Who led her train of playmates, day by day,
O'er rock, and stream, and wild, a weary way,
Their baskets teeming with the golden ear?
Whose generous hand vouchsaf'd its tireless aid
To guard a nation's germ? Thine, thine, heroic maid!
On sped the tardy seasons,—and the hate
Of the pale strangers wrung the Indian breast.
Their hoary prophet breath'd the ban of fate:—
"Hence with the thunderers! Hide their race, unblest,
Deep 'neath the soil they falsely call their own;
For, from our fathers' graves, a hollow moan,
Like the lash'd surge, bereaves my soul of rest.
'They come! They come!' it cries. 'Ye once were brave:
Will ye resign the world that the Great Spirit gave?'"
Yet, 'neath the settled countenance of guile,
They veil'd their vengeful purpose, dark and dire,
And wore the semblance of a quiet smile,
To lull the victim of their deadly ire:
But ye, who hold of history's scroll the pen,
Blame not too much those erring, red-brow'd men,
Tho' nurs'd in wiles. Fear is the white-lipp'd sire
Of subterfuge and treachery. 'Twere in vain
To bid the soul be true, that writhes beneath his chain.