at him! Look at Tecumseh there—
How simple in attire! that eagle plume
Sole ornament, and emblem of his spirit.
And yet, far-scanned, there’s something in his face
That likes us not. Would we were out of this!
     HARRISON. Yes; even at a distance I can see
His eyes distilling anger. ’Tis no sign
Of treachery, which ever drapes with smiles [Page 41]
The most perfidious purpose. Our poor strength
Would fail at once should he break out on us;
But let us hope ’tis yet a war of wits
Where firmness may enact the part of force.
                                                                     [Orderly returns.
What answer do you bring?
     ORDERLY. Tecumseh says:
“Houses are built for whites—the red man’s house,
Leaf-roofed, and walled with living oak, is there—
                                                           [Pointing to the grove.
Let our white brother meet us in it!”
     2nd OFFICER. Oh!
White brother! So he levels to your height,
And strips your office of its dignity.
     3rd OFFICER. ’Tis plain he cares not for your dignity,
And touchingly reminds us of our tenets.
Our nation spurns the outward shows of state,
And ceremony dies for lack of service.
Pomp is discrowned, and throned regality
Dissolved away in our new land and laws.
Man is the Presence here!
     1st OFFICER. Well, for my part,
I like not that one in particular.
                                                 [Pointing toward TECUMSEH.
     3rd OFFICER. No more do I! I wish I were a crab,
And had its courtly fashion of advancing.
     HARRISON. Best yield to him, the rather that he now
Invites our confidence. His heavy force
Scants good opinion somewhat, yet I know
There’s honour, aye, and kindness in this Chief.
     3rd OFFICER. Yes, faith, he loves us all, and means to keep
Locks of our hair for memory. Here goes!
                                                                                 [All rise.
     Servants and soldiers carry chairs and benches to the grove, followed by                GENERAL HARRISON and others, who seat themselves—TECUMSEH           and his followers still standing in the lower part of the grove. [Page 42]

     HARRISON. We have not met to bury our respect,
Or mar our plea with lack of courtesy.
The Great Chief knows it is his father’s wish
That he should sit by him.
     TECUMSEH. My father’s wish!
My father is the sun; the earth my mother,
                                                 [Pointing to each in turn.
And on her mighty bosom I shall rest.
     [TECUMSEH and his followers seat themselves on the grass.
     HARRISON. (Rising.) I asked Tecumseh to confer with me,
Not in war’s hue, but for the ends of peace.
Our own intent—witness our presence here,
Unarmed save those few muskets and our swords.
How comes it, then, that he descends on us
With this o’erbearing and intimely strength?
Tecumseh’s virtues are the theme of all;
Wisdom and courage, frankness and good faith—
To speak of these things is to thing of him!
Yet, as one theft makes men suspect the thief—
Be all his life spent in honesty—
So does one breach of faithfulness in man
Would all his after deeds. There is a pause
In some men’s goodness like the barren time
Of those sweet trees which yield each second year,
Wherein what seems niggardness in nature
Is but good husbandry for future gifts.
But this tree bears, and bears most treacherous fruit!
Here is a gross infringement of all laws
That shelter men in council, where should sit
No disproportioned force save that of reason—
Our strong dependence still, and argument,
Of better consequence than that of arms,
If great Tecumseh should give ear to it.
     TECUMSEH. (Rising.) You called upon Tecumseh and he came!
You sent your messenger, asked us to bring [Page 43]
Our wide complaint to you—and here it is!
                                                   [Pointing to his followers.
Why is our brother angry at our force,
Since every man but represents a wrong?
Nay! rather should our force be multiplied!
Fill up your streets and overflow your fields,
And crowd upon the earth for standing room;
Still would our wrongs outweigh our witnesses,
And scant recital for the lack of tongues.
I know your reason, and its bitter heart,
Its form of justice, clad with promises—
The cloaks of death! That reason was the snare
Which tripped our ancestors in days of yore—
Who knew not falsehood and so feared it not:
And took them, cold and hungry, to their hearts,
Filled them with food, and shared with them their homes,
With such return as might make baseness blush.
What tree e’er bore such treacherous fruits as this?
But let it pass! let wrongs die with the wronged!
The red man’s memory is full of graves.
But wrongs live with the living, who are here—
Inheritors of all our father’s sighs,
And tears, and garments wringing wet with blood.
The injuries which you have done to us
Cry out for remedy, or wide revenge.
Restore the forests you have robbed us of—
Our stolen homes and vales of plenteous corn!
Give back the boundaries, which are our lives,
Ere the axe rise! aught else is reasonless.
     HARRISON. Tecumseh’s passion is a dangerous flood
Which sweeps away his judgement. Let him lift
His threatened axe to hit defenceless heads!
It cannot mar the body of our right,
Nor gaze the even justice of our claim:
These still would live, uncancelled by our death.
Let reason rule us, in whose sober light
We read those treaties which offend him thus: [Page 44]
What nation was the first established here,
Settled for centuries, with title sound?
You know that people, the Miami, well.
Long ere the white man tripped his anchors cold,
To cast them by the glowing western isles,
They lived upon these lands in peace, and none
Dared cavil at their claim. We brought from them,
For such equivalent to largess joined,
That every man was hampered with our goods,
And stumbled on profusion. But give ear!
Jealous lest aught might fail of honesty—
Lest one lean interest or poor shade of right
Should point at us—we made the Kickapoo
And Delaware the sharer of our gifts,
And stretched the arms of bounty over heads
Which held but by Miami sufferance.
But, you! whence came you? and what rights have you?
The Shawanoes are interlopers here—
Witness their name! mere wanderers from the South!
Spurned thence by angry Creek and Yamasee—
Now here to stir and strife, and tempt the tribes
To break the seals of faith. I am surprised
That they should be so led, and more than grieved
Tecumseh has such ingrates at his back.
     TECUMSEH. Call you those ingrates who but claim their own,
And owe you nothing but revenge? Those men
Are here to answer and confront your lies.
                                                    [Turning to his followers.
Miami, Delaware and Kickapoo!
Ye are alleged as signers of those deeds—
Those dark and treble treacheries of Fort Wayne.
Ye chiefs, whose cheeks are tanned with battle-smoke,
Stand forward, then, and answer if you did it!
     KICKAPOO CHIEF. (Rising.) Not I! I disavow them! They were made
By village chiefs whose vanity o’ercame
Their judgement, and their duty to our race. [Page 45]
     DELAWARE CHIEF. (Rising.) And I reject the treaties in the name
Of all our noted braves and warriors.
They have no weight save with the palsied heads
Which dote on friendly compacts in the past.
     MIAMI CHIEF. (Rising.) And I renounce them also. They were singed
By Scottish braves—the Long-Knife’s tavern chiefs—
Who sell their honour like a pack of fur,
Make favour with the pale-face for his fee,
And caper with the hatchet for his sport.
I am a chief by right of blood, and fling
Your false and flimsy treaties in your face.
I am my nation’s head, and own but one
As greater than myself, and he is here!
                                                        [Pointing to TECUMSEH.
     TECUMSEH. You have your answer, and from those whose rights
Stand in your own admission. But from me—
The Shawanoe—the interloper here—
Take the full draught of meaning, and wash down
Their dry and bitter truths. Yes! from the South
My people came—fall’n from their wide estate
Where Altamaha’s uncongealing springs
Kept a perpetual summer in their sight,
Sweet with magnolia blooms, and dropping balm,
And scented breath of orange and of pine.
And from the East the hunted Delawares came,
Flushed from their coverts and their native streams;
Your old allies, men ever true to you,
Who, resting after long and weary flight,
Are by your bands shot sitting on the ground.
     HARRISON. Those men got ample payment for their land,
Full recompense, and just equivalent.
     TECUMSEH. They flew from death to light upon it here!
And many a tribe comes pouring from the East,
Smitten with fire—their outraged women, maimed, [Page 46]
Screaming in horror o’er their murdered babes,
Whose sinless souls, slashed out by white men’s swords,
Whimper in Heaven for revenge. O God!
’Tis thus the pale-face prays, then cries “Amen”;—
He clamours, and his Maker answers him,
Whilst our Great Spirit sleeps! Oh, no, no, no—
He does not sleep! He will avenge our wrongs!
That Christ the white men murdered, and thought dead—
Who, if He died for mankind, died for us—
He is alive, and looks from heaven on this!
Oh, we have seen your baseness and your guile;
Our eyes are opened and we know your ways!
No longer shall you hoax us with your pleas,
Or with the serpent’s cunning wake distrust,
Range tribe ’gainst tribe—then shoot the remnant down,
And in the red man’s empty cabin grin,
And shake with laughter o’er his desolate hearth.
No, we are one! the red man all are one
In colour as in love, in lands and fate!
     HARRISON. Still, with the voice of wrath Tecumseh speaks,
And not with reason’s tongue.
     TECUMSEH.                           Oh, keep your reason!
It is a thief which steals away our lands.
Your reason is our deadly foe, and writes
The jeering epitaphs for our poor graves.
It is the lying maker of your books,
Wherein our people’s vengeance is set down,
But not a word of crimes which led to it.
These are hushed up and hid, whilst all our deeds,
Even in self-defence, are marked as wrongs
Heaped on your blameless heads.
                                                               But to the point!
Just as our brother’s Seventeen Council Fires
Unite for self-protection, so do we.
How can you blame us, since your own example
Is but our model and fair precedent?
The Long-Knife’s craft has kept our tribes apart, [Page 47]
Nourished dissensions, raised distinctions up,
Forced us to injuries which, soon as done,
Are made your vile pretexts for bloody war.
But this is past. Our nations now are one—
Ready to rise in their imbanded strength.
You promised to restore our ravaged lands
On proof that they are ours—that proof is here,
And by the tongues of truth has answered you.
Redeem your sacred pledges, and no more
Our “leaden birds” will sing amongst your corn;
But love will shine on you, and startled peace
Will come again, and build by every hearth.
Refuse—and we shall strike you to the ground!
Pour flame and slaughter on your confines wide,
Till the charred earth, up to the cope of Heaven,
Reeks with the smoke of smouldering villages,
And steam of awful fires half quenched with blood.
     TWANG. Did you ever hear the like? If I hed my shootin’-iron, darn me if I wouldn’t draw a bead on that barkin’ savage. The hungry devil gits under-holts on our Guvner every time.
     SLAUGH. You bet! I reckon he’d better put a lump o’ bacon in his mouth to keep his bilin’ sap o’ passion down.
     BLOAT. That’s mor’n I’d do. This is jest what we git for allowin’ the skilkin’ devils to live. I’d vittle ’em on lead pills if I was Guvner.
     TWANG. That’s so! Our civilizashun is jest this—we know what’s what. If I hed my way—
     HARRISON. Silence, you fools! If you provoke him here your blood be on your heads.
     GERKIN. Right you air, Guvner! We’ll close your dampers.
     TECUMSEH. My brother’s ears have heard. Where is his tongue?
     HARRISON. My honest ears ache in default of reason.
Tecumseh is reputed wise, yet now
His fuming passions from his judgement fly,
Like roving steeds which gallop from the catch, [Page 48]
And kick the air, wasting in wantonness
More strength than in submission. His threats fall
On fearless ears. Knows he not of our force,
Which in the East swarms like mosquitoes here?
Our great Kentucky and Virginia fires?
Our mounted men and soldier-citizens?
These all have strings—let him beware of them!
     TECUMSEH. Who does not know your vaunting citizens!
Well drilled in fraud and disciplined in crime;
But in aught else—as honour, justice, truth—
A rabble, and a base disordered herd.
We know them; and our nations, knit in one,
Will challenge them, should this, our last appeal,
Fall on unheeding ears. My brother, hearken!
East of Ohio you possess our lands,
Thrice greater than your needs, but west of it
We claim them all; then, let us make its flood
A common frontier, and sacred stream
Of which our nations both man drink in peace.
     HARRISON. Absurd! The treaties of Fort Wayne must stand.
Your village chiefs are heads of civil rule,
Whose powers you seek to centre in yourself,
Or vest in warriors whose trade is blood.
We bought from those, and from your peaceful men—
Your wiser brothers—who had faith in us.
     TECUMSEH. Poor, ruined brothers, weaned from honest lives!
     HARRISON. They knew our wisdom, and preferred to sell
Their cabins, fields, and wilds of unused lands
For rich reserves and ripe annuities.
As for your nations being one like ours—
’Tis false—else would they speak one common tongue.
Nay, more! your own traditions trace you here-
Widespread in lapse of ages through the land—
From o’er the mighty ocean of the West.
What better title have you than ourselves, [Page 49]
Who came from o’er the ocean of the East,
And meet with you on free and common ground?
Be reasonable, and let wisdom’s words
Displace your passion, and give judgement vent.
Think more of bounty, and talk less of rights—
Our hands are full of gifts, our hearts of love.
     TECUMSEH. My brother’s love is like the trader’s warmth—
O’er with the purchase. Oh, unhappy lives—
Our gifts which go for yours! Once we were strong.
Once all this mighty continent was ours,
And the Great Spirit made it for our use.
He knew no boundaries, so had we peace
In the vast shelter of His handiwork,
And, happy here, we cared not whence we came.
We brought no evils thence—no treasured hate,
No greed of gold, no quarrels over God;
And so our broils, to narrow issues joined,
Were soon composed, and touched the ground of peace.
Our very ailments, rising from the earth,
And not from any foul abuse in us,
Drew back, and let age ripen death’s hand.
Thus flowed our lives until your people came,
Till the East our matchless misery came!
Since then our tale is crowded with your crimes,
With broken faith, with plunder of reserves—
The sacred remnants of our wide domain—
With tamp’rings, and delirious feasts of fire,
The fruit of your thrice-cursèd stills of death,
Which make our good men bad, our bad men worse,
Ay! blind them till they grope in open day,
And stumble into miserable graves.
Oh, it is piteous, for none will hear!
There is no hand to help, no heart to feel,
No tongue to plead for us in all your land.
But every hand aims death, and every heart,
Ulcered with hate, resents our presence here;
And every tongue cries for our children’s land [Page 50]
To expiate their crime of being born.
Oh, we have ever yielded in the past,
But we shall yield no more! Those plains are ours!
Those forests are our birth-right and our home!
Let not the Long-Knife build one cabin there—
Or fire from it will spread to every roof,
To compass you, and light your souls to death!
     HARRISON. Dreams he of closing up our empty plains?
Our mighty forests waiting for the axe?
Our mountain steeps engrailed with iron and gold?
There’s no asylumed madness like to this!
Mankind shall have its wide possession here;
And these rough assets of a virgin world
Stand for its coming, and await its hand.
The poor of every land shall come to this,
Heart-full of sorrows, and shall lay them down.
     LEFROY. (Springing to his feet.) The poor! What care your rich thieves for the poor?
Those graspers hate the poor, from whom they spring,
More deeply than they hate this injured race.
Much have they taken from it—let them now
Take this prediction, with the red man’s curse!
The time will come when that dread power—the Poor—
Whom, in their greed and pride of wealth, they spurn—
Will rise on them, and tear them from their seats;
Drag all their vulgar splendours down, and pluck
Their shallow women from their lawless beds,
Yea, seize their puling and unhealthy babes,
And fling them as foul pavement into the streets.
In all the dreaming of the Universe
There is no darker vision of despairs!
     1st OFFICER. What man is this? ’Tis not an Indian.
     HARRISON. Madman, you rave!—you know not what you say.
     TECUMSEH. Master of guile, this axe should speak for him!
          [Drawing his hatchet as if to hurl it at HARRISON. [Page 51]
     2nd OFFICER. This man means mischief! Quick! Bring up the guard!

     [GENERAL HARRISON and officers draw their swords. The warriors spring           to their feet and cluster about TECUMSEH, their eyes fixed intently upon           HARRISON, who stands unmoved. TWANG and his friends disappear.           The soldiers rush forward and take aim, but are ordered not to fire.





                        HARRISON’S HOUSE.

                    Enter HARRISON and five COUNCILLORS.

     HARRISON. Here are my despatches from the President,
As well as letters from my trusted friends,
Whose tenor made me summon you to Council.
                                                       [Placing papers on table.
     1st COUNCILLOR. Why break good news so gently? Is it true
War is declared ’gainst England?
     HARRISON. Would it were!
That was is still deferred. Our news is draff,
And void of spirit, since New England turns
A fresh cheek to the slap of Britain’s palm.
Great God! I am amazed at such supineness.
Our trade prohibited, our men impressed,
Our flag insulted—still her people bend,
Amidst the ticket of their wooden clocks,
Bemused o’er small inventions. Out upon ’t!
Such tame submission yokes not with my spirit,
And sends my southern blood into my cheeks,
As proxy for New England’s sense of shame.
     2nd COUNCILLOR. We all see, save New England, what to do;
But she has eyes for her one interest—
A war might sink it. So the way to war
Puzzles imagining.
     HARRISON.               There is a way
Which lies athwart the President’s command. [Page 53]
The reinforcements asked for from Monroe
Are here at last, but with this strict injunction,
They must not be employed save in defence,
Or in a forced attack.                         [Taking up a letter.
                                                Now, here is news,
Fresh from the South, of bold Tecumseh’s work:
The Creeks are Seminolés have conjoined,
Which means a general union of the tribes,
And ravage of our southern settlements.
Tecumseh’s master hand is seen in this,
And these fresh tidings tally with his threats
Before he left Vincennes.
     3rd COUNCILLOR.          You had a close
Encounter with him here.
     HARRISON.                     Not over close,
Nor dangerous—I saw he would not strike.
His thoughts outran his threats, and looked beyond
The wider fields and trails of our strength.
     4th COUNCILLOR. Our tree is now too bulky for his axe.
     HARRISON. Don't underrate his power! But for our States
This man would found an empire to surpass
Old Mexico's renown, or rich Peru.
Allied with England, he is to be feared
More than all other men.
     1st COUNCILLOR.                You had some talk
In private, ere he vanished to the South?

     HARRISON. Mere words, yet ominous. Could we restore
Our purchases, and make a treaty line,
All might be well; but who would stand to it?
     2nd COUNCILLOR. It is not to be thought of.
     OTHER COUNCILLORS.                No, no, no.
     HARRISON. In further parley at the river’s edge,
Scenting a coming war, he clapped his hands,
And said the English whooped his people on,
As if his braves were hounds to spring at us;
Compared our nation to a whelming flood, [Page 54]
And called his scheme a dam to keep it back—
Then proffered the old terms; whereat I urged
A peaceful mission to the President.
But, by apt questions, gleaning my opinion,
Ere I was ware, of such a bootless trip,
He drew his manly figure up, then smiled,
And said our President might drink his wine
In safety in his distant town, whilst we—
Over the mountains here—should fight it out;
Then entering his bark, well manned with braves,
Bade me let matters rest till he returned
From his far mission to the distant tribes,
Waved an adieu, and in a trice was gone.
     2nd COUNCILLOR. Your news is but an earnest of his work.
     4th COUNCILLOR. This Chief’s despatch should be our own example.
Let matters rest, forsooth, till he can set
Our frontiers in a blaze! Such cheap advice
Pulls with the President’s, not mine.
     HARRISON.                                  Nor mine!
The sum of my advice is to attack
The Prophet ere Tecumseh can return.
     5th COUNCILLOR. But what about the breach of your instructions?
     HARRISON. If we succeed we need not fear the breach—
In the same space we give and heal the wound.

          Enter a Messenger, who hands letters to HARRISON.

Thank you, Missouri and good Illinois—
Your governors are built of western clay.
Howard and Edwards both incline with me,
And urge attack upon the Prophet’s force.
This is the nucleus of Tecumseh’s strength—
His bold scheme’s very heart. Let’s cut it out!

     1st COUNCILLOR. Yes! yes! and every other part will fail.
     2nd COUNCILLOR. Let us prepare to go at once! [Page 55]
     3rd COUNCILLOR.                           Agreed.
     4th COUNCILLOR. I vote for it.
     5th COUNCILLOR.              But should the Prophet win?
     4th COUNCILLOR. Why, then, the Prophet, not Tecumseh, kills us—
Which has the keener axe?
     1st COUNCILLOR.            Breech-clouted dogs!
Let us attack them, and, with thongs of fire,
Whip their red bodies to a deeper red.

     HARRISON. This feeling bodes success, and with success
Comes war with England; for a well-won fight
Will rouse a martial spirit in the land
To emulate our deeds on higher ground,
Now hasten to your duties and prepare!
Bronzed autumn comes, when copper-coloured oaks
Drop miserly their stiff leaves to the earth;
And ere the winter’s snow doth silver them,
Our triumph must we wrought.


                    Enter IENA and MAMATEE, agitated.

     IENA. My heart is sad, and I am faint with fear.
My friend, my more than mother, go again—
Plead with the Prophet for a single day!
Perchance within his gloomy heart will stir
Some sudden pulse of pity for a girl.
     MAMATEE. Alas, my Iena, it is in vain!
He swore my Manitou this very morn,
That thou shouldst wed the chief, Tarbay, to-night.
     IENA. Nay, try once more, oh, Mamatee, once more!
I had a dream, and heard the gusty breeze
Hurtle from out a sea of hissing pines,
Then dwindle into voices, faint and sweet,
Which cried—we come! It was my love and yours! [Page 56]
They spoke to me—I know that they are near,
And waft their love to us upon the wind.
     MAMATEE. Some dreams are merely fancies in our sleep;
I’ll make another trial, but I feel
Your only safety is in instant flight.
     IENA. Flight! Where and how—beset by enemies?
My fear sits like the partridge in the tree,
And cannot fly whilst these dogs bark at me.


                    Enter three of HARRISON’S staff Officers.

     1st OFFICER. Well, here’s the end of all our northward marching!
     2nd OFFICER. A peaceful end, if we can trust those chiefs
Who parleyed with us lately.
     3rd OFFICER. Yes, for if
They mean to fight, why point us to a spot
At once so strong and pleasant for our camp?
     1st OFFICER. Report it so unto our General.
                                                               [Exit 3rd OFFICER.
’Tis worth our long march through the forest wild
To view these silent plains! The Prophet’s Town,
Sequestered yonder like a hermitage,
Disturbs not either’s vast of solitude,
But rather gives, like graveyard visitors,
To deepest loneliness a deeper awe.

                                 Re-enter 3rd OFFICER.

     3rd OFFICER. I need not go, for Harrison is here.

          Enter GENERAL HARRISON, his force following.

     1st OFFICER. Methinks you like the place; some thanks we owe [Page 57]
Unto the Prophet’s chiefs for good advice.
     HARRISON. (Looking around keenly.) These noble oaks, the streamlet to                our rear,
This rank wild grass—wood, water and soft beds!
The soldier’s luxuries are here together.
     1st OFFICER. Note, too, the place o’erlooks the springy plain
Which lies betwixt us and the Prophet’s Town.
I think, sir, ’tis a very fitting place.
     HARRISON. A fitting place if white men were our foes;
But to the red it gives a clear advantage.
Sleep like the weasel here, if you are wise!
     1st OFFICER. Why, sir, their chiefs, so menacing at first,
Became quite friendly at the last. They fear
A battle, and will treat on any terms.
The Prophet’s tide of strength will ebb away,
And leave his stranded bark upon the mire.
     HARRISON. ’Tis the mixed craft of old dissembling Nature!
If I could look upon her smallest web,
And see in it but crossed and harmless hairs,
Then might I trust the Prophet’s knotted seine.
I did not like the manner of those chiefs
Who spoke so fairly. What but highest greatness
Plucks hatred from its seat, and in its stead
Plants friendship in an instant? This our camp
Is badly placed; each coulee and ravine
Is dangerous cover for an approach by night;
And all the circuit of the spongy plain
A treacherous bog to mire our cavalry.
They who directed us so warmly here
Had other than our comfort in their eye.
     2nd OFFICER. Fear you a night-attack, sir?
     HARRISON.                                                   Fear it! No!
I but anticipate, and shall prepare.
’Tis sunset, and too late for better choice,
Else were the Prophet welcome to his ground.
Pitch tents and draw our baggage to the centre; [Page 58]
Girdle the camp with lynx-eyed sentinels;
Detail strong guards of choice and wakeful men
As pickets in advance of all our lines;
Place mounted riflemen on both our flanks;
Our cavalry take post in front and rear,
But still within the lines of infantry,
Which, struch at any point, must hold the ground
Until relieved. Cover your rifle pans—
The thick clouds threaten rain. I look to you
To fill these simple orders to the letter.
But stay! Let all our camp-fires burn
Till, if attacked, we form—then drown them out.
The darkness falls—make disposition straight;
Then, all who can, to sleep upon their arms.
I fear me, ere night yields to morning pale,
The warriors’ yell will sound our wile reveille.


                                        Enter IENA.

     IENA. ’Tis night, and Mamatee is absent still!
Why should this sorrow weigh upon my heart,
And other lonely things on earth have rest?
Oh, could I be with them! The lily shone
All day upon the stream, and now it sleeps
Under the wave in peace—in cradle soft
Which sorrow soon may fashion for my grave.

Ye shadows which do creep into my thoughts—
Ye curtains of despair! what is my fault,
That ye should hide the happy earth from me?
Once I had joy of it, when tender Spring,
Mother of beauty, hid me in her leaves;
When Summer led me by the shores of song,
And forests and far-sounding cataracts
Melted my soul with music. I have heard
The rough chill harpings of dismantled woods,
When Fall had stripped them, and have felt a joy [Page 59]
Deeper than ear could lend unto the heart;
And when the Winter from his mountains wild
Looked down on death, and, in the frosty sky,
The very stars seemed hung with icicles,
Then came a sense of beauty calm and cold,
That weaned me from myself, yet knit me still
With kindred bonds to Nature. All is past,
And he who won from me such love for him,
And he, my valiant uncle and my friend,
Come not to lift the cloud that drapes my soul,
And shield me from the fiendish Prophet’s power.

                                        Enter MAMATEE.

Give me his answer in his very words!
     MAMATEE. There is a black storm raging in his mind—
His eye darts lightning like the angry cloud
Which hangs in woven darkness o’er the earth.
Brief is his answer—you must go to him.
The Long-Knife’s camp-fires gleam among the oaks
Which dot yon western hill. A thousand men
Are sleeping there cajoled to fatal dreams
By promises the Prophet breaks to night.
Hark! ’tis the war-song!
     IENA.                                    Dares the Prophet now
Betray Tecumseh’s trust, and break his faith?
     MAMATEE. He dares do anything will feed ambition.
His dancing braves are frenzied by his tongue,
Which prophesies revenge and victory.
Before the break of day he will surprise
The Long-Knife’s camp, and hang our people’s fate
Upon a single onset.
     IENA.                            Should he fail?
     MAMATEE. Then all will fail;—Tecumseh’s scheme will fail.
     IENA. It shall not! Let us go to him at once!
     MAMATEE. And risk your life?
     IENA.                                             Risk hovers everywhere
When night and man combine for darksome deeds. [Page 60]
I’ll go to him, and argue on my knees—
Yea, yield his hand—would I could give my heart!
To stay his purpose and his act of ruin.
     MAMATEE. He is not in the mood for argument.
Rash girl! they die who would oppose him now.
     IENA. Such death were sweet as life—I go! But, first—
Great Spirit! I commit my soul to Thee


                                        Enter the PROPHET.

     PROPHET. My spells do work apace! Shout yourselves hoarse,
Ye howling ministers by whom I climb!
For this I’ve wrought until my weary tongue,
Blistered with incantation, flags in speech,
And half declines its office. Every brave,
Inflamed by charms and oracles, is now
A vengeful serpent, who will glide ere morn
To sting the Long-Knife’s sleeping camp to death.
Why should I hesitate? My promises!
My duty to Tecumseh! What are these
Compared to duty here? Where I perceive
A near advantage, there my duty lies;
Consideration strong which overweighs
All other reason. Here is Harrison—
Trapanned to dangerous lodgement for the night—
Each deep ravine which grooves the prairie’s breast
A channel of approach; each winding creek
A screen for creeping death. Revenge is sick
To think of such advantage flung aside.
For what? To let Tecumseh’s greatness grow,
Who gathers his rich harvest of renown
Out of the very fields that I have sown! [Page 61]
By Manitou, I will endure no more!
Nor, in the rising flood of our affairs,
Fish like an osprey for his eagle longer.
                                                                         But, soft!
It is the midnight hour when comes
Tarhay to claim his bride, (calls) Tarhay! Tarhay!

                                        Enter TARHAY with several braves.

     TARHAY. Tarhay is here!
     PROPHET.                     The Long-Knives die to-night.
The spirits which do minister to me
Have breathed this utterance within my ear.
You know my sacred office cuts me off
From the immediate leadership in fight.
My nobler work is in the spirit-world,
And thence come promises which make us strong.
Near to the foe I’ll keep the Magic Bowl,
Whilst you, Tarhay, shall lead our warriors on.
     TARHAY. I’ll lead them; they are wild with eagerness.
But fill my cold and empty cabin first
With light and heat! You know I love your niece,
And have the promise of her hand to-night.
     PROPHET. She shall be yours!           (To the braves.)
Go bring her here at once—
But, look! Fulfillment of my promises comes
In her own person.

                                        Enter IENA and MAMATEE.

                                                    Welcome, my sweet niece!
You have forestalled my message by these braves,
And come unbidden to your wedding place.
     IENA. Uncle! you know my heart is far away—
     PROPHET. But your hand is here! this little hand!

                                                        (Pulling her forward.)
     IENA. Dare you enforce a weak and helpless girl,
Who thought to move you by her misery?
Stand back! I have a message for you too. [Page 62]
What means the war-like song, the dance of braves,
And bustle in our town?
     PROPHET.                              It means that we
Attack the foe to-night.
     IENA.                               And risk our all?
O that Tecumseh knew! his soul would rush
In arms to intercept you. What! break faith,
And on the hazard of a doubtful strife
Stake his great enterprise and all our lives!
The dying curses of a ruined race
Will wither up your wicked heart for this!
     PROPHET. False girl! your heart is with our foes;
Your hand I mean to turn to better use.
     IENA. Oh, could it turn you from your mad intent
How freely I would give it! Drop this scheme,
Dismiss your frenzied warriors to their beds;
And, if contented with my hand, Tarhay
Can have it here.
     TARHAY.                I love you, Iena!
     IENA. Then must you love what I do! Love our race!
’Tis this love nerves Tecumseh to unite
Its scattered tribes—his fruit of noble toil,
Which you would snatch unripened from his hand
And feed to sour ambition. Touch it not—
Oh, touch it not, Tarhay! and though my heart
Breaks for it, I am yours.
     PROPHET.                   His anyway,
Or I am not the Prophet!
     TARHAY.                      For my part
I have no leaning to this rash attempt,
Since Iena consents to be my wife.
     PROPHET. Shall I be thwarted by a yearning fool!
This soft, sleek girl, to outward seeming good,
I know to be a very fiend beneath—
Whose sly affections centre on herself,
And feed the gliding snake within her heart. [Page 63]
     TARHAY. I cannot think her so—
     MAMATEE.                                            She is not so!
There is the snake that creeps among our race,
Whose venomed fangs would bite into our lives,
And poison all our hopes.
     PROPHET.                           She is the head—
The very neck of danger to me here,
Which I must break at once! (Aside.) Tarhay—attend!
I can see dreadful visions in the air;
I can dream awful dreams of life and fate;
I can bring darkness on the heavy earth;
I can fetch shadows from our fathers’ graves,
And spectres from the sepulchres of hell.
Who dares dispute with the disputes with death!
Dost hear, Tarhay?
               [TARHAY and braves cower before the PROPHET.
     TARHAY.                     I hear, and will obey.
Spare me! Spare me!
     PROPHET.                As for this foolish girl,
The hand she offers you on one condition,
I give to you upon a better one;
And, since she has no mind to give her heart—
Which, rest assured, is in her body still—
There,—take it at my hands!
     (Flings IENA violently toward TARHAY, into whose arms she falls fainting,      and is then borne away by MAMATEE.)
     (To TARHAY.) Go bring the braves to view the Mystic Torch
And belt of Sacred Beans grown from my flesh—
One touch of it makes them invulnerable—
Then creep, like stealthy panthers, on the foe! [Page 64]


      Enter HARRISON, Officers and Soldiers and BARRON.

     HARRISON. A costly triumph, reckoned by our slain!
Look how some lie still clenched with savages
In all-embracing death, their bloody hands
Glued in each other’s hair! Make burial straight
Of all alike in deep and common graves:
Their quarrel is now ended.
     1ST OFFICER.                            I have heard
The red man fears out steel—’twas not so here!
From the first shots, which drove our pickets in,
Till daylight dawned, they rushed upon our lines,
And flung themselves upon our bayonet points
In frenzied recklessness of bravery.
     BARRON. They trusted in the Prophet’s rites and spells,
Which promised them immunity from death.
All night he sat on yon safe eminence,
Howling his songs of war and mystery,
Then fled, at dawn, in fear of his own braves.

                                        Enter an AIDE.

     HARRISON. What tidings bring you from the Prophet’s town?
     AIDE. The wretched women with their children flee
To distant forests for concealment. In
Their village is no living thing save mice
Which scampered as we oped each cabin door.
Their pots still simmered on the vacant hearths,
Standing in dusty silence and desertion.
Naught else we saw, save that their granaries
Were crammed with needful corn.
     HARRISON.                                    Go bring it all—
Then burn their village down!
                                                                       [Exit AIDE. [Page 65]
     2nd OFFICER. This victory
Will shake Tecumseh’s project to the base.
Were I the Prophet I should drown myself
Rather than meet him.
     BARRON.                          We have news of him—
Our scouts report him near in heavy force.
     HARRISON. ’Twill melt, or draw across the British line,
And wait for war. But double the night watch,
Lest he should strike, and give an instant care
To all our wounded men: to-morrow’s sun
Must light us on our backward march home.
Thence Rumor’s tongue will spread so proud a story
New England will grown envious of our glory;
And, greedy for renown so long abhorred,
Will on old England draw the tardy sword!


     Enter the PROPHET, who gloomily surveys the place.

     PROPHET. Our people scattered, and our town in ashes!
To think these hands could work such madness here—
This envious head devise this misery!
Tecumseh, had not my ambition drawn
Such sharp and fell destruction on our race,
You might have smiled at me! for I have matched
My cunning ’gainst your wisdom, and have dragged
Myself and all into a sea of ruin.

                                        Enter TECUMSEH.

     TECUMSEH. Devil! I have discovered you at last!
You sum of treacheries, whose wolfish fangs
Have town our people’s flesh—you shall not live!
(The PROPHET retreats, facing and followed by TECUMSEH.)
     PROPHET. Nay—strike me not! I can explain it all!
It was a woman touched the Magic Bowl,
And broke the brooding spell. [Page 66]
     TECUMSEH.                              Imposter! Slave!
Why should I spare you?
                                               [Lifts his hand as if to strike.
     PROPHET.                       Stay, stay, touch me not!
One mother bore us in the self-same hour.
     TECUMSEH. Then good and evil came to light together
Go to the corn-dance, chance your name to villain!
Away! Your presence tempts my soul to mischief.
                                                             [Exit the PROPHET.
Would that I were a woman, and could weep,
And slake hot rage with tears! O spiteful fortune,
To lure me to the limit of my dreams,
Then turn and crown the ruin of my toil
Into the narrow compass of a night.
My brother’s deep disgrace—myself the scorn
Of envious harriers and thieves of fame,
Oh, I could bear it all! But to behold
Our ruined people hunted to their graves—
To see the Long-Knife triumph in their shame—
This is the burning shaft, the poisoned wound
That rankles in my soul! But why despair?
All is not lost—the English are our friends.
My spirit rises—Manhood, bear me up!
I’ll haste to Maiden, join my force to theirs,
And fall with double fury on our foes.
Farewell, ye plains and forests, but rejoice!
Ye shall echo to Tecumseh’s voice.

                                        Enter LEFROY.

     LEFROY. What tidings have you gleaned of Iena?
     TECUMSEH. My brothermeant to wed her to Tarhay—
The chief who led his warriors to ruin;
But, in the gloom and tumult of the night,
She fled into the forest all alone!
     LEFROY. Alone! In the wide forest all alone!
Angels are with her now, for she is dead.
     TECUMSEH. You know her to be skilful with the bow.
’Tis certain she would strike for some great lake— [Page 67]
Erie or Michigan. At the Detroit
Are people of our nation, and perchance
She fled for shelter there. I go at once
To join the British force.
                                                             [Exit TECUMSEH.
     LEFROY.                               But yesterday
I climbed to Heaven upon the shining stairs
Of love and hope, and here am quite cast down.
My little flower amidst a weedy world,
Where art thou now? In deepest forest shade?
Or onward, where the sumach stands arrayed
In autumn splendour, its alluring form
Fruited, yet odious with the hidden worm?
Or, farther, by some still sequestered lake,
Loon-haunted, where the sinewy panthers slake
Their noon-day thirst, and never voice is heard,
Joyous of singing waters, breeze or bird,
Save their wild wailings. (A halloo without.) ’Tis Tecumseh calls!
Oh, Iena! If dead, where’er thou art—
Thy saddest grave will be this ruined heart!      [Exit.

                           END OF THIRD ACT. [Page 68]



War is declared, unnatural and wild,
By Revolution’s calculating sons!
So leave the home of mercenary minds,
And wing with me, in your uplifted thoughts,
Away to our unyielding Canada!
There to behold the Genius of the Land,
Beneath her singing pine and sugared tree,
Companioned with the lion, Loyalty.


Enter GENERAL BROCK reading a despatch from Montreal.

     BROCK. Prudent and politic Sir George Prevost!
Hull’s threatened ravage of our western coast
Hath more brewviloquence than your despatch.
Storms are not stilled by reasoning with air,
Nor fires quenched by a syrup of sweet words.
So to the wars, Diplomacy, for now
Our trust is in our arms and arguments
Delivered only from the cannon’s mouth!
                                   Enter an ORDERLY.

     ORDERLY. Your Exc’llency?
     BROCK.                           Bid Colonel Proctor come!
                                                                  [Exit ORDERLY.
Now might the head of gray Experience
Shake o’er the problems that surround us here. [Page 69]
I am no stranger to the brunt of war,
But all the odds so lean against our side
That valour’s self might tremble for the issue.
Could England stretch its full assisting hand
Then might I smile though velvet-footed Time
Struck all his claws at once into our flesh;
But England, noble England, fights for life,
Couching the knightly lance for liberty
’Gainst a new dragon that affrights the world.
And, now, how many noisome elements

Would plant their greed athwart this country’s good!
How many demagogues bewray its cause!
How many alience urge it to surrender!
Our present good must match their present ill,
And, on our frontiers, boldest deeds in war
Dismay the foe, and strip the loins of faction.

                                   Enter COLONEL PROCTOR.

Time waits not our conveniency; I trust
Your preparations have no further needs.
     PROCTOR. All is in readiness, and I can leave
For Amherstburg at once.
     BROCK.                      Then tarry not,
For time is precious to us now as powder.
You understand my wishes and commands?
     PROCTOR. I know them and shall match them with obedience.
     BROCK. Rest not within the limit of instructions
If you can better them, for they should bind
The feeble only; able men enlarge
And shape them to their needs. Much must be done
That lies in your discretion. At Detroit
Hull vaunts his strength, and meditates invasion,
And loyalty, unarmed, defenceless, bare,
May let this boaster light upon our shores
Without one manly motion of resistence.
So whilst I open Parliament at York, [Page 70]
Close it again, and knit our volunteers,
Be yours the task to head invasion off.
Act boldly, but discreetly, and so draw
Our interest to the balance, that affairs
May hang in something like an even scale,
Till I can join you with a fitting force,
And batter this old Hull until he sinks.
So fare-you-well—success attend your mission!
     PROCTOR. Farewell, sir! I shall do my best in this,
And put my judgement to a prudent use
In furtherance of all.
                                                                       [Exit PROCTOR.
     BROCK. Prudent he will be—’tis a vice in him.
For in qualities of every mind
There’s one o’ergrows, and prudence in this man
Tops all the rest. ’Twill suit our present needs.
But, boldness, go with me! for, if I know
My nature well, I shall do something soon
Whose consequence will make the nation cheer,
Or hiss me to my grave.

                                        Re-enter ORDERLY.

     ORDERLY. Your Exc’llency,
Some settlers wait without.
     BROCK. Whence do they come?

                                   Enter COLONEL MACDONELL.

     ORDERLY. From the raw clearings of Lake Erie, sir.
     BROCK. Go bring them here at once. (Exit ORDERLY.)
          The very men
Who meanly shirk their service to the Crown!
A breach of duty to be remedied;
For disaffection like an ulcer spreads
Until the caustic ointment of the law,
Sternly applied, eats up and stays corruption.

             Enter DEPUTATION OF YANKEE SETTLERS. [Page 71]

Good morrow, worthy friends; I trust you bear
Good hopes in loyal hearts for Canada.
     1ST SETTLER. That kind o’ crop’s a failure in our country.
Gen’ral, we came to talk about this war
With the United States. It ain’t quite fair
To call out settlers from the other side.

     BROCK. From it yet on it too! Why came you thence?
Is land so scarce in the United States?
Are there no empty townships, wilds or wastes
In all their borders but you must encroach
On ours? And, being here, how dare you make
Your dwelling-places harbours of sedition,
And furrow British soil with alien ploughs
To feed our enemies? There is not scope,
Not room enough in all this wilderness
For men so base.
     2nd SETTLER. Why, General, we thought
You wanted settlers here.
     BROCK.                                Settlers indeed!
But with the soldier’s courage to defend
The land of their adoption. This attack
On Canada is foul and unprovoked;
The hearts are vile, the hands are traitorous,
That will not help to hurl invasion back.
Beware the lariat of the law! ’Tis thrown
With aim so true in Canada it brings
Sedition to the ground at every cast.
     1st SETTLER. Well, General, we’re not your British sort,
But if we were we know that Canada
Is naught compared with the United States.
We have no faith in her, but much in them.
     BROCK. You have no faith! Then take a creed from me!
For I believe in Britain’s Empire, and
In Canada, its true and loyal son,
Who yet shall rise to greatness, and shall stand [Page 72]
At England’s shoulder helping her to guard
True liberty throughout a faithless world.
Here is a creed for arsenals and camps,
For hearts and heads that seeks their country’s good;
So, go at once, and meditate on it!
I have no time to parley with you now—
But think on this as well! that traitors, spies,
And aliens who refuse to take up arms,
Forfeit their holdings, and must leave this land,
Or dangle nearer Heaven than they wish.
So to your homes, and ponder your condition.
                                                        [Exeunt Settlers ruefully.

This foreign element will hamper us.
Its alien spirit ever longs for change,
And union with the States.
     MACDONELL.                 O fear it not,
Nor magnify the girth of noisy men!
Their name is faction, and their numbers few.
While everywhere encompassing them stands
The silent element that doth not change;
That points with steady finger to the Crown—
True as the needle to the viewless pole,
And stable as its star!
     BROCK.                 I know it well,
And trust to it alone for earnestness,
Accordant counsels, loyalty and faith.
But give me these—and let the Yankees come!
With out poor handful of inhabitants
We can defend our forest wilderness,
And spurn the bold invader from our shores.

                                        Re-enter ORDERLY.

     ORDERLY. Your boat is ready, sir!
     BROCK.                                           Man it at once—
I shall forthwith to York.
                                                                              [Exeunt. [Page 73]


               Enter two U. E. LOYALISTS, separately.

     1st U. E. LOYALIST. Well met, my friend! A stirrer like myself.
     2nd U. E. LOYALIST. Yes, affairs make me so. Such stirring times
Since Brock returned and opened Parliament!
Read you his speech?
     1st U. E. LOYALIST. That from the Throne?
     2nd U. E. LOYALIST. Ay, that!
     1st U. E. LOYALIST. You need not ask, since ’tis on every tongue,
Unstaled by repetition. I affirm
Words never showered upon more fruitful soil
To nourish valour’s growth.
     2nd U. E. LOYALIST. That final phrase—
Oh, it struck home: a sentence to be framed
And hung in every honourable heart
For daily meditation.

“We are engaged in an awful and eventful contest. By unanimity and despatch in our councils, and by vigour in our operations, we may teach the enemy this lesson, that a country defended by free men, enthusiastically devoted to the cause of their king and constitution, can never be conquered.”

     1st U. E. LOYALIST. That reaches far; a text to fortify
Imperial doctrine and Canadian rights.
Sedition skulks, and feels its blood a-cold,
Since first it fell upon the public ear.
     2nd U. E. LOYALIST. There is a magic in this soldier’s tongue.
Oh, language is a common instrument;
But when a master touches it—what sounds! [Page 74]
     1st U. E. LOYALIST. What sounds indeed! But Brock can use his sword
Still better than his tongue. Our state affairs,
Conned and digested by his eager mind,
Draw into form, and even now his voice
Cries, Forward! To the front!
     2nd U. E. LOYALIST. Look—here he comes!
     1st U. E. LOYALIST. There’s matter in the wind; let’s draw-a-near.

     Enter GENERAL BROCK, accompanied by MACDONELL, NICHOL,                          ROBINSON and other Canadian Officers and friends conversing.

     BROCK. ’Tis true our Province faces heavy odds:
Of regulars but fifteen hundred men
To guard a frontier of a thousand miles;
Of volunteers what aidance we can draw
From seventy thousand widely scattered souls.
A meagre showing ’gainst the enemy’s
If numbers be the test. But odds lie not
In numbers only, but in spirit too—
Witness the might of England’s little isle!
And what make England great will keep her so—
The free soul and the valour of her sons;
And what exalts her will sustain you now
If you contain her courage and her faith.
So not the odds so much are to be feared
As private disaffection, treachery—
Those openers of the door to enemies—
And the poor crouching spirit that gives way
Ere it is forced to yield.

     ROBINSON.                                          No fear of that!
     BROCK. I trust there is not: yet I speak of it
As what is to be feared more than the odds.
For like to forests are communities—
Fair at a distance, entering you find
The rubbish and the underbrush of states. [Page 75]
’Tis ever the mean soul that counts the odds,
and where you find this spirit, pluck it up—
’Tis full of mischief.
     MACDONELL.                  It is almost dead.
England’s vast war, our weakness, and the eagle
Whetting his beak at Sandwich, with one claw
Already in our side, put thought to steep
In cold conjecture for a time, and gave
A text to alien tongues. But, since you came,
Depression turns to smiling, and men see
That dangers well opposed may be subdued
Which, shunned, would overwhelm us.
     BROCK.                                               Hold to this!
For since the storm has struck us we must face it.
What is our present count of volunteers?
     NICHOL. More than you called for have assembled, sir—
The flower of York and Lincoln.
     BROCK.                                                Some will go
To guard our frontier at Niagara,
Which must be strengthened even at the cost
Of York itself. The rest to the Detroit,
Where, with Tecumseh’s force, our regulars,
And Kent and Essex loyal volunteers,
We’ll give this Hull a taste of steel so cold
His teeth will chatter at it, and his scheme
Of easy conquest vanish into the air.

Enter a Company of Militia with their Officers, unarmed. They salute, march                across the stage, and make their exit.

What men are those? Their faces are familiar.
     ROBINSON. Some farmers whom you furloughed at Fort George,
To tend their fields, which still they leave half reaped
To meet invasion.
     BROCK.                                 I remember it!
The jarring needs of harvest-time and war,
’Twixt whose necessities grave hazards lay. [Page 76]
     ROBINSON. They only thought to save their children’s bread,
And then return to battle with light hearts.
For, though their hard necessities o’erpoised
Their duty for the moment, they are men
Who draw their pith from loyal roots, their sires,
Dug up by revolution, and cast out
To hovel in the bitter wilderness,
And wring, with many a tussle, from the wolf
Those very fields which cry for harvesters.
     BROCK. Oh, I observed them closely at Fort George—
Red-hot for action in their summer-sleeves,
And others drilling in their naked feet—
Our poor equipment (which disgraced us there)
Too scanty to go round. See they get arms,
An ample outfit and good quarters too.
     NICHOL. They shall be well provided for in all.

                    Enter COLONEL BABY* and ELLIOTT.

     BROCK. Good morning both; what news from home, Baby?
     BABY. None, none, your Exc’llency—whereat we fear
This Hull is in our rear at Amherstburg.
     BROCK. Not yet; what I unsealed last night reports
Tecumseh to have foiled the enemy
In two encounters at the Canard bridge.
A noble fellow, as I hear, humane,
Lofty and bold, and rooted in our cause.
     BABY. I know him well; a chief of matchless force.
If Mackinaw should fall—that triple key
To inland seas and teeming wilderness—
The bravest in the West will flock to him.
     BROCK. ’Twere well he had an inkling of affairs.
My letter says he chafes at my delay—
Not mine, but thine, thou dull and fatuous House— [Page 77]
Which, in a period that whips delay,
When men should spur themselves and flash in action,
Letst idly leak the unpurchasable hours
From our scant measure of most precious time!
     BABY. ’Tis true, your Exc’llency, some cankered minds
Have been a daily hindrance in our House.
No measure so essential, bill so fair,
But they would foul it by some cunning clause,
Wrenching the needed stature from its aim
By sly injection of their false opinion.
But this you cannot charge to us whose hearts
Are faithful to our trust; nor yet delay;
For, Exc’llency, you hurry on so fast
That other men wheeze after, out of breath,
And haste itself, disparaged, lags behind.
     BROCK. Friends, pardon me, you stand not in reproof.
But haste, the evil of the age in peace,
In war’s auxilliary, confederate
With Time himself in urgent great affairs.
So must we match it with the flying hours!
I shall prorogue this tardy Parliament,
And promptly head our forces for Detroit.
Meanwhile, I wish you, in advance of us,
To speed unto your homes. Spread everywhere
Throughout the West broad tidings of our coming,
Which, by the counter currents of reaction,
Will tell against our foes and for our friends.
As for the rest, such loyal men as you
Need not our counsel; so, good journey both!
     BABY. We shall not spare our transport or ourselves.

                         Enter a travel-stained MESSENGER.

ELLIOTT. Good-bye.
     BABY.                                   Tarry a moment, Elliott!
Here comes a messenger—let’s have his news.
     MESSENGER. It is his Excellency whom I seek.
I come, sir, with despatches from the West.
     BROCK. Tidings, I trust, to strengthen all our hopes. [Page 78]
     MESSENGER. News of grave interest, this not the worst.
                                  [Handing a letter to GENERAL BROCK.
     BROCK. No, by my soul, for Mackinaw is ours!
That vaunted fort, whose gallant capture frees

Our red allies. This is important news!
What of Detroit?
     MESSENGER.                   Things vary little there.
Hull’s soldiers scour our helpless settlements,
Our aliens join them, but the loyal mass—
Sullen, yet overawed—longs for relief.
     BROCK. I hope you better this anon. You, sirs,
                                                                              (To his aides.)
Come with me; here is matter to despatch
At once to Montreal. Farewell, my friends.
                                                       (To BABY and ELLIOTT.)
     BABY. We feel now what will follow this, farewell!
                             [Exuent BABY, ELLIOTT and MESSENGER.
     BROCK. Now, gentlement, prepare against our needs,
That no neglect may check us at the start,
Or mar our swift advance. And, for our cause,
As we believe it just in sight of God,
So should it triumph in the sight of man,
Whose generous temper, at the first, assigns
Right to the weaker side, yet coldly draws
Damning conclusions from its failure. Now
Betake you to your tasks with double zeal;
And, meanwhile, let our joyful tidings spread!

                                 SCENE THIRD.—THE SAME.

                       Enter two OLD MEN of York, separately.

     1st OLD MAN. Good morrow, friend! a fair and fitting time
To take our airing, and to say farewell.
’Tis here, I think, we bid our friends God-speed,
A waftage, peradventure, to their graves. [Page 79]
     2nd OLD MAN. ’Tis a good cause they die for, if they fall.
By this gray pate, if I were young again,
I would no better journey. Young again!
This hubbub sets old pulses on the bound
As I were in my teens.

                       Enter a CITIZEN.

                                                                What news afoot?
     CITIZEN. Why everyone’s afoot and coming here.
York’s citizens are turned to warriors,
And gentle hearts beat high for Canada!
For, as you pass, on every hand you see,
Through the neglected openings in each house—
Through doorways, windows—our Canadian maids
Strained by their parting lovers to their breasts;
And loyal matrons busy round their lords,
Buckling their arms on, or, with tearful eyes,
Kissing them to the war!
     1st OLD MAN.             The volunteers
Will pass this way?
     CITIZEN.              Yes, to the beach, and there
Embark for Burlington, whence they will march
To Long Point, taking open boats again
To plough the shallow Erie’s treacherous flood.
Such leaky craft as farmers market with:
Rare bottoms, one sou-wester-driven wave
Would have against Lake Erie’s wall of shore,
And dash to fragments. ’Tis an awful hazard—
A danger which in apprehension lies,
Yet palpable unto the spirit’s touch
As earth to finger.
     1st OLD MAN. Let us hope a calm
May lull this fretful and ill tempered lake
Whilst they ascend.
                                                                           [Military music is heard.
     CITIZEN.                                        Hark! here our soldiers come. [Page 80]

Enter GENERAL BROCK, with his aides, MACDONELL and GLEGG, NICHOL,      and other Officers, followed by the Volunteers in companies. A concourse      of Citizens.

     MACDONELL. Our fellows show the mark of training, sir,
And many, well-in-hand, yet full of fire,
Are burning for distinction.
     BROCK.                            This is good:
Love of distinction is the fruitful soil
From which brave actions spring; and, superposed
On love of country, these strike deeper root,
And grow to greater greatness. Cry a halt—
A word here—then away!
                  [Flourish. The volunteers half, form line, and order arms.
                                                       Ye men of Canada!
Subjects with me of that Imperial Power
Whose liberties are marching round the earth:
I need not urge you now to follow me,
Though what befalls will try your stubborn faith
In the fierce fire and crucible of war.
I need not urge you, who have heard the voice
Or loyalty, and answered to its call.
Who has not read the insults of the foe—
The manifesto of his purposed crimes?
That foe, whose poison-plant, false liberty,
Runs o’er his body politic and kills
Whilst seems to adorn it, fronts us now!
Threats our poor Province to annihilate,
And should he find the red men by our side—
Poor injured souls, who but defend their own—
Calls black Extermination from its hell
To stalk abroad, and stench your land with slaughter.
These are our weighty arguments for war,
Wherein armed Justice will enclasp her sword,
And sheath it in her bitter adversary;
Wherein we’ll turn our bayonet-points to pens
And write in blood:—Here lies the poor invader; [Page 81]
Or be ourselves struck down by hailing death;
Made stepping-stones for foes to walk upon—
The lifeless gangways to our country’s ruin.
For now we look not with the eye of fear;
We reck not if this strange mechanic frame
Stop in an instant in the shock of war.
Our death may build into our country’s life,
And failing this, ’twere better still to die
That live the breathing spoils of infamy,
Then forward for our cause and Canada!
Forward for Britain’s Empire—peerless arch
Of Freedom’s raising, whose majestic span
Is axis to the world! On, on, my friends!
The task our country sets must we perform—
Wring peace from war, or perish in its storm!

[Excitement and leave-taking. The volunteers break into column and sing:

O hark to the voice from the lips of the free!
O hark to the cry from the lakes to the sea!
Arm! arm! the invader is wasting our coasts,
And tainting the air of our land with his hosts.
Arise! then, arise! let us rally and form,
And rush like the torrent, and sweep like the storm,
On the foes of our King, of our country adored,
Of the flag that was lost, but in exile restored!

And whose was the flag? and whose was the soil?
And whose was the exile, the suffering, the toil?
Our Fathers’! who carved in the forest a name,
And left us rich heirs of their freedom and fame.
Oh, dear to our hearts is that flag, and the land
Our Fathers bequeathed—’tis the work of their hand!
And the soil they redeemed from the woods with renown
The might of their sons will defend for the Crown!

Our hearts are as one, and our spirits are free,
From clime unto clime, and from sea unto sea!
And chaos may come to the States that annoy,
But our Empire united what foe can destroy?
Then away! to the front! march! comrades away!
In the lists of each hour crowd the work of a day!
We will follow our leader to fields far and nigh,
And for Canada fight, and for Canada die!

                                                       [Exeunt with military music. [Page 82]


Enter GENERAL HULL, COLONEL CASS and other Officers.

     CASS. Come, General, we must insist on reasons!
Your order to withdraw from Canada
Will blow to mutiny, and put to shame
That proclamation which I wrote for you,
Wherein ’tis proudly said, “We are prepared
To look down opposition, our strong force
But vanguard of a mightier still to come!”

And men have been attracted to our cause
Who now will curse us for this breach of faith.
Consider, sir, again!
     HULL.                               I am not bound
To tack my reasons to my orders; this
Is my full warrant and authority—
                                           [Pointing to his Instructions.
Yet, I have ample grounds for what I do.
     CASS. What are they, then?
     HULL.                                       First, that this proclamation
Meets not with due response, wins to our side
The thief and refugee, not honest men.
These plainly rally round their government.
     1st OFFICER. Why, yes; there’s something lacking in this people
If we must conquer them to set them free.
     HULL. Ay, and our large force must be larger still
If we would change these Provinces to States.
Then, Colonel Proctor’s intercepted letter—
Bidding the captor of Fort Mackinaw
Send but five thousand warriors from the West,
Which, be it artifice or not, yet points
To great and serious danger. Add to this
Brock’s rumoured coming with his volunteers,
All burning to avenge their fathers’ wrongs,
And our great foe, Tecumseh, fired o’er his; [Page 83]
These are the reasons; grave enough, I think,
Which urge me to withdraw from Canada,
And wait for further force; so, go at once,
And help our soldiers to recross the river.
     CASS. But I see——
     HULL.                   No, “buts”! You have my orders.
     CASS. No solid reason here, naught but a group
Of flimsy apprehensions—
     HULL.                                         Go at once!
Who kicks at judgement, lacks it.
     CASS.                                           I——
     HULL.                                                       No more!
I want not wrangling but obedience here.
                               Exeunt CASS and other officers, incensed.
Would I had ne’er accepted this command!
Old men are out of favour with the time,
And youthful folly scoffs at hoary age.
There’s not a man who executes my orders
With a becoming grace; not one but sulks,
And puffs his disapproval with a frown.
And what am I? A man whom Washington
Nodded approval of, and wrote it too!
Yet here, in judgement and discretion both,
Ripe to the dropping, scorned and ridiculed.
Oh, Jefferson, what mischief have you wrought—
Confounding Nature’s order, setting fools
To prank themselves, and sit in widsom’s seat
By right divine, out-Heroding a King’s!
But I shall keep straight on—pursue my course,
Responsible and with authority,
Though boasters gird at me, and braggarts frown.
                                                                                    [Exit. [Page 84]


Enter GENERAL BROCK, COLONELS PROCTOR, GLEGG, BABY,                       MACDONELL, NICHOL, ELLIOT and other Officers.

     BABY. Welcome! thrice welcome!
Brave Brock, to Sandwich and this loyal roof!
Thank God, your oars, those weary levers bent
In many a wave, have been unshipped at last;
And, now, methinks those lads who stemmed the flood
Would boldly face the fire.
     BROCK.                                     I never led
Men of more cheerful and courageous heart,
But for whose pluck foul weather and short seas,
’Twere truth to say, had made an end of us.
Another trial will, I think, approve
The manly strain this Canada hath bred.
     PROCTOR. ’Tis pity that must be denied them now,
Since all our enemies have left our shores.
     BROCK. No, by my soul, it shall not be denied!
Our foe’s withdrawal hath a magnet’s power
And pulls my spirit clean into his fort.
But I have asked you to confer on this.
What keeps Tecumseh?
     ELLIOT.                          ’Tis his friend, Lefroy,
Who now rejoins him, after bootless quest
Of Iena, Tecumseh’s niece.
     BROCK. Lefroy!
I had a gentle playmate of that name
In Guernsey, long ago.
     BABY.                     It may be he.
I know him, and, discoursing our affairs,
Have heard him speak of you, but in a strain
Peculiar to the past.
     BROCK.                 He had in youth
All goods belonging to the human heart, [Page 85]
But fell away to Revolution’s side—
Impulsive ever, and o’er prompt to see
In kings but tyrants, and in laws but chains.
I have not seen or heard of him for years.
     BABY. The very man!
     BROCK.                        ’Tis strange to find him here!
     ELLIOT. He calls the red men freedom’s last survival;
Says truth is only found in Nature’s growth—
Her first intention, ere false knowledge rose
To frame distinctions, and exhaust the world.
     BROCK. Few find like him the substance of their dreams.
But, Elliot, let us seek Tecumseh now.
Stay, friends, till we return.
                                         [Exeunt BROCK and ELLIOT.
     GLEGG.                          How odd to find
An old friend in this fashion!
     PROCTOR.                                          Humph! a fool
Who dotes in forest tramps and savages.
Why, at the best, they are the worst of men;
And this Tecumseh has so strained my temper,
So over-stept my wishes, thrid my orders,
That I would sooner ask the devil’s aid
Than such as his.
     NICHOL. Why, Brock is charmed with him!
And, as you saw, at Amherstberg he put
Most stress upon opinion when he spoke.
     MACDONELL. Already they’ve determined on assault.
     PROCTOR. Then most unwisely so! There are no bounds
To this chief’s rashness, and our General seems
Swayed by it too, or rashness hath a twin.
     NICHOL. Well, rashness is the wind of enterprise,
And blows its banners out. But here they come
Who dig beneath their rashness for their reasons.

Re-enter GENERAL BROCK and COLONEL ELLIOT, accompanied by                                      TECUMSEH, conversing. [Page 86]

     TECUMSEH. We have been much abused! and have abused
Our fell destroyers too—making our wrongs
The gauge of our revenge. And, still forced back
From the first justice and the native right,
Ever revenge hath sway. This we would void,
And, by a common boundary, prevent.
So, granting that a portion of our own
Is still our own, then let that portion be
Confirmed by sacred treaty to our tribes.
This is my sum of asking—you have ears!
     BROCK. Nay, then, Tecumseh, speak of it no more!
My promise is a pledge, and from a man
Who never turned his back on friend or foe.
The timely service you have done our cause,
Rating not what’s to come, would warrant it.
So, if I live, possess your soul of this—
No treaty for a peace, if we prevail,
Will bear a seal that doth not guard your rights.
Here, take my sash, and wear it for my sake—
Tecumseh can esteem a soldier’s gift.
     TECUMSEH. Thanks, thanks, my brother, I have faith in you;
My life is at your service!
     BROCK.                              Gentlemen,
Have you considered my proposal well
Touching the capture of Detroit by storm?
What say you, Colonel Proctor?
     PROCTOR.                                    I object!
’Tis true, the enemy has left our shores,
But what a sorry argument is this!
For his withdrawal, which some sanguine men,
Jumping all other motives, charge to fear,
Prudence, more deeply searching, lays to craft.
Why should a foe, who far outnumbers us,
Retreat o’er this great river, save to lure
Our poor force after him? And, having crossed—
Our weakness seen, and all retreat cut off— [Page 87]
What would ensue but absolute surrender,
Or sheer destruction? ’Tis too hazardous!
Discretion balks at such a mad design.
     BROCK. What say the rest?
     1st OFFICER.                              I fear ’tis indiscreet.
     2nd OFFICER. ’Twould be imprudent with our scanty force.
     BROCK. What say you, Nichol, to my foolish scheme?
     NICHOL. I think it feasible and prudent too.
Hull’s letters, captured by Tecumseh, prove
His soldiers mutinous, himself despondent.
And dearly Rumour loves the wilderness,
Which gives a thousand echoes to a tongue
That ever swells and magnifies our strength.
And in this flux we take him, on the hinge
Of two uncertainties—his force and ours.
So, weighed, objections fall; and our attempt,
Losing its grain of rashness, takes its rise
In clearest judgment, whose effect will nerve
All Canada to perish, ere she yield.
     BROCK. My very thoughts! What says Tecumseh now?
     TECUMSEH. I say attack the fort! This very night
I’ll cross my braves, if you decide on this.
     BROCK. Then say no more! Glegg, take a flag of truce,
And bear to Hull this summons to surrender.
Tell him Tecumseh and his force are here—
A host of warriors brooding on their wrongs,
Who, should resistance flush them to revenge,
Would burst from my control like wind-borne fire,
And match on earth the miseries of hell.
But, should he yield, his safety is assured.
Tell him Tecumseh’s word is pledged to this,
Who, though his temperate will in peace is law,
Yet casts a loose rein to enforcèd rage.
Add what your fancy dictates; but the stress
Place most on what I speak of—this he fears,
And these same fears, well wrought upon by you,
May prove good workers for us yet. [Page 88]
     GLEGG.                                          I go,
And shall acquit myself as best I can.
                                                                            [Exit GLEGG.
     BROCK. Tecumseh, wonder not at such a message!
The guilty conscience of your foes is judge
Of their deserts, and hence ’twill be believed.
The answer may be “nay,” so to our work—
Which perfected, we shall confer again,
Then cross at break of morn.
                                                  [Exeunt all but TECUMSEH.
     TECUMSEH. This is a man!
And our Great Father, waking from his sleep,
Has sent him to our aid. Master of Life,
Endue my warriors with double strength!
May the wedged helve be faithful to the axe,
The arrow fail not, and the flint be firm!
That our great vengeance, like the whirlwind fell,
May cleave through thickets of our enemies
A broad path to our ravaged lands again.


                              Enter CAPTAIN ROBINSON.

     ROBINSON. I thought to find my brother here—poor boy,
The day’s hard labour woos him to his rest.
How sweet the night! how beautiful the place!
Who would not love thee, good old Sandwich town!
Abode of silence and sweet summer dreams—
Let speculation pass, nor progress touch
Thy silvan homes with hard, unhallowed hand!
The light wind whispers, and the air is rich
With vapours which exhale into the night;
And, round me here, this village in the leaves
Darkling doth slumber. How those giant pears
Loom with uplifted and high-ancient heads, [Page 89]
Like forest trees! A hundred years ago
They, like their owner, had their roots in France—
In fruitful Normandy—but here refuse,
Unlike, to multiply, as if their spirits
Grieved in their alien home. The village sleeps,
So should I seek that hospitable roof
Of thine, thou good old loyalist, Baby!
Thy mansion is a shrine, whereto shall come
On pilgrimages, in the distant days,
The strong and generous youths of Canada,
And, musing there in rich imaginings,
Restore the balance and the beaver-pack
To the wide hall; see forms of savagery,
Vanished for ages, and the stately shades
Of great Tecumseh and high-hearted Brock.
So shall they profit, drinking of the past,
And, drinking loyally, enlarge the faith
Which love of country breeds in noble minds.
But now to sleep—good-night unto the world!
                              Enter IENA, in distress.

     IENA. Oh, have I eaten of the spirit-plant!
My head swims, and my sense are confused,
And all grows dark around me. Where am I?
Alas! I know naught save of wanderings,
And this poor bosom’s weight. What pang is here,
Which all my pressing cannot ease away?
Poor heart! poor heart! Oh, I have travelled far,
And in the forest’s brooding place, or where
Night-shrouded surges beat on lonely shores,
Have sickened with my deep, dread, formless fears;
But, never have I felt what now I feel!
Great Spirit, hear me! help me!—this is death!
                              [Staggers and swoons behind some shrubbery.

                 Enter GENERAL BROCK and LEFROY.

     BROCK. You may be right, Lefroy! but, for my part,
I stand by old tradition and the past. [Page 90]
My father’s God is wise enough for me,
And wise enough this gray world’s wisest men.
     LEFROY. I tell you, Brock,
The world is wiser than its wisest men,
And shall outlive the wisdom of its gods,
Made after man’s own liking. The crippled throne
No longer shelters the uneasy king,
And outworn sceptres and imperial crowns
Now grow fantastic as an idiot’s dream.
These perish with the kingly pastime, war,
And war’s blind tool, the monster, Ignorance!
Both hateful in themselves, but this the worst.
One tyrant will remain—one earliest, latest foe!
Him must the earth destroy, ere man can rise,
Rightly self-made, to his high destiny,
Purged of his grossest faults; humane and kind;
Co-equal with his fellows, and as free.
     BROCK. Lefroy, such thoughts, let loose, would wreck the world.
The kingly function is the soul of state,
The crown the emblem of authority,
And loyalty the symbol of all faith.
Omitting these, man’s government decays—
His family falls into revolt and ruin.
But let us drop this bootless argument,
And tell me more of those unrivalled wastes
You and Tecumseh visited.
     LEFROY.                                                We left
The silent forest, and, day after day,
Great prairies swept beyond our aching sight
Into the measureless West; uncharted realms,
Voiceless and calm, save when tempestuous wind
Rolled the rank herbage into billows vast,
And rushing tides which never found a shore.
And tender clouds, and veils of morning mist,
Cast flying shadows, chased by flying light,
Into interminable wilderness, [Page 91]
Flushed with fresh blooms, deep perfumed by the rose,
And murmurous with flower-fed bird and bee.
The deep-grooved bison-paths like furrows lay,
Turned by the cloven hoofs of thundering herds
Primeval, and still travelled as or yore.
And gloomy valleys opened at our feet—
Shagged with dusk cypresses and hoary pine;
And sunless gorges, rummaged by the wolf,
Which through long reaches of the prairie wound,
Then melted slowly into upland vales,
Lingering, far-stretched amongst the spreading hills.
     BROCK. What charming solitudes! And life was there!
     LEFROY. Yes, life was there! inexplicable life,
Still wasted by inexorable death.
There had the stately stag his battle-field—
Dying for mastery among his hinds.
There vainly sprung the affrighted antelope,
Beset by glittering eyes and hurrying feet.
The dancing grouse, at their insensate sport,
Heard not the stealthy footstep of the fox;
The gopher on his little earthwork stood,
With folded arms, unconscious of the fate
That wheeled in narrowing circles overhead;
And the poor mouse, on heedless nibbling bent,
Marked not the silent coiling of the snake.
At length we heard a deep and solemn sound—
Erupted moanings of the troubled earth
Trembling beneath innumerable feet.
A growing uproar blending in our ears,
With noise tumultuous as ocean’s surge,
Of bellowings, fierce breath and battle shock,
And ardour of unconquerable herds.
A multitude whose trampling shook the plains,
With discord of harsh sound and rumblings deep,
As if the swift revolving earth had struck,
And from some adamantine peak recoiled,
Jarring. At length we topped a high-browed hill—
The last and loftiest of a file of such— [Page 92]
And, lo! before us lay the tameless stock,
Slow wending to the northward like a cloud!
A multitude in motion, dark and dense—
Far as the eye could reach, and farther still,
In countless myriads stretched for many a league.
     BROCK. You fire me with the picture! What a scene!
     LEFROY. Nation on nation was invillaged there,
Skirting the flanks of that imbanded host;
With chieftains of strange speech and port of war,
Who, battle-armed, in weather-brawny bulk,
Roamed fierce and free in huge and wild content.
These gave Tecumseh greetings fair and kind,
Knowing the purpose havened in his soul.
And he, too, joined the chase as few men dare;
For I have seen him, leaping from his horse,
Mount a careering bull in foaming flight,
Urge it to fury o’er its burden strange,
Yet cling tenacious, with a grip of steel,
Then, by a knife-plunge, fetch it to its knees
In mid career, and pangs of speedy death.
     BROCK. You rave, Lefroy! or saw this in a dream.
     LEFROY. No, no; ’tis true—I saw him do it, Brock!
Then would he seek the old, and with his spoils
Restore them to the bounty of their youth,
Cheering the crippled lodge with plenteous feasts,
And warmth of glossy robes, and soft as down,
Till withered cheeks ran o’er with feeble smiles,
And tongues, long silent, babbled of their prime.
     BROCK. This warrior’s fabric is of perfect parts!
A worthy champion of his race—he heaps
Such giant obligations on our heads
As will outweigh repayment. It is late,
And rest must preface war’s hot work to-morrow,
Else would I talk till morn. How still the night!
Here Peace has let her silvery tresses down,
And falls asleep beside the lapping wave.
Wilt go with me?
     LEFROY.                     Nay, I shall stay awhile. [Page 93]
     BROCK. You know my quarters and the countersign—
Good-night, Lefroy!
     LEFROY. Good-night, good-night, good friend!
                                                            [Exit BROCK.
Give me the open sleep, whose bed is earth,
With airy ceiling pinned by golden stars,
Or vaultage more confined, plastered with clouds!
Your log-roofed barrack-sleep, ’twixt drum and drum,
Suits men who dream of death, and not of love.
Love cannot die, nor its exhausted life,
Exhaling like a breath into the air,
Blend with the universe again. It lives,
Knit to its soul forever. Iena!
Dread in the forest wild—earth cannot claim
Aught but her own from thee. Sleep on! sleep on!
     IENA. (Reviving.) What place is this?
     LEFROY. Who’s there? What voice is that?
     IENA. Where am I now?
     LEFROY.                             I’ll follow up that sound!
A desperate hope now ventures in my heart!
     IENA. Help me, kind Spirit!
     LEFROY.                                    I could pick that voice
From out a choir of angels! Iena!
                                              [Finds her behind the shrubbery.
’Tis she! ’tis she! Speak to me, Iena—
No earthly power can mar your life again,
For I am here to shield it with my own.
     IENA. Lefroy!
     LEFROY.           Yes, he!
     IENA.                                My friends! found, found at last!
     LEFROY. Found, found, my love! I swear it on your lips,
And seal love’s contract there! Again—again—
Ah, me! all earthly pleasure is a toil
Compared with one long look upon your face.
     IENA. Oh, take me to my friends! A faintness came
Upon me, and no farther could I go.
     LEFROY. What spirit led you here?
     IENA.                                                   My little bark [Page 94]
Is yonder by the shore—but take me hence!
For I am work and weak with wandering.
     LEFROY. Come with me then.

Enter the PROPHET, who stalks gloomily over the stage—scowling at IENA                and LEFROY as he passes out.

     IENA. The Prophet! I am lost!
     LEFROY. This monster here! But he is powerless now.
Fear him not, Iena! Tecumseh’s wrath
Burns ’gainst him still—he dare not do thee hurt.
     IENA. Must I endure for ever this fiend’s hate?
He stabbed me with his eye—
     LEFROY. Oh, horrible!
Let us but meet again, and I shall send
His curst soul out of this accursed world!


Enter TECUMSEH, STAYETA, and other Chièfs and Warriors.

     TECUMSEH. There is the Long-Knive’s fort, within those walls
We lose our lives or find our lands to-day.
Fight for that little space—’tis wide domain!
That small enclosure shuts us from our homes.
There are the victors in the Prophet’s strife—
Within that for they lie—those bloody men
Who burnt your town to light their triumph up,
And drove your women to the withered woods
To shudder through the cold slow-creeping night,
And help their infants to out-howl the wolf.
Oh, the base Long-Knife grows to head, not heart—
A pitiless and murmuring minister
To his desires! But let us now be strong,
And, if we conquer, merciful as strong! [Page 95]
Swoop like the eagles on their prey, but turn
In victory your taste to that of doves;
For ever it has been reproach to us
That we have stained our deeds with cruelty,
And dyed our axes in our captives’ blood.
So, here, retort not on a vanquished foe,
But teach him lessons in humanity.
Now let the big heart, swelling in each breast,
Strain every rib for lodgement! Warriors!
Bend to your sacred task, and follow me.
     STAYETA. Lead on! We follow you!
     KICKAPOO CHIEF.                         Advance, ye braves!
     TECUMSEH. Stay! make a circuit in the open woods—
Cross, and recross, and double on the path—
So shall the Long-Knives overcount our strength.
Do this, Stayeta, whilst I meet my friend—
My brave white brother, and confer with him.

Enter GENERAL BROCK, PROCTOR, NICHOL, MACDONELL and other               Officers and Forces, on the highway. TECUMSEH goes down to meet them.

     BROCK. Now by God’s providence we face Detroit,
Either to sleep within its walls to-night
Or in deep beds dug by exulting foes.
Go, Nichol, make a swift reconnaissance—
We’ll follow on.
     NICHOL.              I shall, but ere I go
I do entreat you, General, take the rear;
Those guns are shrewdly placed without the gate—
One raking fire might rob us of your life,
And, this lost, all is lost!
     BROCK.                          Well meant, my friend!
But I am here to lead, not follow, men
Whose confidence has come with me thus far!
Go, Nichol, to your task!
                         [Exit NICHOL. TECUMSEH advances.
                                                  Tecumseh, hail!
Brave chieftain, you have made your promise good. [Page 96]
     TECUMSEH. My brother stands to his! and I but wait
His orders to advance—my warriors
Are ripe for the assault.
     BROCK.                                Deploy them, then
Upon our landward flank, and skirt the woods,
Whilst we advance in column to attack.
                                     [TECUMSEH rejoins his warriors.
Signal our batteries on the farther shore
To play upon the Fort! Be steady, friends—
Be steady! Now upon your country turn
Your multiplying thoughts, and strike for her!
Strike for your distant and inviolate homes,
Perfumed with holy prayer at this hour!
Strike! with your fathers’ virtue in your veins
You must prevail—on, on, to the attack!
     [BROCK and forces advance towards the Fort. A heavy cannonading from                the British batteries.

                              Re-enter NICHOL hastily.

     NICHOL. Stay, General! I saw a flag of truce
Cross from the Fort to the Canadian shore.
     BROCK. Halt! There’s another from yon bastion flung;
And, see! another waves adown the road—
Borne by an officer! What think you, Nichol?
     NICHOL. Your threats are conquerors! The Fort is ours!
     GLEGG. Yes, look! the gunners have been all withdrawn
Who manned the cannon at yon western gate.
     PROCTOR. So many men to yield without a blow!
Why, this is wonderful! It cannot be!
     BROCK. Say, rather, should not be, and yet it is!
’Tis plainly written on this captain’s face.

                                  [Officer with flag of truce approaches.

     OFFICER. This letter from our General contains
Proposals to capitulate—pray send
An officer to ratify the terms.
                                           [GENERAL BROCK reads letter. [Page 97]
     BROCK. You have a wise and politic commander!
     OFFICER. Our General, knowing your superior force—
     NICHOL. (Aside.) Oh, this is good! ’tis barely half his own!
     OFFICER. And, noting your demand of yesterday,
With clearer judgement, doth accede to it,
To bar effusion of much precious blood
By reasonable treaty of surrender.
     BROCK. Why, this is excellent, and rare discretion!
     OFFICER. He fears your Indians could not be restrained.
Our women’s prayers—red visions of the knife—
We know not what—have melted his stout heart,
And brought him to this pass.
     BROCK.                                            Ay, ay, how good!
Great judgement and humanity combined.
Glegg and Macdonell, go at once and sign
Those happy stipulations which restore
Fair Michigan to empire and the crown.

          [Exeunt GLEGG, MACDONELL and Officer with flag.

We shall await our officers’ return—
But now prepare to occupy the Fort!
With colours flying we shall enter it,
And martial music, as befits the scene.
No Sunday ever saw a finer sight—
Three cheers for Canada and England’s right!
                    [Shouts and congratulations from the soldiery.


Enter GENERAL HULL and one of his officers, accompanied by BROCK’S                         Aides, GLEGG and MACDONELL.

     HULL. Here is the paper! Tell your general
Divine humanity, which hath in me
A deeper root than fear of him, thus yields:
A sheer compunction lest the savage axe
Should drink too deeply in confused revenge. [Page 98]
     GLEGG. Depend upon it, we shall tell him so,
And shall away at once.
     HULL.                                   ’Tis well I lived
To stop this bloody work! Deferment played
Into the hands of death.
     OFFICER.                            Oh, sir, I think
That what begins in honour so should end—
First deeds, not stained, but dusted by the last;
For thus the long day of a useful life
Seems burnished by its close.
     HULL.                                            My friend, had all
Been trusty as the men of your command!
But—I am great in silence and shall speak
No more of this! What’s done is for the best.
     OFFICER. A bleached and doting relic of stale time!
His best is bad for us.
             [A squad of Volunteer Militia insultingly surround the General, hooting                             and groaning.

     1st VOLUNTEER.                   Hull! hold the fort!
     2nd VOLUNTEER. Resist! We’ll back you up!
     HULL.                                                 Insolent ruffians!
Some men are here in whose sincerity
And courage I have perfect faith—but you!—
Untaught, unmannerly and mutinous—
Your muddy hearts would squirm within your ribs
If I but gave the order to resist!
You would command me! You who never learned
The simple first note of obedience!
Stand off, nor let me! I regard you not.
Fine Volunteers are you, who mutinied
O’er such privations as true soldiers laugh at!
Fine Volunteers! whom we were forced to coax
And almost drag upon the forest march.
Oh, if I had a thousand more of men,
A thousand less of things—which is your name— [Page 99]
I would defend this Fort, and keep it too.
Stand off, and let me pass!
     1st VOLUNTEER.                   The General
Talks well, boys, when he’s mad!

                                Enter an OFFICER.

     OFFICER.                                                 Fall in! Fall in!
Here come the British troops—the Fort’s surrendered!

Enter GENERAL BROCK and Forces, with Colours flying and military music.      The American soldiers sullenly ground arms, and march out of the Fort.

     BROCK. This is a happy end! You, Nichol, make—
With Proctor—rough lists of our spoils of war,
Then join with us in grateful prayers to Heaven.
                                             [Exeunt NICHOL and PROCTOR.

Enter TECUMSEH and STAYETA (the latter wearing BROCK’S sash) with           other Chiefs and Warriors, and LEFROY.

     TECUMSEH. My valiant brother is the rising sun—
Our foes the night, which disappears before him!
Our people thank him, and their hearts are his!
     BROCK. Why, here is misdirection! For their thanks—
They fall to you, Tecumseh, more than me!
And, lest what lies in justice should too long
Stand in expectancy—till thanks seem cold—
Take mine, Tecumseh! for your services
Have won, with us, the honours of the day,
And you shall share its spoils.
     TECUMSEH.                                    Freedom I prize,
And my poor people’s welfare, more than spoils!
No longer will they wander in the dark;
The path is open, and the sky is clear.
We thank you for it all!
     BROCK.                                    Nay, then, our thanks [Page 100]
We’ll interchange—take mine, as I take thine!
But how is this? Is friendship’s gift unused?
Where is my brother’s sash?—
     TECUMSEH.                                    That gift I deemed
Conferred on me as on a warrior,
And, when I saw a worthier than myself,
I could not wear it. ’Tis Stayeta’s now—
He keeps it till he finds a worthier still.
     BROCK. Noble Tecumseh! thou art still the best!
Men envy their own merit in another—
Grudging e’en what’s superfluous to themselves—
But thou, great valour’s integer, wouldst share
Its very recompense with all the world!
Here are my pistols—take them from a friend—
Nay—take them! Would I had a richer gift!
     LEFROY. This is a noble friendship.
     BROCK.                                                  Ah, Lefroy!
What think you now of war!
     LEFROY.                                             If this war shield
Nature’s most intimate and injured men,
I shall revoke my words and call it blest.

                          Re-enter GENERAL HULL.

     HULL. You asked not for my sword—but here it is!
I wielded it in honour in my youth,
And now to yield it, tarnished, in old age,
Vexes me to the soul.
     BROCK.                                             Then keep it, sir!
     HULL. Trenton and Saratoga speak for me! (Aside.)
I little thought that I should have to knead,
In my gray years, this lumpy world again.
But, when my locks were brown, my heart aflame
For liberty, believe me, sir, this sword
Did much to battle your imperious King!
     BROCK. That stands not in dispute, so keep the sword!
’Tis strange that those who fought for liberty
Should seek to wrench it from their fellowmen.
Impute not guilty war to Kings alone, [Page 101]
Since ’tis the pastime of Republics, too!
Yours has its dreams of glory, conquest, spoil—
Else should we not be here. But, General,
Wilt dine with us? We shall discuss this matter!
     HULL. Nay, let me to my house; I cannot eat.
     BROCK. Sir, as you will—but, prithee, be prepared!
I sail in six days for Niagra,
And you for Montreal.
     HULL.                                             Till then, adieu!
                                                            [Exit GENERAL HULL.

     TECUMSEH. Why should my brother leave Detroit so soon?
     BROCK. Our foes are massing at Niagra,
And I must meet them; Colonel Proctor stays
In this command.
     TECUMSEH.                    I know him very well.
My brother’s friend says “Go!” but you say “Come!”
     BROCK. (Aside.) How am I straitened for good officers!
(To TECUMSEH.) Friend Proctor’s prudence may be useful here.
TECUMSEH. I do misgive me o’er my brother’s friend.

                      Re-enter NICHOL and PROCTOR.

     NICHOL. Large stores, munitions, public properties;
A rare account of needed stands of arms;
A brig of war, and military chest—
These are the spoils of bloodless victory.
                                    [Handing GENERAL BROCK a list.
     BROCK. Nought is much prized that is not won with blood!
     GLEGG. And yet I would old England’s victories
Were all as bloodless, ample and complete.
     MACDONELL. Oh, ’tis a victory fitly gained this day;
Great turning point of our Canadian fortunes!
This day forever should red-lettered stand
In all the calendars of our loved land!

                              END OF FOURTH ACT. [Page 102]

                                                   ACT V.

                                            Enter CHORUS.

     CHORUS.                   O Canada!
Bright youth among the graybeards of the earth,
Dark days have come upon thee! Brock is slain—
That spirit glorious who fired thy soul,
And led thee to renown and victory.
Alas! the rare advantages he won,
By weak successors (equal in command,
But, oh, of what inferior mould in greatness!)
Have been let slip unto the winds, thy hopes
By an untimely armistice destroyed,
Those fleets he would have captured from the foe,
But for a hateful truce on him enjoined,
Were, in a fataler still, equipped, and loosed
To lord it o’er thee on the lakes. One bore
Destruction to thy upper Capital—
The other meets thy poorly furnished hulls
On Erie’s bosom, and with hosts of men
And weight of armament doth bear them down.
O lamentable hour, which paves the way
To sad remaining scenes—a coward’s part,
And the last pulse-beat of a hero’s heard.


                         Enter BABY and ELLIOT.

     BABY. Now, Elliot, what think you keeps our fleet?
We heard the crash of battle yesterday,
And still no tidings come. [Page 103]
     ELLIOTT.                     I fear the worst.
     BABY. I fear it too! Worse still to think this worst
Owes to sheer folly—to an armistice
Astutely urged, and too politely granted.
Some chance politenesses obstruct themselves,
Like meeting men who shuffle in the street,
Each striving to give way; but this, of Sheaffe’s,
Was of the stately kind! He stood aside;
Bowed, hat in hand, and let the foe pass by
To build his navy up.
     ELLIOTT.                          Well, we have here
A fool who beats Sheaffe’s folly at the game,
But for whose slackness we might still record
Some gains on land, ’gainst losses on the lake.
     BABY. You speak of Proctor; hum! a prudent man,
Who loves his life, and will maintain his love.
’Tis a safe temper.
     ELLIOTT.                 Ay, for peace, not war.
But what a damper to our volunteers!
They left their customable, proper toil
To fight, not for a wage, but for their freedom—
A thing to be achieved by instant ways,
Though they run blood. Thus, if they won and lived,
The sooner to their homes; and, if they died—
Fair end: their lives went for their country’s good.
But how, by bootless and lame leadership,
Has Proctor soured the temper of our men;
Cooling them to contempt, till, in a pique,
He straight disarms, then sends them to their homes!
     BABY. Unheard-of folly! All this is a text
From which I often preach unto myself.
     ELLIOTT. Would that by preaching we could mend the matter!
Even Tecumseh he insults, whose cause
Lies close to ours; and, saving him and us,
(Whose aid he would dispense with if he dared,)
What force is left him but his regulars,
Whose sickly frames and broken confidence
Would scarcely face the effigies of foes! [Page 104]
     BABY. True! True! it breeds fear but to think of it.
     ELLIOTT. Then hear him prate about the charge he bears
Upon his individual shoulders—his!
Oh, it is galling! while he boasts withal
What he would do were things fortuitous,
And in a fairer plight; and this fudged stugg
Goes down with some. But, not to spin it out,
We know that, at Sandusky, Harrison
(Who is as good a substitute for Hull
As ours a poor one for immortal Brock)
Waits transport to invade us in large force.
So—lest our General means to beat retreat,
Or ruinously yield—’tis time to stir.
     BABY. What can we do? We are not in command.
     ELLIOTT. Forcce him who is to face our enemies—
First calling back our volunteers.
     BABY.                                            Force him,
Who would not face yourself, to face five thousand!
Why, Elliot, we might as well expect
Light from a cave, as leadership from him.

                                     Enter McKEE.

What news, McKee?
     McKEE.                    It could not well be worse.
Our fleet is captured, and the General
Has issued orders to retreat.
     BABY.                                      Ay, ay;
We had already lost our fleet in thought,
Which ofttimes pre-digests calamities.
But this retreat—how looks Tecumseh at it?
     McKEE. I never saw him in so strange a temper—
Calm on the surface, but convulsed beneath,
Just poising on the edge of whirling rage.
How now harangues his chiefs and warriors,
And has demanded conference with Proctor,
Wherein I look for deep outbursts of wrath.
For Proctor, fearing him, pretends our fleet
In absent for repairs—a foolish lie,
Which yet will deepen what it but prorogues. [Page 105]
     BABY. We must compose this threatened broil, McKee;
Dissention now would ruin everything.
     McKEE. Tecumseh thinks there’s ruin in retreat.
Proctor can’t thumb his temper to the point,
Nor rove him through his plans.
     BABY.                                          Well, certainly,
Had we but power and time enough to mass
Our people’s strength ’twould be the nobler part
To risk a battle here. But, pshaw! this counts
In mere conjecture as to what might be
Had we command; for Proctor will retreat!
He feels endangered in a special sense.
The savage massacre of prisoners
At Old Miami and Raisin River
Has made him hated by the enemy,
Who, right or wrong, put all the blame on him,
And this he knows.

                           Enter GENERAL PROCTOR.

     McKEE.                            Would Brock were still alive!
     PROCTOR. Pardon my overhearing ears!—what then?
     McKEE. (Turning sharply.) Then we should fight!
          Some bold, some daring plan,
Would still forefend retreat.
     PROCTOR.                            Some strange exploit!
Some headlong rashness which would find you gravea.
’Twas prologue to his own: a fault in him
I would not emulate.
     ELLIOTT.                   A fault in him!
His death was of the parcel of the man.
In him example, striving to excel
The precept, made him reckless of his life.
’Twas thus he lost it: his main force behind—
With but a handful, taken by surprise,
Rather than flee he charged! and, with the words,
“Push on, my brave York Volunteers!” he fell.
Oh, such a fall atoned for such a fault; [Page 106]
For by that fall he lashed his followers
Up to a sure and terrible revenge.
It was a fearful victory! Our foes,
Flying from death to death, sprang o’er the cliffs
And precipices of Niagara,
And, on the rocks, or in the swirling flood,
Made expiation of their foul invasion.
Let this dwell in our minds! and let not death,
Or, rather, fear of death, repel us now,
Nor turn us to a base retreat from it.

     PROCTOR. Let wisdom dwell, too, in our minds, I urge.
Bethink you: Harrison is on the wing—
Thousands to hundreds is his argument!
Our fleet is captured; our supplies are scant;
And winter may be scented in the air.
We must retreat, since men must eat or die;
So, winding up these treads of sense, prepare!
Lest time desert our opportunity.
     BABY. What will Tecumseh say to this?
     PROCTOR.                                          That dog,
Who barks at all I do, must come with us,
And guard our rear—else were his absence best.
     McKEE. Should he refuse?
     PROCTOR.                        Then tell him we retire
But further east to make a desperate stand.
’Tis well to say it lest he cross my plans.
As for his prate, not all the forest’s combs
Could sweeten such a tongue.
     BABY.                                 I think you lack
The fair idea of this chief; his mind
Has greatness in it—but here comes the man:
Confer with him yourself!

Enter TECUMSEH and a concourse of Chiefs and Warriors.

     PROCTOR.                         Nay, I must go,
And push our preparations—
     TECUMSEH. (Confronting PROCTOR.) Stay, my friend! [Page 107]
     PROCTOR. I cannot stay; speak to him, gentlemen.
     TECUMSEH. (Touching his hatchet.) I am Tecumseh.
You are Proctor—stay!
     PROCTOR. What means this madman? He is insolent.
     TECUMSEH. Brother! My people are before you now!
In the last war, the British father gave
Our chiefs the hatchet, and they fought for him;
But in that bloody strife the Long-Knife laid
The King upon his back; whereat he took
Our foes, without our knowledge, by the hand.
Again the Long-Knife warred upon the King;
Again our father handed us the axe,
With promise that our lands would be restored.
We have not shrunk from battle. We have fought,
And many of our people have been slain!
Our promise redeemed! but what of his?
Oft have we heard you, boasting of him, say
He never would withdraw from British ground.
Yet, neither asking nor advising us,
We mark you now preparing to retreat—
Afraid to even see his enemies!
My brother, you are like a lusty dog
Which proudly curls its tail upon its back,
But, when affrighted, whips it ’tween its legs,
And runs for life! Why should you meanly flee?
The Long-Knives have not yet defeated us
By land, nor is it certain that your ships
Are captured on the lake; but, even so,
First fight, and, if defeated, then retreat!
But, brother, if you will not fight, you hold
The arms our father furnished for our use.
Give these to us, and you may go in peace.
My people are in our Great Spirit’s care!
We are determined to defend our lands,
Or, if He wills it, strew them with our bones.
     BABY. Why, this is manliness, and pathos, too! [Page 108]
     PROCTOR. We must retreat. We cannot spare the arms
You now demand of us.
     TECUMSEH.        Not spare them, brother?
Do I hear aright?
     PROCTOR.       We cannot spare them.
     TECUMSEH. By Manitou, you shall! Those arms are ours.
I would not quarrel lightly with my friend,
Nor cut the bands which bind me to his cause
Upon a small occasion; but those arms,
Useless to him, are precious life to us,
And we shall have them.
     PROCTOR.                      Yes, if you retreat!
We cannot spare them else.
     TECUMSEH.                     And why retreat?
The timid woman and the child will stand
And struggle when assaulted by their kind;
Nay, hares resist, and gnats and flies will fight.
One thing alone runs from its sort in fear,
And thou art it!
     PROCTOR.         The wildest talk in sleep
Outmeasures this in sense. We must retreat!

     TECUMSEH. Must! must! Oh, could my kindred spirit,
But live again—be here—would he retreat?
Yours his command—but why should I compare
The king-bird with the crow? Brave Brock retreat!
Oh, when that badger was abroad, dogs hid
And gave the lie to nature! Here we stay.
Give us the arms, and we shall act like him,
Whilst you make off in peace.
     PROCTOR.                                 This man would breed
A deadly quarrel—prudence bear me through! (Aside.)
I mean to give those arms, but for a use
More wise than you would put them to. Retreat
Is but to find some vantage in the woods—
Some footing for defence; so, come with us;
I would not ask you else. [Page 109]
     TECUMSEH.                  Seek your own kind!
Go boom in festering swales, or, like a frog,
Croak your dull night-song in the standing pool—
Your voice is not a man’s.
     PROCTOR.                     The chief is fevered.
Explain the why and wherefore of retreat,
Then let him come with us or stay; I care not.
     TECUMSEH. Ha! There are cares my brother never cared for;
Duties to which he never paid his duty;
Sacred agreements, oaths and covenants
Which he would break like twigs. Coward and liar!
There’s something here that whispers to my hand
                                                     [Drawing his hatchet.
To set you free from all.
                    [BABY, ELLIOTT and McKEE interpose.
     ELLIOTT.                    Tecumseh, hold!
     BABY. This is unworthy of you. Be a man!
     TECUMSEH. A man! Oh, if to honour words by deeds;
To look on truth as on the healthful air,
Without which I should suffocate and die;
To love my injured people, and oppose
My constant spirit ’gainst tumultuous wrongs—
If this is lack of manhood mark me down.
But to be over-reached and thrown aside—
Our mighty sacrifices and our service
Rates as nothing in this coward’s plans—
It rends my soul. Back! I shall chop his own
From out its frame, and send the mould of lies
Down to his people’s hell! Away!
     McKEE.                                               No! No!
     ELLIOTT. Stay, be advised by us!
                                                               [PROCTOR retires.
     BABY.                                       Do nothing rash!
We are your friends—you know us to be true,
And we, like you, despise this General.
Fear bares the coward’s heart. The gaudy acts [Page 110]
Whereby unsoundness shores its credit up
Are at its touch exposed. ’Tis so with him—
And thus far we are with you. But retreat
Hath a discreetness too. This Harrison,
Once landed (for our long and liberal shores
We cannot well defend), might circle us,
And, with o’erwhelming numbers, hem us in.
But, by retreat, we have the choice of place,
And Harrison—you know the man—will follow.
The forest will befriend us—we can stand
Where’er we please, and shall whene’er you please.
     TECUMSEH. So! Proctor’s promises deceive you, too!
     BABY. Nay, ’tis my promise, and you know the stuff
My word is built on. Deal with me, Tecumseh,
As you had dealt with Proctor, if I lie.
     TECUMSEH. My friend, your reason breaks a spirit’s wing
That ne’er touched ground before. Oh I grow weak—
Cast from my thoughts, and banished from my dream!
The plumed hope droops—fate’s shadow covers it;
And dim forebodings peer into my soul.
I am not what I was—there—there—I’ll go!
     BABY. I hope to see you smile at this ere long.


Enter WARRIORS and JOSAKEEDS. The warriors extend their weapons                towards the sun. The JOSAKEEDS advance facing it.

     1st JOSAKEED. He comes! Yohewah! the Great Spirit, comes
Up from his realm—the place of Breaking Light!
Hush, nations! Worship, in your souls, the King,
Above all Spirits! Master of our lives! [Page 111]
I-ge-zis! He that treads upon the day,
And makes the light!
     2nd JOSAKEED. He comes! he comes! he comes!
The ever-dying, ever-living One!
He hears us, and he speaks thus to mine ears!
I wipe once more the darkness from the earth;
I look into the forest, and it sings—
The leaves exult; the waters swim with joy.
I look upon the nations, and their souls
Strengthen with courage to resist their foes.
I will restore them to their fathers’ lands;
And fill the forest with its ancient food.
Corn will be plenteous in the fields as dust,
And fruits, moved to their joy, on every bough
Will glow and gleam like ardent fire and gold.
     3rd JOSAKEED. O mighty Spirit! Guardian of our Breath!
We see thy body, and yet see thee not.
The spirits in our forms, which no man sees,
Breathe forth to thee, for they are born of thee.
Hear us, thy children, and protect our lives!
Our warriors retreat—it is thy will!
Declare the way—the fateful time to stand!
Then, if in battle they decline in death,
Take them, O master, to thy Mighty Heart—
Thy glorious Ground and Shining Place of Souls!
Yohewa! Master of Breath! Yohewa!
Hear us! Hear us!
     ALL.                        Master of Breath—hear us!
                                                                               [Exeunt. [Page 112]

                           SCENE THIRD.—THE SAME.

A girl’s voice singing without, then enter IENA, WINONA, WEETAMORE and          other Indian maidens—some at quill-work, others embroidering.

     IENA.          There is within my heart, I know not why,
An apprehension I ne’er felt before.
     WINONA. The night-sun set in cloud, and curling mists
Hid the plumed star from sight. Mayhap, those signs
Bode danger to our loves. Sing, Weetamore—
Your tender voice will charm away our fears.
     IENA. Nay, sing no more in strains so sorrowful!
Why is it all our people’s songs are sad?
                                                    [A bird’s note is heard.
     WINONA. I know not why; no more than yon poor bird
Knows why it mourns.
     IENA.                           It is the wood pewee,
That haunts the deepest forest. ’Tis the bird
Yohewa gave in solitude for voice—
The lonely heart within the lonely heart!
Why comes this feathered sadness from its wilds,
To thrill us with its pain?

                                      Enter MAMATEE.

                                                    O Mamatee!
     MAMATEE. Alas, alas, the Long-Knife’s big canoes
Are on the lake, and sweeping to our shores!
Fort Malden burns; our warriors retreat;
And we, poor souls! must fly to densest woods,
And wait till they return?
     IENA.                           Till they return—
Ah! when shall they return? [Page 113]

                                      Enter LEFROY.

                                                   Here comes my love,
With parting in his eyes.
     LEFROY.                         You speak the word!
But, if we part, we part to meet again.
And, thus, to leave you for love’s sake makes sweet
The bitter word, and will uphold my heart.
Tecumseh is already gone—farewell.
     IENA. Farewell, and we shall meet again—here? where?
Yes, yes, I know—there’s something tells me where.
Farewell! my love will follow you on wings
High-flighted as the swan’s—my soul! my soul!
                             [LEFROY places IENA in MAMATEE’s arms.
     LEFROY. In loving arms I place this precious charge.
Oh, cherish her! for she is dear to me
As is the Intercessor to your race.
                                                                           [Exit LEFROY.
     IENA. Now let me go—see—I am well again!
An impulse rises from the seat of dreams—
Love’s apprehension may be cured by love.
Winona, will you help me?
     WINONA.                      Sister, how?
     IENA. Your brother, Chaska, is a slender youth,
With features softly fashioned. ’Tis a boy
Some say resembles me; and like me, too,
His gentle form contains a venturous soul.
You make a young brave’s suit for him, I think.
     WINONA. Yes, for his huskenaw; you call it that—
We have another name. Look, this completes it!
                                       [Holding up an ornamented moccasin.
’Tis from the self-piece cut, and quill’d all o’er—
Your gathered edges show not half so well.
     IENA. Oh, if you love me, let me have this dress.
     WINONA. With all my heart; but tell me, Iena,
What means this strange request?
     IENA.                                  Come to your lodge!
I there shall tell you all I have in mind.
                                               [Exeunt IENA and WINONA. [Page 114]
     MAMATEE. The girl conceives some folly. To my cares!
O weary woman, thine the weary work!
                                                                        [Exit MAMATEE.
     1st MAIDEN. Iena asked, and I do marvel why,
Our songs are all sad. We forest maids
Should sing as lightly as our forest leaves.
’Tis strange!
     WEETAMORE. You are too happy-young to think
’Tis else than strange. Now I shall answer you
Ere Iena can come to chide the strain.

                                 (WEETAMORE sings.)

Who would not be a forest-maid,
     And ever spend at east
The flowery season in the shade
     Of sighing summer’s sweetest trees?
But who would be a forest-maid,
     Beset by foes and fears?
To see in every flash a blade,
     To start at every sound she hears!

We flit—we fly—no home we have,
     And terror is the tale!
A fate is whispered by the tree—
     A doom is uttered by the gale.
Short season of delight have we,
     But that of pain is long;
And, so, ’tis sorrow, and not glee,
     That gives the burden to our song.

          Re-enter IENA, dressed as a young Indian Brave.

     IENA. Now for my bow! my quiver! here it is!
This quiver slung, I’m ready for the field.
     1st MAIDEN. Why, this is Iena!
     IENA.                                            Yes, Iena.
But, sisters, lock this secret in your hearts.
Love’s Spirit whispered in a dream—“Go, shield
Your lover in the fight!”

     2nd MAIDEN.                       A dream, a dream!
     3rd MAIDEN. A sacred dream!
     ALL.                                             We promise to be true, [Page 115]

     [The MAIDENS join hands and move in a circle round IENA, chanting:

Spirit of Love! Spirit of Love!
     That in Great Nature’s heart doth dwell:
Spirit of Love! Spirit of Love!
     Go with our sister—shield her well!


Enter GENERAL HARRISON and other American Officers.

     HARRISON. All gone! all gone! Naught here but smoking ruins!
Now would I give this Province for one man,
Were that man only Proctor. Perfidy!
Thy manager has fled; and we are balked
In our just vengeance.
1st OFFICER.             Let us follow him!
There are no lies ’twixt mercy and this man
That we should spare him.
HARRISON.                   No, his ruthless axe,
Stayed only by Tecumseh’s noble rage,
Has lit upon too many helpless heads.
Their blood cries, “After him!” and with our force
We can o’erwhelm his if we overtake him.
2nd OFFICER. ’Tis strange Tecumseh hugs his flying fortunes!
3rd OFFICER. Think you he is gone?
HARRISON. No doubt of it, else would he face us here.
2nd OFFICER. Had he remained we might perchance have made
Our peace with him, and ended this long feud.
HARRISON. Made peace with him! There is no peace on earth
For him, save in it. We are what we are;
And if some miracle will work a change
In us, then shall we find him, as we would, [Page 116]
Contented but with peace. This much I say,
Knowing the man—but this is not the point!
’Tis Proctor, not Tecumseh, we discuss,
and Proctor we must capture if we can.

                                     Enter a SCOUT.

What tidings have you gathered?
SCOUT.                               Proctor’s force
Is making for the Heights of Burlington.
’Tis said Tecumseh made him pledge his word
To stand, and fight at the Moravian Town,
Should we pursue.
HARRISON.            Will hounds pursue the hare?
’Tis boot-and-saddle, and quick marches now,
If we would catch the foe.


Enter TECUMSEH, and his Chiefs, GENERAL PROCTOR, COLONEL BABY           and other Officers, and PROCTOR’S ORDERLY.

     TECUMSEH. I’ll go no further.
     PROCTOR.                               A little further—
Toward the heights—’twere well!
     TECUMSEH.                       No, not a step,
Were they the Alleghanies! Here we stand!
The enemy draws near, and we must fight.
     PROCTOR. Well, here we stand—here shall I lay my bones,
If go God wills it. Ha—I like the spot!
A river to protect us on our left;
Swamps to the north, and forest everywhere.
What a gigantic panoply of woods! [Page 117]
Why, here are maples scarce three men could girth
With their encircling arms. What trees!
     TECUMSEH.                                       Yes, yes—
Would they were soldiers, brother; they are strong,
And, being rooted to their place, would ne’er
Give way as we have done. But to affairs—
     PROCTOR. Ay, to the proper ordering of our force.
Do you direct! What think you now is best?
     TECUMSEH. Two swamps are here o’ergrown with swollen trunks
Of black and moss-hung ash. Their underbrush,
Thick-set, and tangled with the blistering vine,
No cavalry can pass. between them lies
A neck of open woods and turfy soil,
Where I shall plant my braves; but this straight path—
This highway by the river—is your ground.
Here place your cannon, and await attack,
Whilst I oppose it there.

                                    Enter a SCOUT.

     SCOUT.                                          Make ready, sirs!
The enemy approaches—we can hear
His trumpet-calls resounding through the woods.
                                                                         [Exit SCOUT.
     PROCTOR. Then, briefly, my opinion sides with yours.
The trial hour is come—farewell, my friend!
We two shall stand or fall upon this field,
And fame it to all time.
     TECUMSEH.                      Keep a stout heart,
I pray you, brother; all will thus be well.

                                      [Exeunt TECUMSEH and his Chiefs.

     BABY. I think this disposition excellent.
     PROCTOR. It is, it is. Now let us fight it out!
There are occasions when the spirit mounts,
Uplifted by what threats it; this is one.
Go, gentlemen, and marshal up our force— [Page 118]
I shall await you here. Stay you with me,
                                                             (To his ORDERLY.)
I have instructions for you.
                     [Exeunt all but PROCTOR and his ORDERLY.

                                                   Come hither!
We may be beaten here—
     ORDERLY.                                   I think we shall.
     PROCTOR. What right have you to think?
     ORDERLY.                                               You said it, sir.
     PROCTOR. I said we may—(aside) tut! this is less than prudent.
Go, put my fleetest horses to my carriage;
Have others ready-saddled in our rear,
And, with some trusty fellows, stay by them—
They may be useful in emergency.
                                                             [Exit ORDERLY.
If there are seasons in the soul of man,
As in the year, it is the bleakest now.
How many rail at me, and call me coward,
Because with prudent outlook I foresee
What can be done and what can not be done!
One must endure! though to be misconceived;
To find one’s actions and one’s qualities
Framed in misapprehension; to be deemed
The think that one is not, might well offend.
But that which guides my life enables me
To bear against the rub of false opinion;
So, prudence, miscalled cowardice by those
Who count their rashness virtue, tend me still!
Tecumseh foolishly resolves to die—
For who, against such odds, can hope to live?
And, if there be a virtue in mere death,
Then is he welcome to his grave and all
The honour and the glory death can give.
But those who have some business still on earth—
Something to do that cannot else be done—
Look on this matter with a different eye. [Page 119]
It is our trumpet call; my soldiers come.
In the adieu to death the quick resolve
Must spur calm judgement on to execution.


                                Enter TECUMSEH.

     TECUMSEH. This is our summer—when the painted wilds,
Like pictures in a dream, enchant the sight.
The forest bursts in glory like a flame!
Its leaves are sparks; its mystic breath the haze
Which blends in purple incense with the air.
The Spirit of the Woods has desked his home,
And put his wonders like a garment on,
To flash, and glow, and dull, and fade, and die.
Oh, let not manhood fade within my soul!
And thou, pale doubt, that hast distracted me—
Ye forecasts that would drag my spirit down—
Hence and forever flee! Ye have no place,
No business in this breast. My field is here!
Here must my people’s cause be lifted up,
Or sink to rise no more.                                                       [Exit.

     Enter three American SCOUTS, looking cautiously about them.

     1st SCOUT.                                    This is their spot.
     2nd SCOUT. I see them coming. Look! away—away—
     (Firing, and other sounds of conflict, are heard from PROCTOR’S part of                the field, and then suddenly stop.)

     Re-enter TECUMSEH, with STAYETA and his other Chiefs and Warriors.

     STAYETA. The noise of battle rose, and then it ceased
Almost upon beginning. This is strange. [Page 120]
     TECUMSEH. It is; ah, Proctor, how my soul mistrusts thee!
Go, some of you, see what this silence means—
But stay—here comes a witness of the fight.

                    Enter LEFROY, out of breath, and excited.

     LEFROY. The line was broken by a charge of horse,
And, in the British quarter, all is lost.
     TECUMSEH. And Proctor—he who meant to leave his bones,
If so God willed it—
     LEFROY.                       Willed it otherwise!
Upon the instant of attack he fled;
And, seeing this, the line gave way at once.
     TECUMSEH. ’Twas this I feared. He loves his wretched life
Too well to leave his vile bones anywhere.
Dastard and coward! Oh, the heavens should crack,
And dart their lightning down upon this slave!
How come such creatures ’mongst the breed of men
To make their nation blush?
     LEFROY.                                    I cannot tell.
Like sulphur in rain-channels after storms,
Or little frogs, one marvels how they come.
But some fought well; Baby, among the rest,
Who is now prisoner. Myself was saved
Most strangely by a boy—a youthful brave,
Whose arrows helped me in a dangerous spot.
I never saw so sweet a lad before.
His face! I started when I saw it first—
It seemed so like to Iena’s! Think you,
Could she be here?
     TECUMSEH.        Impossible!
     DAHCOTA CHIEF.                       No, no.
’Twas Chaska, of our nation; one who longs
For plumes before his time. He has been seen,
Yet is so active that we cannot catch him. [Page 121]
     LEFROY. Ah, then, ’twas he! This way he ran before me,
Round the rough angle of the lower swamp,
Then darted into it. I followed fast,
And sought, but could not follow him—he was gone.

(A flourish of trumpets without, sounding the advance of the American Force.)

     STAYETA. Hark! Now the Long-Knives come!
     TECUMSEH.                                    Yes, now they come.
Courage! Warriors, courage! Let our deeds
Take colour from the scene! Now must we fight
Like men; not run like slaves. What matters it
To those who fled, and left us, if they flee?
They can join palms, make peace, draw treaties up,
And son and father, reconcile again,
Will clap their hands, and glory in their race
Which hath despoiled our own. For us, no peace
Save what our axes gain, or, in our graves.
Therefore-as men fore-doomed to war or death—
Let valour make excuse that we shall live,
And, breathing vengeance, shake our spoilers so
That they will reel in terror to the East,
From whence they came, and cry—“The West is yours!”
Oh, warriors, think of all, and strike like men
Whose homes are in their hands, whose souls are free.
The voice that calls you now will call no more,
For something whispers to this fearless heart—
Here must I fight, and for my people die!
     DELAWARE CHIEF. Then shall we fight and die with you like men.
     DAHCOTA CHIEF. Or live to see you Chief of all our race.

(A flourish without, then enter the American Forces. A fierce hand-to-hand           conflict begins.)

     TECUMSEH. Our foes are turning! Strike them! beat them back!
     STAYETA. Pursue! pursue! [Page 122]

(The American Troops retreat fighting. Exeunt omnes.)

                           Enter IENA, from behind.

     IENA.                             I hear, yet cannot see,
The dreadful fray! My arrows all are spent.
There are a thousand in my quivered heart
Could I but match them to this useless bow.
What shall I do? Ah, this is our own tree!
It will protect me whilst I wait the end.
                                   [Retires behind a large sugar maple.

Re-enter a small band of Braves, driven back by Soldiers, who chase them                          out and then return.

     1st SOLDIER. Ha, ha, those red-skins fled like hunted wolves!
Away, and start another pack!
                                                                [Exeunt forward.
     IENA. (Looking out.)               Alas!
Our people ’gin to flee—I fear—I fear.
Here comes my love! Oh, for one arrow more!

Enter LEFROY and an AMERICAN OFFICER fighting with swords. In the                    struggle they draw abreast of IENA’S tree, and pause.

     OFFICER. You are a white man.
     LEFROY.                                                    I am a white man.
     OFFICER. And what a soulless one are youwho leave
Your place in civil, good society
To herd with savages; from one extreme
Falling away unto the basest side—
The furthest from the humanizéd world.
     LEFROY. Nay, I deny it! Further, I would say,
My genius leans, like Nature, to all sides,
Can love with all at once, and live with all.
     OFFICER. So! so! you are a poet, painter, what?
Well, that is nothing; I must try and kill you.

          [They fight again, and LEFROY disarms the OFFICER. [Page 123]

     LEFROY. Now might I kill you if I had the heart.
Be prisoner instead; I cannot kill
A man thus, in cold blood.

                             Re-enter two SOLDIERS.

     OFFICER.                                    ’Tis more than kind.
     1st SOLDIER. Why, that’s our captain there, disarmed—let fly!
My carbine is unloaded.

(Second SOLDIER aims at LEFROY. IENA, with a cry, leaps from her shelter      and intercepts the shot.)

     LEFROY.                               Who is this?
Not Chaska! Oh, no, no—’tis Iena!
I see her now, who could not see my love—
Love clear and incorruptible as glass,
Love that had dared a monster, wilds and floods—
Dare fire, and draw the bow that shielded me.
Speak to me, Iena! No voice—she’s dead!
     OFFICER. This is the strangest chapter of my life—
Soldiers, stand off, and rest upon your arms.
     LEFROY. Silent for ever! Oh, my girl! my girl!
Those rich eyes melt; those lips are sun-warm still—
They look like life, yet have no semblant voice.
Millions of creatures throng, and multitudes
Of heartless beings flaunt upon the earth:
There’s room enough for them; but thou, dull Fate—
Thou cold and partial tender of life’s field,
That pluck’st the flower, and leav’st the weed to thrive—
Thou hadst not room for her! Oh, I must seek
A way out of the rack—I need not live.
     OFFICER. The world grows less familiar every hour:--
Is that a girl?
     LEFROY.            Yes, yes, but she is dead—
And love is left upon the earth to starve.
My object’s gone, and I am but a shell,
A husk, an empty case, or anything
That may be kicked about the world.
                                            [Exit LEFROY, carrying IENA. [Page 124]
     OFFICER.                                    I see!
I have a tear or two behind these eyes,
And they are coming. If he need a friend
I know of one.
     2nd SOLDIER. Now, dang me, who’d ’a thought that was a girl!
     OFFICER. (Turning aside.) What strange and selfless paths
Do skirt the world’s hard highway! I have seen
What gives me sight. The tide of battle rolls
Back, and our people win, as win they must:
But, now, methinks, I’ll strive with different heart.
Come, soldiers, let’s away and join the fight.
                                                [Exeunt through a by-entrance.

Re-enter TECUMSEH’S warriors driven back, and then re-enter TECUMSEH,             STAYETA, and other Chiefs.

     TECUMSEH. Has death died out, that no one now can die?
Or are you drive back by fear of it?
Oh, slaves or men, determine which you are!

                    Re-enter the American troops, in pursuit.

     STAYETA. Tecumseh calls! On, warriors, strike them down!

(TECUMSEH and his warriors, by a fierce onslaught, again drive their                           opponents back. The fight continues without—then re-enter                               TECUMSEH mortally wounded.)

     TECUMSEH. Great Spirit, hadst thou spared me but one hour—
Yet thy behest rules all.

             Re-enter DELAWARE CHIEF, also wounded.

     DELAWARE CHIEF.             What! wounded too?
     TECUMSEH. Yes, I am shot. Recall some warriors
To bear my body hence. Give no alarm, [Page 125]
Lest our poor braves lose courage; but make haste—
I have not long to live. Yet hear my words!
Bury me in the deep and densest forest,
And let no white man know where I am laid.
Promise this ere you go.
     DELAWARE CHIEF.           I promise it.
Alas, alas, our bravest and our best!
                                                      [Exit DELAWARE CHIEF.
     TECUMSEH. The hour is come! these weary hands and feet
Draw to the grave. Oh, I have loved my life,
Not for my own but for my people’s cause.
Who now will knit them? who will lead them on?
Lost! lost! lost! The pale destroyer triumphs!
I see my people flee—I hear their shrieks—
And none to shield or save! My axe! my axe—
Ha—it is here! No, no—the power is past.
O Mighty Spirit, shelter—save—my people!


Enter GENERAL HARRISON and other American Officers, and COLONEL                     BABY, a prisoner.

     HARRISON. You were too brave a man, Baby, to swell
The craven Proctor’s flight of followers.
     BABY. Speak not of him! I mourn the death of one—
A soldier—and a savage if you will—
Able and honourable, valiant, pure,
As ever graced the annals of the earth.
     HARRISON. You mean Tecumseh; search is made for him.
I hope to give him fitting burial.
     BABY. Oh, sir, he loved his people! They are men
Much hated by the small and greedy mind—
The mind that is not gentle, and that jeers
And laughs at all forlorn and broken fortune. [Page 126]
And some there by who coldly pass them by
As creatures ruled by appetite, not law;
Yet, though to such they seem but human beasts,
They are to those who know, or study them,
A world of wonders! I entreat you, sir,.
To make right use of your authority,
And shield them if you can.
     HARRISON.                       I shall, I shall.
Right feeling tends this way, though ’tis a course
Not to be smoothly steered.

                             Enter a party of soldiers.

     1st SOLDIER.                              Tecumseh’s body
Cannot be found; ’twas borne away and buried
By faithful friends who would not name the place,
If they were tortured.
     1st OFFICER.          He is well content
Without our honours. This man’s race hath lost
A lofty spirit.
     2nd OFFICER.      All will mourn for him!
No need had he of schools or learned books—
His soul his mentor, is keen lion-looks
Pierced to the heart of things. Nor needed he
Counsels of strength and goodness. To be free
Required no teacher, no historic page,
No large examples sought from age to age.
For such things were himself, and, as his breath,
Instinctive, pleaders ’gainst the fears of death.
     HARRISON. Sleep well, Tecumseh, in thy unknown grave,
Thou mighty savage, resolute and brave!
Thou, master and strong spirit of the woods,
Unsheltered traveller in sad solitudes,
Yearner o’er Wyandot and Cherokee,
Couldst tell us now what hath been and shall be!

                                       THE END. [Page 127]

* Pronounced Baw-bée. [back]