From the National Banner
MARETT AND MARQUINETO
AN INDIAN SKETCH.
The flower that blooms in its own native
Sends the odor abroad on the wind;
The Indian that roves through wilderness
It is by Nature's kind schooling refined,
Ah! why should it be supposed that the finer feelings of our nature find no refuge in the Indian's wigwam; that love, pure as water from a crystal fount dwells not in the breast of the wild native of the forest? Though the war path and the hunting ground seem designed by nature as the home of the red man, and though he oft makes the trembling air ring with the shrill and startling war-whoop, yet does he sometimes sing the song of love, and bow to the endearing charms of woman. There is not a feeling however pure that dwells within the white man's breast, but it is his. The noble and the lofty thought, the generous sentiment, the pure and manly purpose are all the red man's. It is true history and tradition have long spoken of him as of the panther and of the wolf, thirsting for the blood of innocence; that the cries of the widow and the orphan still rise from the smoking tenement and would blast the ear of sympathy; but the blood rests, upon the white man's head-twas he who provoked the war-he who beared the lion in his den.
The deeds of Marquineto have long remained unsung; though he is sometimes spoken of by the still lingering remnant of his tribe; and the tragical fate of himself with the object of his adoration, yet holds a place in their memory.
In Marquineto was combined all the lordly grandeur and peculiar majesty of the Indian; and most truly did he sustain the character given him by his tribe. Bold and intrepid in war, open and generous in time of peace; he seldom exhibited the wild barbarity of his brethren, but gave evidence of that generous forbearance which alas! too seldom gilds the page of savage warfare. Like the bearded lion he rose in awful majesty at the approach of danger; and when he deemed the soil of his forefathers polluted by unjust aggression, his war spirit rose within him, and he was among the first to cry for vengeance. Then would the feeling which has so long characterized his race burst forth, and like the lightening's glow, become the harbinger of destruction. While the hatchet remained buried, and the pipe of peace unbroken, Marquineto, like Logan remained, in his cabin alone, devoted to the enjoyment of peace; but when the war-whoop sounded through his native wilderness, he followed the war path, and it became red with the bloody foot-steps of his enemies; and his hatchet drank deep the foaming gore of the aggressor.
The finely formed features and the stately attitude of Marett, arrayed in the plain simplicity of nature; the black piercing eye and the jet hair that overshadowed her high and prominent forehead, falling gracefully over her shoulders, might well have been envied by the choicest votary of fashion. She was the child of nature, unadorned by the proud and gaud allurements of civilized refinement. The wilderness rang to the melody of her wild song, and every hill and every dale received the impression of her footsteps. She was reared in the same tribe with the youthful and warlike Marquineto, and was destined to share his affections. If ever pure and unalloyed love controlled the affairs of individuals, it surely held its influence over the hearts of Marett and Marquineto.- Nature had indeed destined them for each other.
In a somewhat secluded valley, that in its windings verged gradually towards the Mississippi, stood the cabin of the aged father of Marett. No encroachments had as yet been permitted to reach its retirement; and the deep silence that reigned around was only at times broken by the footsteps of some friendly Indian, as he paid his annual visit to the aged patriarch, who had in his youthful days acted his part in many a sanguinary conflict. He here counted his honorable scars in peaceful retirement, receiving the friendly homage of those who now deemed him the aged oracle of his tribe.
The sun had just risen from his misty couch, sending his golden tribute over the surrounding wilderness; and the smoke from the cabin of the aged man had commenced rising slowly and majestically to the heavens when Marquineto, after a prolonged absence, was seen bending (sic) like an antelope, in all the buoyancy of a youthful warrior, down the rocky and somewhat dangerous declivity that skirted the abode of his Marett.- With hasty footsteps he approached the door, and would have raised the rude latch and entered, but the voice of Marett at the moment broke upon his ear, and he paused.
In a low and plaintive voice, as if accompanying it with her morning's occupation, she sang:--
When will the warrior's war-whoop cease,
The wilderness rejoice in peace;
When will he cease the spear to wield,
Returning from the slaughter field;
When will his spirit cease to ride,
On war's revengeful gory tide!
Ah! never shall the warrior's strife,
End-but with the warrior's life!
God of the red man! canst thou see
Unmoved the red man's destiny!
While wilderness and battle plain,
Are cover'd with the lordly slain;
While the poison'd arrow flies,
And groans of red men fill the skies,
Does not Maneto drop one tear
O'er the red man's timeless bier?
Come Marquineto, sheathe the knife,
Nor join again the battle strife;
Let love within thy bosom burn,
Thy Marett bids thee to return;
Quit war's sanguinary trade,
Return ye to the wigwam's shade.
Scarce had she ceased when the door burst open and her fondest hopes were realized.
The trump of war again sounded in his ears, and again did he follow the war path. It was while the French yet held their stronghold at Fort Du Quesne that he distinguished himself as a bold and intrepid warrior. During the memorable engagement that ended in the death of the unfortunate Burgoyne, Marquineto was present with his band of warriors and partook the dangers of the melancholy contest.
The sun which had that day shone upon as dark and successful a stratagem as ever stained the annals of savage warfare, was gilding with her departed ray the melancholy scene; seeming to weep on scenes of dreadful carnage and agonizing groan had not yet ceased to be borne upon the wind, when a solitary Indian was observed standing upon the field, resting upon his tall rifle, and gazing, with a countenance distorted by agony, intently upon an object lying at his feet.
'Has then Maneto called thy spirit to himself, so soon? said Marquineto relinquishing for a moment his gaze and casting his eyes up to the heavens.
Yes! the ball had done its worst, and Marett now slept with her fathers!
But scarcely had Marquineto finished the sentence, ere the report of many rifles burst through the forest, and he fell pierced to the heart by the side of one whom he had so long and so tenderly adored.
He was last upon the bloody field; and fell at the hands of the merciless white man; and his bones, with those of Marett, were left to bleach upon the plain-their bridal couch!