Poems and Essays

by Joseph Howe




Though o’er Acadia’s hills and plains
    The wand’ring Micmac listless strays,
While scarce a single trace remains
    Of what he was in other days. [Page 89]

And though he now an outcast seems
    Upon the lands his Fathers trod,
And his dark eye no longer beams
    With pride which bent but to his God,—

Though the fire-water’s deadly wave
    Which even pride could not control,
Has drown’d each feeling high that gave
    Such innate grandeur to his soul;—

There was a time when Nature’s child
    With nobler port and manner bore him,
And ranged with joy his native wild,
    Or slept with Heaven’s blue curtain o’er him.

Long ere the white man’s axe was heard
    Resounding in the forest shade,
Long ere the rifle’s voice had stirr’d
    The stillness of the Sylvan glade,—

Ere Science, with her plastic hand,
    And Labor, with his patient toil,
Had changed the features of the land,
    And dispossess’d him of the soil.

Then let fair Fancy change the scene,
    While gazing on the Micmac’s brow,
And showing what he once has been,
    Made us forget what he is now. [Page 90]