Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter VII / Pocahontas; A Legend of Virginia >> Page 113

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Page 113

Poetry | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE WAR PARTY. 113

The war-tuft on each warrior's crown,
The war-whoop as they gatlier'd nigh'? They tell of stranger braves�a race, With thunder clad, and pale of face, And lightnings in their grasp �who dart
The bolt unseen with deadliest aim
A sudden shock, a rush of flame --Still fatal, to the foeman's heart. All ! much I fear, with these to fight,
Our warriors seek the woods to-day; And they will back return by night
With horrid tokens of the fray ;�With captives doom'd in robes of' fire
To sooth the spirits of those who fell, And glut the red and raging ire
Of those who but avenge too well! Ali ! father, could my prayer avail,
Such should not be their sport and pride; It were, methinks, a lovelier tale,
Of peace along our river's side ; And groves of plenty, fill'd with song Of birds that crowd, a happy throng
To hail the happier throngs below ; That tend the maize-fields and pursue The chase, or urge the birch canoe,
And seek no prey and have no foe ! Ah ! not for me�if there should come A chief to bear me to his home � Let him not hope, with bloody spear,
To win me to his heart and will�Nor boast, in hope to please mine ear,
Of victims he has joy'd to kill.
No ! let me be a maiden still ; I care not if they mock, and say
The child of Powhatan sits lone, And lingers by the public way
With none to hearken to her moan�She'll sit, nor sigh, till one appears Who finds no joy in human tears."
IV.
Now sinks the day-star, and the eve With dun and purple seems to grieve ; Sudden the dark ascends, the night Speeds on with rapid rush and flight; The maiden leaves her forest bowers, Where late she wove her idle flowers,