Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Cub of the Panther: A Hunter Legend of the ''Old North State'' >> Chapter Four: The Deer and Deer Hunters on the Trail >> Page 64

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Novel (Romance) | The University of Arkansas Press | 1997
Transcription 64 THE CUB OF THE PANTHER
The poet describes the scenery; the alternations of rock and valley;
the perpetual fall of waters, flashing in the sun; and all these wild
aspects of Helvetian or Apalachian Alps, which are so well calculated to
fascinate the fancy and lift the imagination on the wing of the Theban
eagle. But he stops and then, after description, he proceeds:
"These never touched the hunter's soul,
Appeal'd to neither eye nor ear;
O'er Fancy held no witch control,
And never moved a thought or care!
The little cascade at our side,
That crouched, until our feet drew nigh,
Then leap'd, a spectre white and wide,
Scarce touched his ear, or caught his eye!
But, when the valley opened fair,
With lakes of laurel festering there,
Vast tracks of `thick,' a tangled shade
In gorges of the mountain laid,
Spread far, and sleeping still as death,
Then blazed his eye, then came his breath;
The blood in every vein grew warm,
And lifted proudly soul and form;
He cried:
`Thar, Captin, look you, thar (there),
Is the born dwelling of the bar (bear),
Further than eye can reach, he runs,
And feeds and licks his little ones;
For more than twenty miles, you know,
In one great sea, these laurels grow:
Some nine miles wide, ayont they spread,
For his and for the painter's (panther's) tread!
Thar, through the day, they hide from sight,
And prowl along the hills by night!
OH! IT'S A WORLD OF MEAT! to last,
When all my gineration's pass'd;
And thousand years from now, I guess,
'Twill be, like now, a wilderness;
A mighty harbor for the brute,
Where hunters yet unborn will shoot;
And take their skins with jist the will,
That's mine but with a better skill!