Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/31

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 A feeble nation of Guarani race,
 Thinn'd by perpetual wars, but unsubdued,
 Had taken up at length a resting place
 Among those tracts of lake and swamp and wood,
 Where Mondai issuing from its solitude
 Flows with slow stream to Empalado's bed.
 It was a region desolate and rude;
 But thither had the horde for safety fled.
And being there conceal'd in peace their lives they led.


 There had the tribe a safe asylum found
 Amid those marshes wide and woodlands dense,
 With pathless wilds and waters spread around,
 And labyrinthine swamps, a sure defence
 From human foes,—but not from pestilence.
 The spotted plague appear'd, that direst ill,—
 How brought among them none could tell, or whence;
 The mortal seed had lain among them still.
And quicken'd now to work the Lord's mysterious will.