Tis a chieftain rests beneath the sod
The red man dug for the brave;
Be sacred the spot where his warriors trod,
Where the Indian knelt to the Indian's God,
And wailed by his leader's grave.
And every year as the early spring
Crown'd the grove with its foliage wreath,
His people came, their wild flowers to bring,
And strew o'er the grave of their chieftain king,
And chaunt the wild dirge of death.
Yet time passed on—and but once again
The warrior belt and plume,
The worn with age,
and the youthful came— For strangers stood where their chief was lain,
And their dwelling was over his tomb.
Then the Indian mutter'd a vengeful curse,
And was lost in the forest shade,

But flames on the midnight darkness burst,

'Twas a fun'ral pyre to the chieftain's dust
Which that white man's cabin made.
As fades the frost from the morning sun,
Or the flower in its chill embrace;
So brief a race hath the Indian run,
So swift are the forest hunters gone
From before the pale-faced race.
But though forced from their homes have the red men been,
Or sunk to their forest grave,
Yet fix'd they have left upon wood and plain,
On the silvery lake, and the winding stream,
The titles their fathers gave.
And chieftain, tho' years may thy glory hide,
Nor thy warriors shall speak it again;
Yet while men shall inhabit the plain of thy pride,
Or thy beautiful river still flows at its side,
Shall thy name,
White Pigeon, May 18, 1839.
[From the White Pigeon Republican. ]
A charm is on thee,
winding stream, Whose waters glide so gently by,
And thy sweet murmuring accents seem The plaintive and the soft reply
To spirits wandering by thy side,
Where once they dwelt, the forest's pride.
Their graves. were dug with fragrant bowers Of nature's planting o'er. them waved,
Upon thy banks adorned with flowers,
And by thy dimpling waters laved,
While mellow songsters tuned above
Their wildest notes of joy and love.
But ruthless hands thy course have stayed And turned thee from thy winding way;

Disrobed thee of thy forest shade,

Thy forest songsters scared away,
Restrained thy lightly dancing wave,
And made thee, gentle stream, a slave.

Though mirrored on thy bosom now
Are forms more bright,
more fair than they! Thy murmuring ripples as they flow,
In whispering accents seem to say,

"More free our dimpling waters played
While forest children near us strayed. "
White Pigeon, May, 1839.

Michigan Indians

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