BETA

Last Words of an Indian Chief.

He cometh !  Death is here. Leave me alone !1
Hence ! hence !  Ye shall not see me when I die,2
If die I must. I would not that the men3
Whom I have led to battle saw me yield4
To any conqueror. Shall my warriors hear5
From this undaunted breast the gasp, or groan,6
As when a woman dies ?7
How cold the dew8
Starts o’er my temples !  Wipe it not away.9
Shame on your tears !  Leave me alone with Death !10
For I will meet him as a brave man should,11
And hurl defiance at him.12
What is this ?13
Ha !— He hath smote the lion !  Was it well,14
To steal upon me, in my unarm’d bed,15
Most potent Enemy ?  How hast thou cut16
The nerve of that strong arm, which us’d to cleave17
The proudest foeman, like the sapling spray !18
Oh friends !— the dimness of the grave doth steal19
Over those eyes, that as the eagle dar’d20
The noontide sunbeam.  Let me hear your voice,21
Once more ! once more !22
In vain !  That ear is seal’d23
Which caught the rustle of the lightest leaf,24
Where the close ambush lay. Come back ! come
back !
25
Hear my last bidding, friends !  Lay not my bones26
Near any white man’s bones. Let not his hand27
Touch my clay-pillow, nor his hateful voice28
Sing burial hymns for me. Rather than dwell29
In paradise with him, my soul would choose30
Eternal darkness and the undying worm.31
Ho ! heed my words, or else my wandering shade32
Shall haunt ye with its curse !”33
And so, he died,34
That pagan chief, the last strong banner-staff35
Of the poor Senecas. No more the flash36
Of his wild eloquence shall fire their ranks37
To mortal combat. His distorted brow,38
And the stern grapple, when he sank in death,39
Sadly they grave upon their orphan hearts,40
As to their rude homes in the forest glade41
Mournful they turn’d.42