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4.5.3: “Our Aborigines” (1838)

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    I heard the forests as they cried
    Unto the valleys green,
    “Where is the red-brow’d hunter-race,
    Who lov’d our leafy screen?
    Who humbled ‘mid these dewy glades
    The red deer’s antler’d crown,
    Or soaring at his highest noon.
    Struck the strong eagle down.

    Then in the zephyr’s voice replied
    Those vales, so meekly blest,
    “They rear’d their dwellings on our side,
    Their corn upon our breast;
    A blight came down, a blast swept by,
    The cone-roof d cabins fell,
    And where that exil’d people fled,
    It is not ours to tell.”

    Niagara, of the mountains gray,
    Demanded, from his throne.
    And old Ontario’s billowy lake
    Prolong’d the thunder tone,
    “The chieftains at our side who stood
    Upon our christening day,
    Who gave the glorious names we bear,
    Our sponsors, where are they?”

    And then the fair Ohio charg’d
    Her many sisters dear,
    “Show me once more, those stately forms
    Within my mirror clear;”
    But they replied, “ tall barks of pride
    Do cleave our waters blue,
    And strong keels ride our farthest tide,
    But where’s their light canoe?

    The farmer drove his plough-share deep
    “Whose bones are these?” said he,
    “I find them where my browsing sheep
    Roam o’er the upland lea.”
    But starting sudden to his path
    A phantom seem’d to glide,
    A plume of feathers on his head,
    A quiver at his side.

    He pointed to the rifled grave
    Then rais’d his hand on high,
    And with a hollow groan invok’d
    The vengeance of the sky.
    O’er the broad realm so long his own
    Gaz’d with despairing ray.
    Then on the mist that slowly curl’d.
    Fled mournfully away.

    4.5.3: “Our Aborigines” (1838) is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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