For the 'Cherokee Phoenix.'
THE CHEROKEE MOTHER.
Ye bid us hence. These values are dear,
To infant hope, to patriot pride,
These streamlets tuneful to our ear,
Where our light shallops peaceful glide,
Beneath you consecrated mounds
Our fathers' treasur'd ashes rest,
Our hands have till'd these corn-clad grounds,
Our children's birth these home have blest.
Here, on our souls a Saviour's love
First beam'd with renovating ray,
Why should we from these haunts remove.
But still you warn us hence away.
Child, ask not where! I cannot tell,
Save where wide waters uncultured spread,
Where unknown waters fiercely roll,
And savage monsters howling tread;
Where no blest Church with hallow'd train,
Nor hymns of praise, nor voice of prayer,
Like angels sooth the wanderer's pain;
Ask me no more. I know not where.
Go seek thy Sire. The anguish charm
That shades his brow like frowning wrath,
Divide the burden from his arm,
And gird him for his pilgrim-path:
Come, Moaning babe! Thy mother's arms
Shall bear thee on our weary course,
Shall be thy shield from midnight harms,
And baleful dews, and tempests hoarse.
But thou, Oh Father! old and blind,
Who shall thy failing footsteps stay?
Who prop thy sorrow-stricken mind
Driven from thy native earth away!
An exile in thy hoary hairs,
And hopeless when life's toils are o'er
to mix thy mouldering dust with theirs,
Those blessed sires, who weep no more.
Ye call us brethren. When ye mark
The grass upon our thresholds grown,
Our hearth-stone cold, our casements dark,
Our fated race like shadows flown,
Amid your mirth, your festive songs
Will no remorseful image lower?
No memory of the Indian's wrongs
Rise darkly o'er your musing hour?
Will a crush'd nation's deep despair,
Your broken faith,- our tear-wet sod,
The babe's appeal, the chieftain's prayer,
Find no memorial with our God?
Hartford Con: Feb. 11th 1831.