Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter VII / Pocahontas; A Legend of Virginia >> Page 111

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Poetry | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 111
THE FOREST MAIDEN.

A milder tutor had been there,
And, midst wild scenes and wilder men, Her spirit, like her form, was fair,
And gracious was its guidance then. Her sire, that fierce old forest king
Himself had ruled that she should be A meek, and ever gentle thing,
To clip his neck, to clasp his knee; To bring his cup when, from the chase,
He came o'erwearied with its toils; To cheer him by her girlish grace,
To sooth him by her sunniest smiles :�They rear'd her thus a thing apart
From deeds that make the savage mirth, And haply had she kept her heart
As fresh and gentle as at birth ;
A Christian heart, though by its creed
Untaught, yet, in her native wild, Free from all evil thought or deed,
A sweet, and fond, and tearful child; Scarce woman yet, but haply nigh
The unconscious changes of the hour When youth is sad, unknowing why,
The bud dilating to the flower,
And sighing with the expanding birth
Of passionate hopes, that, born to bless, May yet, superior still to earth,
Make happy with their pure impress. Such, in her childhood, ere the blight
Of failing fortunes touch'd her race, Was Pocahontas still,� a bright
And blessing form of youth and grace ;�Beloved of all, her father's pride,
His passion, from the rest apart,
A love for which he would have died,
The very life-blood of his heart.
H.
The king would seek the chase to-day, And mighty is the wild array
That gathers nigh in savage play,�A nation yields its ear ;
A bison herd�so goes the tale � Is trampling down the cultured vale, And none who love the land may fail
To gather when they hear.