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No common boon, in grief but ill beguiled
A soul that was not wont to be unmann'd ;
"And stay," he cried, "dear pilgrim of the wild,
Preserver of my old, my boon companion's child!
Child of a race whose name my bosom warms,
On earth's remotest bounds how welcome here!
Whose mother oft, a child, has fill'd these arms,
Young as thyself, and innocently dear,
Whose grandsire was my early life's compeer.
Ah, happiest home of England's happy clime!
How beautiful ev'n now thy scenes appear,
As in the noon and sunshine of my prime!
How gone like yesterday these thrice ten years
of time !
And Julia! when thou wert like Gertrude now,
Can I forget thee, favourite child of yore?
Or thought I, in thy father's house, when thou
Wert lightest-hearted on his festive floor,
And first of all his hospitable door
To meet and kiss me at my journey's end?
But where was I when Waldegrave was no more?
And thou didst pale thy gentle head extend
In woes, that ev'n the tribe of deserts was thy
He said—and strain'd unto his heart the boy ;— Far differently, the mute Oneyda took
His calumet of peace and cup of joy;
As monumental bronze unchanged his look;
A soul that pity touch'd, but never shook;
Train'd from his tree-rock'd cradle to his bier
The fierce extreme of good and ill to brook
Impassive-fearing but the shame of fear—
A stoic of the woods-a man without a tear.
Yet deem not goodness on the savage stock
Of Outalissi's heart disdain'd to grow;
As lives the oak unwither'd on the rock
By storms above, and barrenness below;
He scorn'd his own, who felt another's woe:
And ere the wolf-skin on his back he flung,
Or laced his mocasins, in act to go,
A song of parting to the boy he sung,
Who slept on Albert's couch, nor heard his friendly tongue.
"Sleep, wearied one! and in the dreaming land
Shouldst thou to-morrow with thy mother meet,
Oh! tell her spirit that the white man's hand
Hath pluck'd the thorns of sorrow from thy feet;
While I in lonely wilderness shall greet
Thy little foot-prints-or by traces know
The fountain, where at noon I thought it sweet
To feed thee with the quarry of my bow,
And pour'd the lotus-horn, or slew the mountain
Adieu! sweet scion of the rising sun!
But should affliction's storms thy blossom mock,
Then come again—my own adopted one!
And I will graft thee on a noble stock :
The crocodile, the condor of the rock,
Shall be the pastime of thy sylvan wars;
And I will teach thee in the battle's shock,
To pay with Huron blood thy father's scars,
And gratulate his soubrejoicing in the stars!"
So finish'd he the rhyme (howe'er uncouth)
That true to nature's fervid feelings ran;
(And song is but the eloquence of truth :)
Then forth uprose that lone way-faring man;
But dauntless he, nor chart, nor journey's plan
In woods required, whose trained eye was keen,
As eagle of the wilderness, to scan
His path by mountain, swamp, or deep ravine,
Or ken far friendly huts on good savannas green.
Old Albert saw him from the valley's sideHis pirogue launch'd-his pilgrimage begun― Far, like the red-bird's wing he seem'd to
Then dived, and vanish'd in the woodlands dun.
Oft, to that spot by tender memory won,
Would Albert climb the promontory's height,
If but a dim sail glimmer'd in the sun;
But never more to bless his longing sight,
Was Outalissi hail'd, with bark and plumage
A VALLEY from the river shore withdrawn
Was Albert's home, two quiet woods between,
Whose lofty verdure overlook'd his lawn ;
And waters to their resting-place serene
Came freshening, and reflecting all the scene:
(A mirror in the depth of flowery shelves ;)
So sweet a spot of earth, you might (I ween)
Have guess'd some congregation of the elves,
To sport by summer moons, had shaped it for
Yet wanted not the eye far scope to muse,
Nor vistas open'd by the wandering stream;
Both where at evening Alleghany views,
Through ridges burning in her western beam,
Lake after lake interminably gleam :
And past those settlers' haunts the eye might roam
Where earth's unliving silence all would seem;
Save where on rocks the beaver built his dome,
Or buffalo remote low'd far from human home.