Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter VII / Pocahontas; A Legend of Virginia >> Page 120

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Page 120

Poetry | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 1.20 SOUTHWARD 110 !

Where'cr his flying footsteps past.*
Not now to shrink, though, in his eyes,
Their eager hands, at last, elate,
Have track'd him where the bloodstone lies,
And mock him with the shaft of fate !
With courage full as great as theirs,
He keeps a soul that laughs at fears;
Too proud for grief, too brave for tears,
Their tortures still he mocks, and boasts
His own great deeds, the crowding hosts,
That witiiess'd, and the shrieking ghosts
His violent arm set free ;
And, while his heart dilates in thought
Of glorious deeds in lands remote,
The pride of Europe's chivalry,
It seem'd to those who gazed, that still
The passion of triumph seem'd to fill,
While nerving with a deathless will,
The exulting champion's heart !
Half trembled then the savage foe,
Lest sudden, from the unseen bow,
He still might send the fatal blow,
He still might wing the dart.
But soon�as o'er the captive's soul,
Some tender memories seem'd to roll,
Like billowy clouds that charged with streams,
Soon hide in saddest gloom the gleams
Of the imperial sun, and hush,
In grief, the day's dilating flush
Of glory and pride,� the triumph fell �
The soul obey'd the sudden spell! �
A dream of love that, kindled far,
In youth, beneath the eastern star,
Is passing from his hope, to be
The last best light of memory.
Soft grew the fire within his eyes,
One tear the warrior's strength defies,�
His soul a moment falters�then,
As if the pliancy were shame,
Dishonoring all his ancient fame,
lle stood!�the master-man of men !


That moment's sign of weakness broke
The spell that still'd the crowd ! The chief,

* See the Life of Captain John Smith, the founder of Virginia ; his wondrous adventure among the Turks, &c.