Cherokee Phoenix


Published July, 8, 1829

Page 4 Column 5a


From Blackwood's Magazine for April


By Mrs. Hemans

Then the hunter turned away from that scene,

Where the home of his fathers once had been,

And burning thoughts flash'd o'er his mind,

Of the white man's faith and love unkind.


In the silence of the midnight,

I journey with the dead;

In the darkness of the forest boughs,

A lonely path I tread.

But my heart is high and fearless,

As by mighty wings upborne;

The mountain Eagle hath not plumes

So strong as love and scorn.

I have raised thee from the grave sod,

By the white man's path defiled;

On to th' ancestral wilderness

I bear thy dust, my child!

I have asked the ancient deserts

To give my dead a place,

Where the stately footsteps of the free

Alone would leave a trace;

And the rocking pines make answer-

Go bring us back thine own!

And the streams from all the hunter's hills

Rush'd with an echoing tone.

Thou shalt rest by sounding waters,

That yet untamed may roll;

The voices of these chainless ones

With joy shall fill thy soul.

In the silence of the midnight,

I journey with the dead;

When the arrows of my father's bow

Their falcon-flight have sped

I have left the spoilers' dwellings

For evermore behind;

Unmingled with their household sounds,

For me shall sweep the wind.

Alone, amidst, their hearth fires

I watch'd my child's decay;

Uncheer'd I saw the spirit light

From his young eyes fade away.

When his head sank on my bosom,

When the death sleep o'er him fell,

Was there one to say-'A friend is near!'

There was none!-Pale race, farewell!

To the forest, to the cedars,

To the warrior and his bow,

Back, back! I bore thee laughing thence,

-I bear thee slumbering now!

I bear him unto burial,

Where the mighty hunter's gone;

I shall bear thee in the forest breeze,-

Thou wilt speak of joy, my son!

In the silence of the midnight,

I journey with the dead;

But my heart is strong, my step is fleet,

My father's path I tread.


* 'A striking display of Indian character occurred some years ago, in a town in Maine. An Indian of the Kennebeck tribe, remarkable for his good conduct, received a grant of land from the state, and fixed himself in a new township, where a number of families were settled. Though not ill treated, yet the common prejudice against Indians prevented any sympathy with him. This was shown on the death of his only child, when none of the people came near him. Shortly after he gave up his farm, dug up the body of his child, and carried it with him two hundred miles through the forest, to join the Canadian Indians.'-

Tudor's Letters on the Eastern States of America.