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if they did these things, the Great Spirit would be angry with them, and would not prosper them, but bring trouble on them. On the contrary, if they were careful to refrain from these evils, then would he love them, and prosper them, and speak peace to them. And when the interpreter expressed these things to them in their own language, they wept till tears ran down their naked bodie
“ They manifested much love towards me in their way, as they did mostly to upright, plain-dealing Friends; and whilst I was amongst them my spirit was very easy: nor did I feel that power of darkness to oppress me, as I had done in many places amongst people calling themselves Christians.”—Journal of John Richardson, one of the early Frends.
They read of rapine, war, and woe,
A party by an English fire, Of Indian warfare in the wood,
or stern and ruthless ire. They read of turture worse than death
Of treachery dark- of natures base Of women savage as the beast
Of the red Indian race. “ Hold!" said the matron of the hearth,
A woman beautiful in age ; “ And let me of the Indian speak;
Close, close that faithless page!
“ My father was the youngest born
In an old rural English hall;
With patrimony small.
His youth was all a gylvan dream; He tracked the game upon the hills;
He angled in the stream. “Quiet was he, and well content,
With naught to fret, and none to chide ; For all that his young heart desired
The woods and streams supplied. “Small knowledge had a youth so trained,
College or school ne'er knew his face; And yet as he grew up, he grew
Superior to his race. “ His brethren were of sordid sort,
Men with coarse minds, and without range ; He grew adventurous and bold,
Inquisitive of change. "And, as he grew, he took to books,
And read whate'er the hall supplied ; Histories of admirals, voyages old,
And travel far and wide. "He read of settlers, who went forth
To the far west, and pitched their tent Within the woods, and grew, ere long,
To a great, prosperous settlement.
“He read of the bold lives they led,
Full of adventure, hardy, free ; Of the wild creatures they pursued,
Of game in every tree. “ And how the Indians, quaintly gay,
Came down in wampum-belt and feather, To welcome them with courteous grace; How they and the free forest race
Hunted and dwelt together. “ And how they and their chosen mates
Led lives so sweet and primitive: Oh! in such land, with one dear heart,
What joy it were to live! “So thought he, and such life it were
As suited well his turn of mind ; For what within his father's house
Was there to lure or bind ?
A patrimony, quite outspent;
A father, weak and indolent!
A creature gentle, kind, and fair; Poor, like himself, but well content
The forest-life to share. “She left an old white-headed sire ;
A mother loving, thoughtful, good ; She lett a home of love, to live
For him, within the wood. " And that old couple did provide,
Out of their need, for many a want Else unforeseen; their daughter's dower
In gifts of love, not scant. “ His father with cold scorn received
So dowered a daughter, without name; Nor could his purposed exile win
Either assent or blame. “All was a chill of indifference;
And from his father's gate he went, As from a place where none for him
Had kindred sentiment. “And in the western world they dwelt;
Life, like a joyous summer morn, Each hope fulfilled ; and in the wild
To them were children born. "All that his youth had dreamed he found
In that life's freshness; peril strange; Adventure; freedom; sylvan wealth ;
And ceaseless, blameless change. “And there he, and his heart's true mate,
Essay'd and found how sweet to live, 'Mid Nature's store, with health and love,
That life so primitive!
As falls the golden-eared corn
* Sickness – bereavement - widowhood
Oh, these three awful words embrace A weight of mortal woe that fell
Upon our sylvan dwelling-place! " It matters not to tell of pangs,
of the heart-broken, the bereft; I will pass over death and tears, I will pass on to other years,
When only two were left! "I and a sister ; long had passed
The anguish of that time, and we Were living in a home of love,
Though in a stranger's family. “Still in the wilderness we dwelt,
And were grown up towards womanhood ; When our sweet life of peace was stirred
By tales of civil feud. * By rumours of approaching war,
Of battle done, of armed bands; Of horrid deeds of blood and fire,
Achieved by Indian hands. "We heard it first with disbelief;
And long time after, when had spread Wild war throughout the land, we dwelt
All unassailed by dread. “For they with whom our lot was cast,
Were people of that Christian creed Who will not fight, but trust in God
For help in time of need. * The forest round was like a camp,
And men were armèd day and night; And every morning brought fresh news
To heighten their affright. * Through the green forest rose the smoke
Of places burn'd the night before ; And from their victims, the red scalp
The excited Indian tore. « This was around us, yet we dwelt
In peace upon the forest bound; Without defence, without annoy,
The Indian camp'd all round. “The door was never barr'd by night,
The door was never closed by day; And there the Indians came and went,
As they had done alway. « For these of Onas are the sons,'
Said they, the upright peaceful men! Nor was harm done to those who held
The faith of William Penn. “But I this while thought less of peace,
Than of the camp and battle stir; For I had given my young heart's love
Unto a British officer.
He lay, the leader of a band
“ The native Indian from his woods
I deem'd it cowardly and base ; And, with a righteous zeal I pled
For the free forest-race. u But he, to whom I pled, preferr'd
Sweet pleading of another sort; And we met ever 'neath the wood
Outside the forest-fort. “The Indian passed us in the wood,
Or glared upon us from the brake ; But he, disguised, with me was safe,
For Father Onas' sake. “At length the crisis of the war
Approach'd, and he, my soul's beloved, With his hot band, impatient grown,
Yet further west removed. “There he was taken by the foe,
Ambush'd like tigers 'mid the trees : You know what death severe and dread
The Indian to his foe decrees, “A death of torture and of fire
Protracted death ; I knew too well, Outraged and anger'd, as of late
Had been the Indian spirit, fell Would be their vengeance, and, to him,
Their hate implacable. “When first to me his fate was told,
I stood amazed, confounded, dumb; Then wildly wept and wrung my hands,
By anguish overcome. « « Wait, wait!' the peaceful people said ;
•Be still and wait, the Lord is good!' But when they bade me trust and wait, I went forth in my anguish great,
To hide me in the wood.
To me were as my early kin:
My best-beloved to win.
Long journeying on through wood and swamp: Three long days' travel, ere we came
To the great Indian camp. “We saw the Indians as we went,
Hid ’mong the grass with tiger ken; But we were safe, they would not harm
The daughters of the peaceful men. “In thickets of the woods at length
We came to a savannah green; And there, beneath the open day,
The Indian camp was seen.
And from the solemn council-talk,
“I knew they were athirst for blood;
That they had pity none to spare ; Besides, bound to a tree, I saw
An English captive there.
" I saw his war-plume, soild and torn;
I knew that he was doom'd to die; Pale, wounded, feeble, there he stood; The ground was crimson'd with his blood; Yet stood he as a soldier should
Erect, with calm, determined eye.
“ I would not he should see me then,
The sight his courage had betray'd ; Therefore unseen we stepp'd aside,
Into the forest-glade.
" Long looked she on the pictured face,
Which from my neck I took and gave;
And the great chief is in his grave! « • Yet for the father Onas' sake
For their sakes who no blood have shed; We will not by his sons be blamed For taking life which they have claimed ;
The red man can avenge his dead! “ So saying, with her broken heart
She went forth to the council-stone;
And claim'd the victim for her own.
To tell the joy that thence ensued! But sickness followed long and sore, And he for a twelvemonth or more,
With our good, peaceful friends abode.
“ An Indian woman there was set,
We knew her, and to her were known; The wife of a great chief was she, Deck'd in her Indian bravery ;
Yet there she sat alone.
«• Woman,' I said, the silence breaking,
• Thou know'st us — know'st that we belong To peaceful people, who have ne'er
Done to thy nation wrong.
* * Thou know'st that ye have dwelt with us,
As friend upon the hearth of friend; When have ye ask'd and been denied,
That this good faith should end ?
« The Indian did not raise her head,
As she replied in accents low, •Why come ye hither unto me,
When I am sitting in my woe?
“But we, two plighted hearts, were wed;
A merry marriage ye may wis;And guess ye me a happy life In England here, an honoured wife, Sweet friends, ye have not guess'd amiss ! “But never more let it be said,
The red man is of nature base ; Nor let the crimes that have been taught, Be by the crafty teachers brought
As blame against the Indian race !"
**Woman,' I said, 'I ask for life
For life, which in your hands doth lie; Go bid thy tribe release the bands
Of him now doomed to die!
THE DOOMED KING.
"Go, Indian woman, and do this,
For thou art mighty with thy race!' The Indian made me no reply,
But looked into my face.
• Mighty! -- to one no longer wife !
And yet thou com'st to me for life!'
The voice of an archangel spake
“A dark one draweth near, Covered with guilt as with a robe;
Wherefore doth he appear?” And another answered solemnly
“He comes for judgment here!" Through myriad, myriad shapes of bliss,
On went the Spectre King,
A guilty, trembling thing!
With a hollow voice he spoke ; “I drank the wine, I sank to sleep
Oh! how have I awoke !
« * By that chief's memory,' I cried,
Whom ne'er the peaceful men gainsaid ; To whom the peaceful men were dear;
Rise, though thou stricken be, and aid ! «« Crave not REVENGE,' and with my words
My tears flow'd fast, though hers were dry; • But look upon this pictured face,
And say if such a one shall die !
“ Alas! my life has been a dream
A sinful dream : 't is o'er! And through eternity, my soul Shall slumber never more!
“The first, he died a dreadful death,
or lingering, horrid pain ; I saw him as a stealthy spy
His soul had broke my chain; “ Therefore I gave him to a power
More fell than death, — and he
And so died cruelly.
A gentle, timid thing;
Good never ceased to cling. "T was vain I crushed him, scorned him, spurn'd;
His was a truth unchanged : Fallen as he was, his steadfast love
Kept with me unestranged !
“ And, in my after misery,
When evil days came down, He saved me; and my coward life
He ransomed with his own!
** Back through the past my soul is urged ;
Back through each guilty stain ;
Unperished lives again!
Is bowed and borne away,
And it must have its way ;
I dare not disobey!
I see a woman there;
And murmurs out its prayer.
Fairest, and most caressed ; Heaven only has a second place
Within that woman's breast. “ Mother, dear mother! by thy love,
Thy sorrowings, and thy truth,
Think on my sinless youth!
A dark and fearful time
The mystery of my crime!
I gloomed thy days with shame; And a dark word by which men are cursed,
I made my father's name! “I was the eldest of our house ;
Beside me there were three;
Had it not been for me!
Doth cleave like leprosy!
As the sun before their sight, Beloved of all; and in their eyes
Whate'er I did was right.
I lured them on to sin,
And plunged them headlong in! “ Bodies and souls I ruined them;
Yet in men's sight I kept
The infamy was heaped.
I wrought them to my will;
I bound to me for ill!
I spoke not for the three;
I kept them far from thee,
Thou canst not plead for me!
“ Brothers ! why rise ye not, each one,
Upon this judgment-day;
Had power my soul to slay!
The nearest to my heart;
Who in my power had part: “ He sate with me at the board last night,
He took from me the wine; Traitor, there's blood upon thy hand,
And judgment will be thine ! “Ah, no! the guilt is mine - is mine!
I drew the three from Heaven; I sold them to work wickedness,
And may not be forgiven! “ Talents and time — the noblest gifts
Ever on man bestowed, Were mine ; a soft and winning speech,
And beauty like a god! “ All, all were passion's vilest slaves ;
All ministered to crime; And now a dark eternity
Doth make account with time. "I had a power, an awful power
Over men's minds ; I wove, Base as I was, around all hearts
A chain, half fear, half love. “They were as clay ; I moulded them
With the light words of my tongue ; Old men and wise alike obeyed :
And thence ambition sprung. “The sin of angels was my sin ;
And, bold as was my thought, Men, weak and willing instruments, They gave me what I sought!
“ Then woke the tyrant stern and proud;
And, as unto the three,
On weak humanity.
Over the land spread wide;
My luxury supplied.
In vain he guarded well ; Mine eye was as the basilisk's,
That withered where it fell. "My sceptre was an iron rod!
The suffering people's groan, Like sullen thunders heard afar,
Was echoed to the throne : “To me it was a mockery!
I scoffed at wise men's lore; And to the madness of my power
I gave myself still more. “Of seven dark and deadly sins,
Like plague-spois on the past – Of seven dark and deadly sins,
I must recount the last :“There was a maid - a fair young thing
High-born, and undefiled
In heart so like a child !
She had no earthly fear:
I masked when she was near. “With subtle mockery of good,
Her pure soul did I win; And fervent, lying vows I paid,
Ere she was lured to sin. "I brought destruction on her house
The blameless and the brave ! And its grey-headed sire went down
Dishonoured to the grave. “ This was the triumph of my art;
This gave her to my power; Poor slave to passion's tyranny,
The idol of an hour! “Vain was her passionate despair,
My callous heart to wring i I left her to her misery —
A lorn, heart-broken thing! “I took of her no further thought
My life was in its prime; And in a wild carouse I lived
Of luxury and crime.
From some impure retreat,
Along the city street,
" And I and my companions saw,
Amid our shameless mirth,
Some child of clay to earth. " A thought of mad impiety
Rushed through my drunken brain; I seized the foremost by the arm,
And stopped the funeral train. " Let's look upon the dead!" I cried ;
No answering word they said ; But gazed on me upbraidingly,
And then unveiled the dead !
Oh! sight of woe to me!
And cast to infamy!
As for the higli-born meet; The coarsest garb of poverty
Was her poor winding-sheet! "The drunken frenzy of my brain
Was gone - and through my soul A wild, remorseful agony,
Like a fierce weapon stole! “From that night, life became a pang:
A dark, upbraiding sprite Seemed ever nigh, for that one sin
Reproaching day and night,
Was as a desert beast
Its unconsumed feast !
To hush the ceaseless cry;
And sinned more recklessly! “Vain, vain! through war, through civil strife;
Kept with me in each place, The broken-hearted wretchedness
Of that dead woman's face!
I loathed the light of day;
And gave the passion way! " It grew a cruel moodiness ;
The tyrant's jealous sense,
Becomes a black offence.
And hatred filled my mind
In warfare with mankind.
'T was red wine at the brim; I took it from my brother's handI had no fear of him!