Cherokee Phoenix


Published October, 8, 1830

Page 4 Column 1a


The following truly beautiful lines are from Mr. Mellen's poem, delivered before the Phi Beta Kappa Society, at Harvard University. The poem is spoken of in the highest terms.


And well it were America for thee,

Could fame's broad pen record but eulogy!

But while in lustre she reveals the name,

She will not dash the story of thy shame,

Already blazoned on the flying page,

Speeds the foul tale, shall thrill thro' every age;

Already there a blushing world shall read,

Of horrid perfidy the crowning deed!

Nay-tell me not of freedom-'tis but dust,

And all it touches, withered and accurs'ed;

I feel no freedom, where a creature bows

Crushed by a nation that forgets it vows-

I feel no freedom-none- but with the dead,

My country perjured and her glory fled!

And ye who judge not by what beams within,

But guide your sympathies by tint of skin

Who deem the truth to God and virtue dear,

May turn to falsehood in an Indian's ear;

And that no sanction lingers with the deed

Whose simple ties are wampum and the bead-

Go, and tho' scorn may gather on your brow

And slighted faith plead vainly with ye now,

Yet on the far unveiled futurity,

The fearful judgement of the past I see--

The stern tribunals where all lips are dumb,

A death bed and a conscience yet to come!

And when a race of whiter hearts than ye,

Shall gather round your lov'd ancestral tree,

And bid you from its shadow forth to roam

' To seek some new and visionary home,

Trample your hearths, and give to long despair

All bright and blessed hopes that cluster there,

Then breathe not--think not--but in peace depart,

Veiling the spirit's ire, and bursting heart-

Let the seal'd lip, in that eventful hour

Confess the justice, and admit the power.

These have their sires--their children, and their graves,

Their epitaphs the war-paths of their braves;

But ye would madly doom them to forego

The green wood forest, and the charter'd bow,

There where they roam'd magnificently free

With broad unbelted breasts from sea to sea!

And thou, my country, veil thy drooping head,

Nor deem the deed forgot when years have fled-

Dream not that centuries shall dim it--vain!

Twill fire thy forehead like the curse of Cain!