IN glittering pomp, and golden car,
   Behold Autumna rides,—
Her path, the trackway of the star,—
   Her mirror,—ocean’s tides;—
She looks upon the vales below,
From azure skies which brightly glow;—
She smiles upon the teeming earth,
As parent at her offspring’s birth;—
Her bounteous lap it is that showers
The ripen’d fruit from hanging bowers,
Her plenteous store, that from her horn,
Makes smiling harvests, gladden morn,
When Industry, as orient wields
Its flaming torch,—there treads the fields
And dew-drops on the fragrant flower,
Impearl each leaf within the bower;—
And in this land,—where nature rude,
In wood, and wave of solitude,—
(Awaken’d only by the peal
Of thunder, when the storms reveal
Their strength, or whirlwinds clash their arms
And rouse the forest tribe’s alarms;)
Oh, even there,—’twas fair to see
The glowing tints from hill and tree,
In crimson streak, and orange sheen
Diversified with varied green,
As Phœbus drawing near the west,
Guided his coursers to their rest.—
What, tho’ no spiral column crown’d,
Rear’d its high fabric on the ground?
Nor gilded palaces vast towers,
Gleam’d from their marble studded bowers?
Nor all that Folly’s gaudy art,
(Which throngs the city’s humming mart,
Blazon’d in feign’d fantastic forms,)
There spread their frail and faulty charms?
There was the scene which nature’s hand,
Delineates with her magic wand,—
There was the cool breeze which the sky
Wafts on, in whispering melody,—
There was the forest in its pride,
Boundless in space, and beautified,—
The river in its mighty course,
With cataract thundering, now its force
And fury;—now the calmer stream,
Purpled by nature’s shadowy beam;—
The fragrant earth, and fresher air,
Embalm’d with many a flowret fair,—
Wild and luxuriant;—there the note
From the wing’d warbler’s chirping throat,
Free as the zephyrs, as they play
From berried bush, to flowery spray;—
And circling there, the azure sky
Bright,—beautifully vast, on high,
With cloud of golden, ermin’d hue,
To crown the splendour of the view.

He sinks,—the monarch of the day,
His beams and beauties pass away,—
Leaving the halo of his rays,
In one resplendent, glorious blaze,

To smile his warmest won Farewell,
O’er leafy bower and mossy dell.—
He sinks,—soft twilight owns its reign,
Whilst, following in his gorgeous train,
Fair Hesperus,—in silvery car
Appears,—the lovely smiling star,
Won by his beauty, there to trace
The last, lost splendours of his race.—
But hark!—what loud notes scare the sweet
   Soft sighing zephyrs of their song,
That rouse the woodland’s still retreat,
   And Echo’s wildest strains prolong?
Behold, around the wood-built pile,
The Indian tribe in order file,
Announcing ceremonial rite,
With sacrifice of blood to-night;—
Theirs is no pompous pageantry,
Of gold, and incense to the sky;
No sacerdotal, costly shrine,
But the untutor’d wild design
Of offering up their uncouth sound,—
To the great Manitou around.
Behold their forms, on which the dye
   Of many a root and berry vies—
To give to swarthy nudity,
   A beauty in their savage eyes;—
And on the brow of some,—the plume
Which none but chieftains must assume,—
From the proud eagle’s pinion torn,
As symbol of their prowess, worn;—
The polish’d stone, and burnish’d shell,
Sole ornaments of arts excel,
In glittering rows their forms bedeck,
To grace the ear, and arm and neck;
The ashen bow, and quiver strung,
The tomahawk in girdle hung,
Equip them, as they move along,
To the wild numbers of their song.—


’Tis the spirit calls,


In the thundering roar of the water-falls;
’Tis the meteor shines
In the vapoury swamp,—with its evil signs;
The owl now flies

With its dismal cries,
And shrieks its note, to the slumbering air;—
And the spirit mark,
For it stalks with its wand, presiding there.—


’Tis the war sound howls,
But we fear no foe, tho’ he darkly prowls,—
’Tis its threatening form,

But we dare the might of the rudest storm,—
Our bows are strung,
And our quivers hung,—
And the edges are keen of the tomahawk,—

No fears benumb,—
Tho’ the sprirt glares with its deadly stalk.—


’Tis the white man’s cry,
But our arms are nerv’d, and we must not fly;—

’Tis his awful song,
But our Chief is here, and his heart is strong;
We fear no foe,
With our birchen bow,

For the eagle’s plume guides the arrow’s flight,
Our aim flies well,
As the deer can tell,
Then away, away—for the scalp and fight.


The sounds were hush’d, and Echo rung

Responsive to the notes they sung,
The Prophet with the charm he bore,
Stepp’d forward as the song was o’er,
And with a torch, one arm sustain’d,
Now fir’d the pile,—whilst clamour strain’d
Its loudest accents, to express
The dictates rude of joyfulness.—
Thrice round the spot his way he took,
With murmuring lip and meaning look,
And rais’d his hands, with gestures stern,
As fiercely did the wood-pile burn;—
Then from his pouch some incense drew,
Which to the flames he wildly threw,—
Swift from ignition there upflew
Ten thousand sparks of purple hue,
Which in the air resplendent shone,
As crystals glancing in the sun.—
Again the uncouth sounds on high,
Were sent reverberate to the sky:
The Prophet started, and with sign,
Bade them to silence soon incline,
And waving thrice his wand—again
Shower’d forth the incense—but in vain,
For still a darker, deeper cast,
Of flame, ascended, than the last.—
He paus’d awhile,—and cast his eye
Up to the starry moonlight sky,
When swiftly sped, a meteor sent
Illumining the firmament,
Shot with the light’nings vivid glare,
And in the west extinguish’d there.—
In gloomier mood, he gaz’d around,
When from the woods, a hollow sound
Came on the night breeze,—such, as they,
Conceiv’d,—foretold Death’s threatening prey;—
Amongst the circle there arose,
A trembling fear of coming woes,
Awaken’d by the start and thrill,
Which in the Prophet boded ill,
For seldom had their glances seen
A fear of danger in his mien;—
Sly to perceive, and swift to turn
His thoughts to what he might discern,
Once more, he raised his voice in song,
Which soon was chorus’d by the throng,
And in his gestures wild, essay’d
To calm the fear each sign had swayed;
But in his features were express’d,
The labourings of an anxious breast,
Which rose despite his deepest art,
To mark disquietude at heart.

Now rose the accents wild, once more,
Which startled Echo with the roar,
Until a sign again made known,
Hush’d that loud anthem’s boisterous tone,

And, as the shower of incense sent,
(Ignited by the element
Which blaz’d in fiery fierceness there)
Rose sparkling brightly thro’ the air,
A clearer and more redden’d flame,
From the ordeal incense came;—
A light across the Prophet’s glance,
Relumining his countenance
Now flash’d,—as when the passing storm,
Hath waned, and sunshine bright and warm,
Darts all its fervor’d rays, to chase
The dewy tear from nature’s face,—
"I knew it well,—’twas but to shew
"That we should be prepar’d for woe,
"See,—for still redder than of late,
"The flame betokens livelier fate;
"Come, brother, let a joyous cast,
"Smile at the evil signs now past;
"Awake the strain like that of yore,
"Upon great Mississipi’s shore;
"When our brave tribe, the sternest foes
"That dwell where swift Ohio flows,
"Dar’d the vile white-man’s murderous flash,
"With tomahawk’s revengeful gash.—
"What, shall the Shawanee repine
"When fate decrees its fairest sign?
"Lo, ’tis the Spirit which displays
"Its will—then who shall murmurs raise."—

"Hold, brother,"—stern Tecumthe spoke,—
"There’s not one here, but like the oak

"Can brave the tempest’s rudest sway
"Upon the angry battle-day,—
"Our arms are strong, our arrows sure,
"Our footsteps can fatigue endure;—
"Our lips which oft have pass’d the day,
"In cravings stern from hunger’s prey,
"With nought but nature’s watery font,
"To satisfy the palate’s want,—
"These both in famine and in fight,
"Defy the stranger’s sternest might;—
"And these, the Spirit great, inspires,
"Into the offspring of our sires.—
"We want no succour but our strength,
"No weapon, but our arrow’s length,
"No incense, but our daring blood,
"No trackway, but the wood or flood,
"Our war-cry as it was of yore
"Shall rouse the silence of the shore,
"And start the wolf or slyer fox
"Or vulture from its nestling rocks;
"And if a hand, or craven heart
"Should play the coward’s viler part,
"No better fate,—(but still a worse
"Shall be his crouching body’s curse)
"Than, what the deadly foe shall feel
"Doom’d to the life-transfixing steel."—

Scarce had these words Tecumthe spoken,
   When suddenly upon the ear
There peal’d a death-shot sound, the token
   Of coming foes, advancing near;—

Swift as the lightning’s redd’ning flash
Follow’d by thunder’s echoing crash,
Fiery as the war-horse bound
At the loud trumpet’s rallying sound
He seized his tomahawk and bow,
And darting wildly towards the foe,
Exclaim’d with stern, and hurried word,
"I knew it,—’tis his acts have err’d,"
Pointing unto the Prophet,—"there
"Hath Folly gull’d us in its snare;"—
Then bounding on, his war-whoop’s yell
Rang loudly thro’ the forest-dell,
The quivering lip and quicker eye
Denote his soul’s intensity;
Whilst swiftly now—the ready tribe,
His valour’s energy imbibe,
And with an eager fierceness rush
With half drawn bow, by tree, and bush,
To hurl the well-directed dart
Against each foeman’s panting heart. 270

Nor less determin’d to arouse
   Each slumbering spark of Valour’s life,
Did his, the Prophet’s heart espouse
   The cry to war’s tumultuous strife;—
He seiz’d the nearest bow that hung

   Upon the boughs, which there surrounded,
And to the contest boldly sprung
   As if it was the wolf that bounded
From its dark den to seize its prey
Impell’d by hunger’s maddening sway.—
Onward, the foe, with deadly ball,
   Which to the Indian’s untaught ear
Hissing its murderous moaning call—
   Awoke some sudden thrill of fear:—
Onward her sons, C
   To drive the savage from his lair,—
Where he had lived in calm content,—
   The wild, yet unmolesting there;
In ambush had the foeman laid
Until the night’s returning shade
Insur’d his footsteps the success
Of wary-dealing watchfulness;
And whilst the ritual sacrifice
(Which lur’d the Shawanee’s surprise
By their false Prophet there maintain’d,)
To its delusive follies chain’d,
Stole thus unseen on their retreat
With silent lip, and cautious feet
To wait the moment dire to dart
Destruction on each slumbering heart,
Beguil’d by Fancy’s wayward power
To hazard an unguarded hour.
Now, whilst surrounding Slaughter plann’d
Its murderous aim with busy hand
Urg’d by the enmity of death
Exhaling round its vampire breath,
Amidst the fury which beset
Each battling host, the brothers met;—
Sternness was in Tecumthe’s eye
Who haughtily had pass’d him by,
Nor would have deign’d to accent word,
Deeming it was the Prophet err’d,
And had beguil’d them by his vow
To all the ills which threaten’d now.
The Prophet paus’d, and strove to trace
Forgiveness in his brother’s face,
Who hurried on to where a close
Of combat, bore their thickening foes;
Wild with the thought of maddening pain
At that reproof of stern disdain,
   He flew, and at Tecumthe’s feet,
Knelt there with an imploring strain,
   One smile of kindness to entreat,
’Twas all he ask’d, or might again!
Tecumthe darted down a glance
Upon the Prophet’s countenance,
But in his savage breast and mood,
The kindness sprung from kindred blood
Soften’d his heart, and all the ire
Kindled by Anger’s fiercest fire,
Relaps’d in Nature’s fond reprieve
Of tender feelings,—"I forgive;—
"Behold the foe, it boots not now
"To waste our time with idle vow,—
"Go, brother,—energy requires,
"The spirit born of valiant sires,
"And all our deeds to-day shall tell
"Each heart’s intent,—on, on,—farewell."
Amidst the carnage of the fight,
"Revenge" upon their appetite
The brothers rush’d, with all the force
Which Hatred gives to Valour’s course,
The Prophet’s arm, with fury bent
To be the keener instrument
Of driving back the threatening foe
Or falling by some fated blow.—
The war-whoop echoed to the blast
As wildly now, he darted past,
And leading on a desperate few
Like to the tyger, bounding flew;—
Scarce had he reach’d the formest man
Who led the foe’s contending van,
And with his tomahawk impell’d—
That form’s resisting fury quell’d,
When swift, a shot,—the stern reward
Of battle,—on the damp green sward
Laid his head low,—yet still as brave
(Tho’ vainly struggling o’er his grave)
His brand he flourish’d thro’ the air,
With life’s last spirit lingering there,—
And nature’s tide, tho’ ebbing fast,—
Shouted for vengeance to the last.

Destructive War!—ah what avails
The record of thy gory tales,
Where numbers in contention rife,

Make it more murder than fair strife;—
The dauntless Lion,—still must yield
When hosts encounter on the field
His stubborn courage,—tho’ his fall
May the most daring breast appal;—
Vain, was the energy which nerv’d
Tecumthe’s soul,—that never swerv’d
From the stern trial, which surrounded
And Slaughter’s very look astounded;—
Behold the remnant of his band,
Who had escap’d its murderous hand,
Around their Chieftain clos’d,—to learn
What were his mandates,—faint, or stern?
But, wherefore ask?—with deadlier danger
From the successes of the stranger,
Tecumthe’s spirit, rose alike
Sworn to revenge,—but never strike.—
From tree to tree,—from bush to bush,
O’erpowering numbers,—(as the rush
Of the rude torrent, swift, and strong,)
Before their fury swept along
The few, who yet of all remain’d—
And some resistance still maintain’d,—
Tho’ such as doth a struggling form
Against the fury of the storm,
Toss’d by the boiling, boisterous waves,
On some wild shore, where Ocean raves.

Nor did his valour’s sternest deed,
(Tho’ it could claim the proudest meed,)
Rescue Tecumthe from a fate

Which must embitter life’s estate.—
Alas, too oft the bravest heart
Must bear the victim’s sorrow’d part,
To drag the chain, or feel the goad
Beneath affliction’s heavy load;—
From that wild land, his sire’s retreat,
Where oft with boyhood’s nimble feet
From rise of sun, to Hesper-star,
His youthful toils had follow’d far
The eager chase,—now forc’d to quit,
Which rather tamely than submit,
His spirit chose,—Tecumthe’s heart
Determin’d, sadly,—to depart;
And leave the green, embowering wood
   The favourite haunt of former days;—
His native streams and mightier flood,
   Where W
ABASH, its broad tide displays,—
And to the monarch of the sky
A mirror holds,—where every dye
May in reflection’s softest grace
Their own inspiring beauties, trace.

Oh, nature! thou hast yet to shew,
   To erring man,—the surer way
By which his reason can forego,
   Th’ ensanguin’d force of passion’s sway;

Say,—in the grandeur so sublime
   Which Science, with each sifting art,
Searches the laws of Fate and Time
   To guide the head, or mend the heart:
That, the Philosophy we find
   In the stern lessons of each sage,
(Which o’er the warm, aspiring mind,
   For loftiest views, its thoughts engage,)
Shall it assert,—that knowledge, hath
   Redeem’d the human breast from woes,
And turn’d its steps from tracks of wrath
   To that,—whereon true virtue glows?
Shall it assert,—that man inspir’d
   To nobler actions, from the lore
With which his intellect is fir’d,
   Hath rear’d contentment on each shore,
And with the pow’rful aid of art
   Stamp’d purer Justice on the heart?
Made the true laws of reason roll
Magnanimous throughout the soul?
Turn’d Envy’s breath, and Pride’s disdain,
And vile Hypocrisy’s loose train
Of loathsome feelings from the breast
On which, Integrity may rest,
And by the force of learning’s aid
From vice to virtue, brightly sway’d?
Made war abase its Titan front,
And mercy heal the wounds of want?
And bidding man be just,—acclaim
Honour and Justice to his fame?

Or mark the savage of the wild,—
Nature’s more stern, untutor’d child,
Born to no luxury or art
But that which springs from instinct’s part;
Bred to no feeling, save the rude

Desires of an unbridled mood,
In all that nature can expand,—
Drawn by necessity’s demand:—
Who knows no law,—but the stern might
Which P
OWER controuls to sanction right,
And from the blood’s warm impulse led
By which each appetite is fed,—
His wants (altho’ so few)—supplies;—
Or darts his animosities
With all the vengeance, which the burst
Of passion prompts, to anger’s thirst;—
Say,—from which far extreme of Fate,
   In all,—with which art doth abound,
Or ignorance’s ruder state,
   The purest gem of virtue’s found?
Man reads the book of Time,—his soul
   Enraptur’d by the dream of power,
Or Pride, or folly,—spurns controul,
   But seeks the brightly tempting dower,
And with his young heart free from stain
   Or the foul trammels of a crime,
Adventures first upon the main
   Untainted by Pollution’s slime:
But failing in the power to gain
   By means, which Honour first had plann’d,
Passion,—with all its venom’d train
   Now heats his heart, and helps his hand,
Till sooner than forego the prize
   Tho’ Heav’n be the too awful price,
He ceases then from being wise,
   And launches headlong into vice,
And all the wisdom which was bought
   To make him wondrous, ’mongst mankind,
Ends in perverting heart and thought,
   And stamps him, with rebellious mind.
But in the Indian’s untam’d breast
   Nature doth all;—though ’ere so rude
The sense or feeling there possess’d
   To cause his joy, or curb his mood,—
Still, ’tis the instinct which directs,
   And if some nobler purport soars,
He studies not the vain effects
   With which the sceptic’s heart explores,—
Freedom is his, and stern disdain,
   In the resentment of an ill,
And courage to defend, or kill,
   And fortitude to suffer pain,
And art enough thro’ foresight’s skill,
So to divert or ’scape the snare
Which foes have laid to gull him there;
Nor yet deny, in nature’s train
   Of ruder virtues, the display
Of hospitality’s domain
   Which to the wanderer on his way
His leafy habitation grants
With all the warmth, which ’ere the hand
Of fair civilization plann’d,
To ease some fellow-being’s wants:—
These all are his, yet these alone,
Awaken’d there by instinct’s tone;—
Let sophistry then raise its voice
And deem from which, imperfect choice,
Its arts can cull the fairest seed
   To which stern reason can aver
The fairest meed of praise decreed,—
   Nor let opinion then demur
At having once its judgment past,
To find itself misled at last;—
Heaven acts for wisest ends alone,—
And all men know,—"that nothing’s known."