Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter VII / Pocahontas; A Legend of Virginia >> Page 122

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Poetry | Redfield | 1854
Transcription SOTlei'II\VAIII) HO !

A moment, and the spirit soars,
The earth his parting life-blood drinks,
The spirit flies to foreign shores : A moment !�and the maiden rusl-d From the low stone where still affrighted,
Scarce dreaming what she sees is true � With vision dim, with thoughts benighted,
She sate as doom'd for slaughter too ;�And stay'd the stroke in its descent, While on her childish knee she bent, Flings one arm o'er the captive's brow,
Above his forehead lifts her own,
Then turns�with eye grown tearless now,
But full of speech �as eye alone Can speak to eye and heart in prayer
For mercy to her father's throne ! Ali ! can she hope for mercy there?
And what of him that savage sire ?
Oh ! surely, not in vain she turns To where his glance of mortal ire,
In lurid light of anger burns. A moment leaps he to his feet,
When first her sudden form is seen, Across the circle darting' fleet,
The captive from the stroke to screen. Above his head, with furious whirl,
The hatchet gleams in act to fly;�But, as he sees the kneeling girl,
The pleading glances of her eye.�The angel spirit of mercy waves
The evil spirit of wrath away,
And all accords, ere yet she craves
Of that her eye alone can pray. Strange is the weakness born of love,
That melts the iron of his soul, And lifts him momently above
His passions and their dark control And he who pity ne'er had shown
To captive of his bow and spear, By one strong sudden sense has grown
To feel that pity may be dear
As vengeance to the heart,�when still
Love keeps one lurking-place, and grows, Thus prompted by a. woman's will,
Triumphant o'er a thousand foes.