Why move with step so slow, yon red brow'd throng?-
Sire, son, and bride, in long procession drear?
The mother leads her wailing child along
Yet breathes no sound its wearied heart to cheer.-
Unshrinking youth, and palsied age appear
In those unmarshall'd ranks,-with speechless care
The warrior droops, who never bow'd to fear,
While the time-honor'd Chief with haughty air
Grav'd on his furrow'd brow unutter'd wrongs doth bear.
Why from their peaceful dwellings do they fly
To unshorn forests, and to deserts bare?
Where roams the savage beast with vengeful eye,
And Famine seizes what his fang may spare;-
Ah! why this mute and motionless despair
As the last parting glance they darkly threw
On home and stream and vale and mountain fair?
They answer not,--save by those tears of wo
Which o'er their fathers' graves in wild profusion flow.
But what with silent lip they lock secure
In the deep casket of a suffering heart
I know.-The hoarse winds shriek'd it to my ear,
That tempest wrote it with its lightning dart.
Earth rais'd her voice to act the accusers part
Oh Native Land!-Thou Eden of the free,-
So blest by Heaven, so glorious as thou art,
I bowed by head in bitterness for thee,
Mourning thy broken vows, thy threaten'd infamy.-
I slept,-and 'mid my deep and troubled dream
A spirit past.--Fear bath'd my limbs in dew.
The unearthly eye with indignation's gleam
Was bright,-yet by the brow serene I knew
Our Country's Father, he who dauntless drew
His awful sword to bar oppression's claim
Now from Mount Vernon's tomb where pilgrims true
Kneel in their love, the Sage and Warrior came,
To save the red-brow'd few, and spare his nation's shame.
And lo! in heaven-girt panoply were seen,
Like ancient Macedon's unblenching band,
Illustrious statesmen of majestic men,
And sacred priests who at God's altar stand.
And hoary- templed men with wisdom's wand,
And woman's plaint was heard, with the lone prayer
Of lisping babe,-while o'er their much lov'd land
A shield they threw, and strove with watchful care
To guard from blackening trace her holy annals fair.
So, back the exiles turn'd-Amid the throng
Was no reluctant step, of lingering sigh,-
Back to their cots they turn'd with shout and song,
To their dear cultur'd fields, and clear blue sky,-
Back,'mid their kindred sepulchers to die:-
The faithful dog through each familiar shade
Fawn'd at his master's feet, with joyous eye,-
Gay infant groups around each thresh-hold play'd--
And sounds of rural toil rose sweet from every glade.
Hartford Connecticut Nov. 14th 1829.
L. H. S.