Virtues of Nature.
in Four Cantos.
by a Lady of Boston.,
Printed at Boston. by I. Thomas and
E. T. Andrews,
at Faust’s Statue, No. 45, Newbury Street.1790MDCCXC.
To the Hon. James Bowdoin, Esq. L. L. D. F. R. S.President of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and later Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The veneration, which your literary and public character demands, and the esteem, which your private and domestic virtues universally receive, are a sufficient apology for the freedom, I now take in laying the following production, which is wholly American, at your feet; convinced, while from your judgment and taſte I have much to apprehend, from your candor and benevolence I have every thing to hope.
I have the honor to be, with every sentiment of respect and esteem, Sir, Your very obliged and Humble Servant,
As the Dedication was accepted, and approved, by the reſpecatable character, to whom it was addreſſed, and in the preſs, previous to the unfortunate event, which deprived ſcience and mankind of that 4 charactersflawed-reproductionment to both, the author is induced, rather from a ſentiment of propriety than vanity, to inſert the following Note, the laſt effort of a mind, the faculties of which were never impained.
Mr. Bowdoin this morning had the pleaſure of receiving Mrs. ――’s very polite billet, accompanied with a manuſcript Poem, entitled, The Virtues of Nature. Her intention of dedicating it to him does him great honor, and as ſuch he ſhall accept it, as coming from the well-directed pen of the ingenious Philenia. In the Dedication, which he wiſhes as juſtly applied, as it is well written, he begs leave to reverſe one ſentiment, that the volume will be ſo far from needing the candor and benevolence of the reader to recommend it, that it will ſtand the teſt of the moſt critical judgment and taſte. The volume would be enlarged by that Lady’s adding to it from her budget of poetry, ſuch a number of pieces, as would make it reſpectable, not only for the matter, but for its ſize. Mr. Bowdoin would propoſe that the manuſcript ſhould remain where it is, for a day or two, to give Mrs. Bowdoin and her daughter, Lady Temple, an opportunity of reading it. In the mean time he begs leave to ſalute the amiable Philenia with his beſt and moſt reſpectful compliments. In room of Philenia, he thinks it would be beſt the real name of the fair author ſhould be ſubſtituted. Boſton, 1790-10-16October 16th, 1790.
From an idea of being original in my ſubject, I now intend to undertake the following Tale. The 3 wordsflawed-reproductiontoms of the Aborigines of North America are ſo limited 2 wordsflawed-reproductionple, that they have ſcarcely engaged the attention either of the Philoſofer or the Poet. Acquainted with ſome of their intereſting ceremonies from tradition, I became deſirous of gaining further intelligence, and gratefully acknowledge myſelf indebted to the obliging communications of General Lincoln, for moſt of the 1 wordsflawed-reproductionrites and cuſtoms alluded to, where I have not quoted any other authority. The opportunity his public commiſſion, in the late negotiations between the United Sates and the Southern Indians, has afforded him to acquire the beſt information, added to the reſpectablity of his character, will render his authority unqueſtioned.
As my principal deſign in attempting the Poem was to amuſe my retired hours, and to gratify a few amiable friends, it is alone in compliance with the ſolicitations of thoſe friends, that I have been prevailed upon to expoſe it to the public eye; but I am led to preſume that, deficient as the Poetry really is, it will convey ſome information, from the collection of many particulars which are not generally known.
The grades of human nature, and the various propenſities and avocations of mankind, in their different ſtates and ſocieties, muſt always be greatly intereſting to the view of the philoſopher; and even the moſt trifling production may become uſeful, if it ſerves to throw light on ſo important a ſubject.
It may perhaps be objected, that I have given my favourite Ouâbi, a degree of inſenſibility, with reſpect to the love of Celario, incompatible with the greatneſs and ſuperiority of his character: To this I reply, that the mind, unpracticed in deception, can never be capable of ſuſpicion, and that not having known the European vices, he could have no idea of their exiſtance.It 6 A3v
It may alſo be imagined, that, conſidering the exalted virtue and 1 wordflawed-reproduction of Azâkia, which could lead her even to death for the 1 wordflawed-reproduction, to when ſhe was contracted, her ready compliance with the propoſition of Ouâbi, and the joy ſhe evinces on that occaſion, form an unpardonable contradiction; but it muſt be remembered, that from the cuſtoms and laws of every country its manners and rituals are derived. Azâkia, bound to her huſband by every tie, would not deceive him; but when he expreſſed a wiſh to reſign her, ſhe could have no idea of his inſincerity; ſo much is truth the characteriſtic of a ſtate of nature: It then became a duty, a virtue, to purſue the firſt wiſh of her heart.
I am aware it may be conſidered improbable, that an amiable and poliſhed European ſhould attach himſelf to the perſons and manners of an uncivilized people; but there is now a living inſtance of a like propenſity. A gentleman of fortune, born in America, and educated in all the refinements and luxuries of Great Britain, has lately attached himſelf to a female ſavage, in whom he finds every charm I have given my Azâkia; and in conſequence of his inclination, has relinquiſhed his own country and connection, incorporated himſelf into the ſociety, and adopted the manners of the virtuous, though uncultivated Indian.
Many of the outlines of the Fable are taken from a proſe ſtory in Mr. Carey’s entertaining and inſtructing Muſeum; but as the opening ſcene of that narrative was rather deficient in decency, and the concluſion, in my opinion, very little intereſting, I have entirely changed it in thoſe reſpects, and have introduced a variety of cuſtoms, the deſcription of battles, and many other circumſtances, which appeared eſſential to poetry, and neceſſary to the plot; ſtill I acknowledge myſelf indebted to that production for many of the events, and for the names of the characters.
Should any be induced to think that I have given too many perfections to a rude uncultivated ſavage, let them read the followinglowing 7 A4r lowing appoſtrophe by a celebrated French author. M. Mercier. I glanced my eye rapidly over the ſcene, and in a vaſt country, in which hitherto unknown, I ſaw a naked Indian, having nothing but God and nature above him, enjoying the benef1-2 wordsflawed-reproduction offer, without analyſing them. His body was ſupple and robuſt, his eye lively and piercing, his ear attentive, in his deportment a certain air of haughtineſs, of which we have no kind of idea in our degenerate climate. He ſeems even more graceful and majeſtic when beſide his female companion, his eye milder, his countenance more ſerene. But the authority by which I have been influenced, and from which I feel myſelf juſtified, is Willam Penn, founder of Pennſylvania, whoſe manners and principles could not admit of exaggeration, or extravagancy of expreſſion. In his letters to his friends in England, he deſcribes the North-American Indians in the following terms. For their perſons they are generally tall, ſtraight, well built, and of ſingular proportion: they tread ſtrong and clever, and moſtly walk with a lofty chin: the thick lip and flat noſe, ſo frequent with the Eaſt-Indians and blacks, are not common with them; for I have ſeen as comely, European-like faces among them of both ſexes, as on your ſide of the ſea. And truly an Italian complexion hath not much more of the white, and the noſes of ſeveral have as much of the Roman.
They are great concealers of their own reſentment, but in liberality they excel; nothing is too good for their friend. Their government is by kings; every king has his council, and that conſiſts of all the old and wiſe men of his nation; nothing of moment is undertaken without adviſing with them, and what is more, with the young men too. It is admirable to conſider how powerful their kings are, and yet how they move by the breath of the people. I have had 8 A4v had occaſion to be in council with them; while any one spoke, not a man of them was obſerved to whiſper or ſmile, the old grave, the young reverent, in their deportment; they ſpeak little, but fervently, and with elegance; I have never ſeen more natural ſagacity, conſidering them without the help (I was going to ſay the ſpoil) of tradition. Sanctioned by ſuch authorities, I flatter myſelf, allowing for the juſtifiable embelliſhments of poetry, that I ſhall not be conſidered an emphaſiſt in my deſcriptions. The liberal reader will, I truſt, make many allowences for the various imperfections of the work, from a conſideration of my ſex and ſituation; the one by education incident to weakneſs, the other from duty devoted to domeſtic avocations. And I am induced to hope, that the attempting a ſubject wholly American will in ſome reſpect entitle me to the partial eye of the patriot; that, as a young author, I ſhall be received with tenderneſs, and, as an involuntary one, be criticiſed with candor.
An Indian Tale.
’Tis not the court, in dazzling ſplendor gay,
Where ſoft luxuriance ſpreads her ſilken arms,
Where gairiſh fancy leads the ſoul aſtray,
And languid nature mourns her ſlighted charms:
’Tis not the golden hill, nor flow’ry dale,
Which lends my ſimple muſe her artleſs theme;
But the black foreſt and uncultur’d vale,
The ſavage warrior, and the lonely ſtream.
Where Mississippi Miſſiſſippi, an Indian name, ſignifying the great father of rivers. It is ſubject to no tides, but from its ſource in the north of the American Continent flows with rapid force, till it empties itſelf into the Gulph of Mexico. rolls his parent flood
With ſlope impetuous to the ſurgy main,
The deſert’s painted chiefs explore the wood,
Or with the thund’ring war-whoop War-whoop, the cry of battle, with which they always make their onſet. ſhake the plain.
There the fierce ſachems raiſe the battle’s din,
Or in the ſtream their active bodies lave,
Or midſt the flames their fearleſs ſongs begin— The American Indians, after exhauſting every ſpecies of cruelty and torture upon their moſt diſtinguished priſoners, bind them by a diſtant fire; who expire ſinging ſongs of glory and defiance.
Pain has no terrors to the truly brave.
There young Celario, Europe’s faireſt boaſt,
In hopeleſs exile mourn’d the tedious day;
Now wand’ring ſlowly o’er the oozy coaſt,
Now thro the wild woods urg’d his anxious way.
Where the low ſtooping branch excludes the light,
A piercing ſhriek aſſail’d his wounded ear;
Swift as the winged arrow ſpeeds its flight,
He ſeeks the piteous harbinger of fear.
There a tall Huron rais’d his threat’ning arm,
While round his knees a beauteous captive clung,
Striving to move him with her matchleſs form,
Or charm him by the magic of her tongue.
Soon as Celario view’d the murd’rous ſcene,
Quick from his veſt the deathful tube he drew;
Its leaden vengeance thunder’d o’er the green,
While from the ſavage hand the ling’ring hatchet flew.
Low at his feet the breathleſs warrior lies;
Still the ſoft captive ſickens with alarms,
Calls on Ouâbi’s name with ſtreaming eyes,
While the young victor lives upon her charms.
Her limbs were ſtraighter than the mountain pine,
Her hair far blacker than the raven’s wing;
Beauty had lent her form the waving See Line of Beauty. line,
Her breath gave fragrance to the balmy ſpring.
Each bright perfection open’d on her face,
Her flowing garment wanton’d in the breeze,
Her ſlender feet the glitt’ring ſandals The ſandals are ornamented either with little gliſtening bells, or with a great variety of ſhining beads and feathers. grace,
Her look was dignity, her movement eaſe.
With ſplendid beads her braided treſſes ſhone,
Her bending waiſt a modeſt girdle bound,
Her pearly teeth outvi’d the cygnet’s down—
She ſpoke—and muſic follow’d in the ſound.
Great ruler of the winged hour, It is preſumed that Azâkia had never before ſeen an European, or heard the report of a piſtol, as ſhe conſiders one a deity, and the other his thunder.
Azâkia trembles at thy pow’r;While 12 B2v 12
While from thy hand the thunders roll,
Thy charms with lightnings pierce the ſoul:
Ah! how unlike our ſable race,
The ſnowy luſtre of thy face!
That hair of beaming Cynthia’s hue,
Thoſe ſhining eyes of heav’nly blue!
Ah! didſt thou leave thy bliſsful land,
To ſave me from the murd’rer’s hand?
And is Ouâbi ſtill thy care,
The dauntleſs chief, unknown to fear?
Ceaſe to call Ouâbi’s name,
Give Celario all his claim.
No divinity is here:
Spare thy praiſes, quit thy fear:
Bend no more that beauteous knee,
For I am a ſlave to thee:
Let my griefs thy pity move,
Heal them with the balm of love.
Far beyond the orient main,
By my rage a youth was ſlain;
He this daring arm defied,
By this arm the ruffian died:
Exil’d from my native home,
Thro the deſert wild I roam;
But if only bleſt by thee,
All the deſert ſmiles on me.
See a graceful form ariſe! The Indian women of America are very chaſte after marriage, and if any perſon makes love to them, they anſwer, The Friend that is before my eyes, prevents my ſeeing you.
Now it fills my raviſh’d eyes,
Brighter than the morning ſtar,
’Tis Ouâbi, fam’d in war:
Cloſe before my boſom ſpread,
O’er thy preſence caſts a ſhade,
Full on him theſe eyes recline,
And his perſon ſhuts out thine.
Let us to his home retire,
Where he lights the ſocial fire:
Do not thro the deſert roam,
Find with me his gen’rous home;
There the Illinois obey
Great Ouâbi’s choſen ſway.
Aw’d by her virtue, by her charms ſubdued,
Celario follows o’er the wid’ning plains,
Nor dares his hopeleſs paſſion to intrude,
Where conſtant truth, and bleſt Ouâbi reigns.
Now diſtant flames aſſail his dazzled eyes,
High as the clouds the curling ſpires aſcend,
While warlike youths in circling orders At their councils and war feaſts they ſeat themſelves in ſemicircles or half moons: the King or Sachem ſtands, or fixes himſelf in the middle, with his counſellors on each ſide, according to their age and rank. See William Penn’s letters to his friends in England. riſe,
And midſt the green with graceful ſilence bend.
Far o’er the chieftains great Ouâbi moves,
With ſtep majeſtic thro the boundleſs plain,
Thus tow’rs the cedar o’er the willow-groves,
Thus ſhines bright Cynthia midſt her ſtarry train.
Swift to his arms the fond Azâkia flies,
And oft repeats the fear-embelliſh’d tale;
How pointed lightnings pierc’d her wond’ring eyes,
While the near thunder broke the trembling gale!
Ouâbi! form’d by nature’s hand divine,
Whoſe naked limbs the ſculptor’s art defied,
Where nervous ſtrength and graceful charms combine,
Where dignity with fleetneſs was allied.
High from his head the painted plumes aroſe,
His founding bow was o’er his ſhoulder ſtrung,
The hatchet, dreadful to inſulting foes,
On the low branch in peaceful caution hung.
Adown his ears the gliſt’ning rings deſcend,
His manly arms the claſping bracelets bind,
From his broad cheſt the vari’d beads depend,
And all the hero tow’r’d within his mind.
His hand he yielded to the gentle youth,
Inquir’d his ſorrows with benignant air,
And, kind as pity, unreſerv’d as truth,
Sooth’d ev’ry grief, and proffer’d ev’ry care.
When young Celario, breathing many a ſigh,
Diſclos’d the warring tumults of his breaſt,
Low on the ground reclin’d his penſive eye,
While his perſuaſive voice the chief addreſs’d.
On theſe far-extended plains,
Truth and godlike juſtice reigns!
In my childhood’s happy prime,
A warrior from this weſtern clime,
Oft the fleeting day improv’d,
Talking of the home he lov’d,
All thy glowing worth impreſt
On my young enamour’d breaſt.
Baniſh’d from my native ſhore,
Here I turn’d the ready oar.
Tir’d of ſcenes, where crimes beguile,
Fond of virtue’s honeſt ſmile,
From perfidious vice I flee,
And devote my life to thee.
Shelter’d in thy ſocial cot,
All the glare of wealth forgot,
Let the hatchet grace my hand,
Let me bend to thy command:
May Celario claim thy care,
Lead him thro the din of war,
Think not of his early age,
Try him midſt the battle’s rage.
May the endleſs Source of Good,
Parent of yon rapid flood,
Strike me with pangs of fear,
Midſt the glories of the war,
If Ouâbi does not prove
All a brother’s tender love;
If his body ceaſe to be
Still a ſure defence to thee;
If his life-deſtroying bow
Does not ſeek thy treach’rous foe.
Then amidſt yon chiefs retire,
Seated round the ſacred fire,
Waiting for the warrior-feaſt, The day before battle the ſachems and warriors meet together, and with great ſolemnity join in the war feaſt.
Let them hail thee as their gueſt:
Muſic reigns with ſoft control,
Sable bev’rage Sable beverage, which they call the black drink, is made by a decoction of certain herbs, and is ſimilar in appearance to coffee: It is of an exhilarating nature, is prepared by their warriors or head men, and ſerved round at their councils and war feaſts, with great ſolemnity and devotion. The commiſſioners from the United States were preſented with this liquor upon their introduction. fires the ſoul.
Here yon riſing orb of flame
Finds each rolling hour the ſame;
And the ſtar of ev’ning glows
On each bliſs, that nature knows.
Say what crimes thy realms diſgrace?
Do the natives ſhun the chaſe?
Do they fear to bend the bow?
Do they dread the threat’ning foe?
Yet, if courage dwells with thee,
Join the Huron war with me.
Oft the active chaſe they dare,
Oft they join the glorious war,
’Tis at home their vices grow,
There they yield to ev’ry foe;
There unnumber’d demons reign,
Led by terror, guilt and pain:
Raſhrevenge, with eye-balls rolling,
Hatefulmalice, always ſcowling,
Cruelslander, ſtill believing,
Insolence to wealth allied,
Rude, unfeeling, tramplingpride,
Prudiſhenvy’s ready ſneer,
Baſeneglect and dastard fear,
Jealousy with bitter ſigh,
Lowsuspicion’s jaundiced eye,
Lyingfraud, with treach’rous ſmile,
Hardreproach, and meannessvile,
Passion, always in a ſtorm;
Theſe are foes I leave behind,
Theſe the traitors of the mind,C Dreadful 18 C1v 18
Dreadful as the battle’s roar,
Fearful as the conq’ror’s pow’r.
Now for the war-feaſt all the chiefs prepare,
The jetty draught exhauſts the gen’rous bowl,
And the fierce dance, The dance is rather an act of devotion, than of recreation, and conſtitutes a part of all their public ceremonies. See Letters. fit emblem of the war,
Swells the great mind, and fires the kindling ſoul.
Tho ſongs of vengeance ev’ry breaſt inſpire,
The peaceful calumet The calumet is a highly ornamental pipe, which the Indians ſmoke as a type of peace and harmony on all public occaſions. ſucceeds the feaſt,
Till livid glimmerings mark the ſinking fire,
And the gem’d ſkies proclaim the hour of reſt.
Ere the firſt bluſh of day illumes the morn,
The chiefs, impatient for the battle, riſe;
With warlike arms their colour’d limbs adorn,
While glowing valour ſparkles in their eyes.
Onward they move, by great Ouâbi led,
The young Celario with the painted train,
Like white narciſſus mid the tulip-bed,
Or like a ſwan with peacocks on the plain.
The golden ringlets of his gloſſy hair,
Intwin’d with beads, the tow’ring feathers grace,
No longer floating to the am’rous air,
Nor mingling with the beauties of his face.
Dreſs’d like a ſachem—o’er his naked arm
With careleſs eaſe reclin’d his gaudy Their bows are ſtrained with a great variety of glaring colours, and otherwiſe ornamented. For a ſpecimen ſee the Muſeum of the Univerſity at Cambridge. bow,
Not bright Apollo boaſts ſo fair a form,
Such ringlets never grac’d his iv’ry brow.
On the far field the adverſe heroes join,
No dread artill’ry guards the coward ſide;
But dauntleſs ſtrength, and courage half divine,
Command the war, and form the conq’ror’s pride.
Thus before Illion’s heav’n-defended tow’rs,
Her godlike Hector rais’d his crimſon’d arm;
Thus great Atrides led the Grecian pow’rs,
And ſtern Achilles ſpread the loud alarm.
Where danger threats the European flies,
Eager to follow when Ouâbi leads,
His feather’d arrows glance along the ſkies,
And many a hero, many a ſachem bleeds.
Now the ſtrong hatchet hews whole nations down,
Now deathful ſhow’rs of miſſive darts deſcend,
The echoing war-whoop drowns the dying groan,
And ſhouts of vict’ry ev’ry boſom rend.
When by ſome hand’s unerring force applied,
Flew a ſwift arrow where Celario ſtood,
Its darting vengeance pierc’d his guardleſs ſide,
And drank the living current of his blood.
While from the wound the barbed ſhaft is drawn,
O’er his fair ſide the drops of crimſon glow,
And ſeem loſt rubies on a wint’ry lawn,
Adding new luſtre to the ſilv’ry ſnow.
The Illinois their great Ouâbi hail,
No more the foe his conq’ring arm defies;
O’er the blue mountain, thro the thorny vale,
The victor follows, as the vanquiſh’d flies,
Fatigu’d by ſlaughter, ev’ry chief retires
To the lov’d ſolace of his native plain,
There ſtill regardful of the ſacred fires, It is a point of religion with the American Indians never to ſuffer their fires to go out until the cloſe of their year, when they are totally extinguiſhed, and others are kindled by friction of certain wood. The policy of this act of devotion is evident, as it not only indicates to their youth the neceſſity of their being conſtantly ready for war, but ſerves as an annual ſchool to inſtruct them (in all caſes of emergency) in the method of raiſing this neceſſary element into action from the objects of nature, which ſurround them.
Till the loud war awakes his ſtrength again.
By ſlaves The priſoners of inferior rank, taken in battle, are retained as ſlaves by the rights of war; and this is the only kind of ſlavery known amongſt them. ſupported thro the mazy wood,
Celario gains the ſachem’s diſtant home,
Where mourning warriors ſtop the purple flood,
And for each healing plant Theſe people are perhaps the firſt botaniſts in the world; and from their knowledge of the properties of plants, according to William Penn, have a remedy for almoſt every diſeaſe, to which they are ſubject. They have certain antidotes to all venomous bites, and it is ſaid an infallible cure for cancers. the weedy deſert roam.
Azâkia’s hand the chymic juice applies,
Her conſtant aid the ſtrength’ning food prepares,
Her plaintive voice beguiles his cloſing eyes,
And ſooths his ſlumbers with unceaſing prayers.
Now winds his ringlets round her duſky hand,
And views the contraſt with enamour’d boaſt,
Now o’er his features bends with accents bland,
’Till ev’ry ſwimming ſenſe in wonder’s loſt.
Thus the lorn wretch, by ignis fatuus led,
Purſues the gleam which charms his lonely way,
Nor, ’till deſtruction whelms his hapleſs head,
Suſpects the dangers of the treach’rous ray.
Celario gazes with renew’d deſires,
While kindling hopes his doting boſom move;
Yet ſtill Ouâbi’s worth his ſoul inſpires,
And much his virtue ſtruggles with his love.
Now each new day increaſing ſtrength beſtows,
And his brac’d limbs the limping ſtaff reſign,
His humid lip, with roſeate luſtre glows,
His lucid eyes with wonted brightneſs ſhine.
What time 1 wordflawed-reproduction Sirius ſheds his baneful pow’r,
And fades the verdant beauties of the grove;
When thirſty plants droop for the cooling ſhow’r,
And not a leaf the ſleeping zephyrs move,
Azâkia wander’d from her ſultry home,
Amid the ſtream her languid limbs to lave,
Now on the ſedgy banks delights to roam,
Now her light body curls the ſhining wave.
While thro the woods the ſachem chas’d the deer,
Celario mourns Azâkia’s long delay,
Oft at her abſence drops th’ empaſſion’d tear,
Counting the tedious moments’ leaden way.
When half the ſcorching day its courſe had run,
The wand’rer ſeeks her lov’d abode again,
Nor thinks how ſad exiſtence lingers on,
Unſooth’d by love, and worn by anxious pain.
Celario greets her with a lover’s care,
And ſees new beauties grace her modeſt form,
Repeats his fond complaint, his late deſpair,
And dwells enraptur’d on each glowing charm:
Till, quite regardleſs of Ouâbi’s name,
His yielding ſoul to deſp’rate love reſign’d,
Urg’d with inſidious voice his daring flame,
By ev’ry art aſſail’d her ſoften’d mind.
Not bright Heſper beams more fair
To the love-lorn traveller,
Than thoſe eyes, where beauty warms,
Than that voice, where ſoftneſs charms,
Than that boſom’s gentle ſwell,
And thoſe lips, where raptures dwell,
To this faithful heart of mine,
Truly, only, wholly thine.
Now Ouâbi hunts the deer,
Love and bliſs inhabit here;
Here the downy willows bend,
Elms their fringed arms extend,
While the ſinking ſun improves
Ev’ry ſcene, which fancy loves.
Let thy heart my refuge be,
And my hopes repoſe on thee;
Grant me all thoſe matchleſs charms,
Yield the heav’n within thy arms.
Does the turtle learn to roam,
When her mate has left his home?
Will the bee forſake her hive?
In the peopled wigwam thrive?Can 24 C4v 24
CanAzâkia ever prove,
Guardleſs of Ouâbi’s love!
While the ſhiver’s from the tree, The marriage contract of the North American Indians is not neceſſarily during life, but while the parties continue agreeable to each other. The ceremony is performed by their mutually breaking ſmall ſhivers or ſticks of wood in the preſence of their friends, which are carefully depoſited in ſome ſafe place, till they wiſh a ſeparation; when with like ceremony the ſticks are thrown into the ſacred fires, and the marriage conſequently diſſolved. Mrs. Brooks obſerves, that the greateſt obſtruction to the converſion of the Canadian Indians to chriſtianity, was their reluctance at forming marriages for life.
Which the warrior broke with me,
Straight as honor, bright as fame,
Have not felt the wafting flame!
Think of all his guardian care,
How he train’d thy ſteps to war;
How, when preſs’d by ev’ry harm,
Stretch’d his life-protecting arm;
Rais’d thee from the trembling ground,
Drew the arrow from thy wound,
Brought thee to his peaceful plain,
Cloth’d thy cheek with health again!
Shall I from ſuch virtue part?
Muſt I break that gen’rous heart?
Ev’ry pang, which kills thy reſt,
Then will pierce his faithful breaſt,
His and thine I cannot be:
Muſt I break his heart for thee?
All the turtle’s charms are thine,
All her conſtant love is mine,
Ev’ry ſweet, the bee beſtows,
On thy fragrant boſom grows:
May each bliſs deſcend on thee,
By thy griefs reſerv’d for me.
Yes! I muſt thy choice approve,
Give Ouâbi all thy love;
But with thee I cannot ſtay,
Soon, ah! ſoon I muſt away,
Where Scioto’s waters flow,
Or the fiery Chactaws glow;
Or the ſnowy mountains riſe,
Frozen by Canadian ſkies:
There for refuge will I fly
From the ruin of that eye;
Yet this heart with love will glow
Mid the northern mountains’ ſnow,
On the Chactaws’ southern plain
Feel the chill of cold diſdain.
Why, ungrateful youth, ah! why
Muſt the poor Azâkia die?
If you leave this bliſsful plain,
Never ſhall we meet again.
Tho’ to great Ouâbi true,
Yet this ſoul reſides with you;D Still 26 D1v 26
Still will follow all thy care,
While the body waſtes to air.
Not the golden ſource of light,
Not the ſilver queen of night,
Not the placid morning dream,
Not the tree-reflecting ſtream,
Ever can a charm diſplay,
When thy heav’nly form’s away.
E’en while ſhe ſpake the great Ouâbi came,
Celario’s cheek betrays the conſcious glow;
But chaſte Azâkia, pure from ev’ry ſhame,
Nor checks her tears, nor hides her blameleſs woe.
With ſoften’d accent, and expreſſive eye,
The faultleſs chief regards her quiv’ring fear,
His gentle voice repels the ſwelling ſigh,
His fond endearment ſtops the rolling tear.
Celario liſtens with averted mien,
Struck to the ſoul, by ſecret guilt oppreſs’d,
In ſullen ſilence wanders round the green,
While the ſoft ſorrower all her grief expreſs’d.
Far from Azâkia’s kindly eyes
The lov’d, the loſt Celario flies:
For other friends deſires to roam,
And ſcorns Ouâbi’s lib’ral home!
Dear youth, by bounteous nature bleſt,
Thou choſen brother of my breaſt,
What other friends can claim thy care,
For who can hold thee half ſo dear!
Does not the chain of friendſhip bind
Thy virtues with Ouâbi’s mind!
And this warm heart’s expanding flame,
Still kindle at Celario’s name!
My faithful warriors all are thine,
And all thy treach’rous foes are mine.
Perhaps ſome wrong, thy ſoul diſdains,
Diſguſts thee to theſe hated plains;
By yon bright ruler of the ſkies,
The wretch, who wrong’d thee, ſurely dies.
The ſtrength’ned foe their arms prepare,
Tomorrow leads me to the war;
This night we claim thee, as a gueſt,
To join the ſacred warrior-feaſt.
While danger all my ſteps attend,
Let mild Azâkia find a friend.
Native reaſon’s piercing eye,
Melting pity’s tender ſigh,
Changeleſs virtue’s living flame,
Meek contentment, free from blame,
Open friendſhips’s gen’rous care,
Ev’ry boon of life is here!Yet 28 D2v 28
Yet this heart, to grief a prey,
Loaths the morning’s purple ray,
And the azure hour of reſt
Plants a ſcorpion in my breaſt;
But I’ll with thee to the war,
Only ſolace for my care:
Tho’ I cannot heave the blow,
Yet will bend the ſupple bow,
Fatal to the flying foe.
Yes! and that great, undaunted mind,
With equal ſtrength and vigor join’d,
Would lead thee with regardleſs haſte
Thro’ yon illimitable waſte;
But yet thy wounded body ſpare,
Unfit to meet the toils of war;
Unfit the ambuſh’d chiefs to find,
To follow ſwifter than the wind,
Or, if by num’rous foes ſubdued,
To fly within the tangling wood:
With my Azâkia then remain,
’Till her lov’d warrior comes again.
Thus great Ouâbi ſooths with gentle care
The guilty anguiſh of Celario’s breaſt,
Diſſuades his purpoſe from the coming war,
And calms his ſtormy paſſions into reſt.
Now the brave hero ſeeks the diſtant foe,
And leads his warriors with unequall’d grace,
Adorn’d with paint their martial bodies glow,
A firm, unconquer’d, unforgiving Revenge is a principle, in which they are very careful to educate the young warriors, conſidering it one of their firſt virtues; yet this revenge is rather a deliberate ſentiment of the mind, than a raſh ebullition of paſſion; for they ſuppoſe that a man who always feels a diſpoſition to puniſh injuries, will not be readily inclined to commit them. See Letters. race.
Such as when Julius ſought Britannia’s plain,
With fearleſs ſtep approach’d her penſile ſhore,
Whoſe naked limbs the varying colours ſtain,
Who dare the war, and ſcorn the conq’ror’s pow’r.
Mean time Azâkia for her ſachem mourns,
Her troubled heart to ceaſeleſs pangs reſign’d;
Now to Celario’s ardent love returns,
Now native virtue brightens in her mind.
Unbending honor gains her ſpotleſs breaſt;
Forms the reſolve to guard his fatal charms,
To ſeek ſome nymph with radiant beauty bleſt,
To win his love, and grace his envi’d arms.
On the young Zisma all her hopes repoſe,
Who next herſelf adorn’d the peopled glade;
Like the green bud beneath the op’ning roſe, Azâkia is ſuppoſed to be ſtill in extreme youth, as among the Indians the women contract marriage at the age of fourteen, and the men at ſeventeen. Wm. Penn’s Letters.
With bright Azâkia ſhone the riſing maid.
To the fair ſtranger gentle Ziſma flies,
Prevents each wiſh, each luxury prepares,
Dwells on his beauties with unweari’d eyes,
And lures with ſiren voice his froward cares.
Much he deſires, and much his ſoul approves;
But when was love by frigid prudence ſway’d!
In the torn breaſt, which burning paſſion moves,
Can the cold law of reaſon be obey’d!
Still to Azâkia all his thoughts retire,
Her ſlender form, her love-exciting face,
Her gentle voice, each tremb’ling nerve inſpire,
And ev’ry ſmile robs Ziſma of a grace.
Oft tears of tranſport from his eyes diſtil,
Oft rays of hope thro’ dark’ning ſorrows beam,
Now at her feet the ſubject of her will,
Now wild as loud Ontario’s ruſhing ſtream.
Just as the ſun awak’d the dewy morn,
And roſe reſplendent from his wat’ry bed,
When vari’d tints the heav’nly arch adorn,
And o’er the meads enamell’d radiance ſpread,
At the far limits of the ſpangled lawn
A ghaſtly figure iſſued from the wood,
Writhing with anguiſh, like the wounded fawn,
Cover’d with darts, and ſtain’d with clotted blood.
Azâkia’s boſom ſwells with boding woes,
Yet to his aid the ſweet conſoler flies,
On his parch’d lips the cooling draught beſtows,
Binds his deep wounds, and ſooths his labour’d ſighs.
When his faint voice, and waſted ſtrength returns,
Oft he attempts, oft quits the fearful tale,
’Till the ſad liſt’ner all her ſorrow learns,
Whelm’d in dumb grief, with chilling terrors pale.
Too ſoon, alas! his broken accents ſhow,
How the great chief approach’d the fatal plain,
Tho’ nations fell beneath his nervous blow,
O’erpow’r’d by numbers ſunk amidſt the ſlain.
One equal fate the victor-foes impart,
For the pure town The pure or public towns are places of refuge, in which no blood is ever permitted to be ſpilt: even criminals are there protected. in vain the vanquiſh’d bend,
The vengeful tomahawk, The tomahawk is a ſmall hatchet, with a long handle, which is thrown at the enemy with ſucceſs at a great diſtance; it is particularly fatal in a purſuit. and hurtling dart,
Down to the ſhades the hapleſs heroes ſend.
While this alone, of all the routed train,
From purple heaps, where dying ſachems lay,
To ſeek the lov’d Azâkia’s peaceful plain,
Had turn’d his ſad, dark, ſolitary way.
On the far field while great Ouâbi lies,
Breathleſs and low amid the glorious dead,
No friendly hand to cloſe the warrior’s eyes,
And ſhield the plumy honours plumy honours, alluding to their practice of ſcalping. of his head,
Ungovern’d rage the young Celario fires,
He ſcorns his wounds, forgets the nymph he loves;
Revenge is all his ſwelling breaſt deſires,
Revenge alone his furious ſoul approves.
In Ziſma’s arms, of waſting grief the prey,
The widow’d mourner courts the murd’rous dream, It is ſaid to have been anciently a cuſtom among the Indians, if in the ſpace of forty days, a woman, who had left her huſband, ſaw and converſed with him twice in a dream, to infer from thence, that he required her preſence in the land of ſpirits, and nothing could diſpenſe with her putting herſelf to death.
Shuns the red ſplendor of the riſing day,
The moon’s pale radiance, and the ſhaded ſtream.
Not deeper anguiſh rends the promis’d bride,
If death relentleſs lifts his ebon dart,
And tears her youthful lover from her ſide,
Juſt when hope warm’d, and pleaſure fir’d the heart.
Now brave Celario ſeeks his ſcatter’d friends,
Who raiſe new pow’rs, and neighb’ring tribes obtain,
Along the darken’d green the hoſt extends,
Breathing revenge, and undiſmay’d by pain.
For the young champion all their voices riſe
He can alone their glorious chief ſucceed,
Who erſt, beneath that matchleſs ſachem’s eyes,
Could greatly conquer, and could nobly bleed.
Ere he departs Azâkia claims his care,
The youthful Ziſma at her ſide he found,
While plung’d in grief, the victim of deſpair,
The lovely ſuff’rer preſs’d the turfy ground.
In her cold hand the fatal draught was borne,
Of deadly Cytron’s The root of the North-American cytron tree, commonly called the candle wood, produces a juice of a moſt deadly poiſon. pois’nous root compos’d,
While many a tear, and many a lengthen’d groan,
The purpoſe of her ſteady ſoul diſcloſed.
When angry ſpirits ſhake the ſkies,
And ’gainſt the good the bad ariſe, The American Indians believe, that an eclipſe of the ſun is occaſioned by a contention between the good and evil ſpirit; and as light finally prevails, they ſuppoſe the good ſpirit is always victorious.The E 34 E1v 34
The golden orb, which lights the day,
Withdraws its clear refulgent ray,
’Till goodness gains his native throne,
And hurls the pow’r of darkneſs down.
Then ſhines the flaming orb more clear,
More ardent ſplendors gild the year.
Thus would this ſenſual form control
The glory of th’ immortal ſoul;
Would all the charms of light forego,
And chain it to the gloom of woe;
But ſoon th’ unequal conteſt ends,
Soon the pure ſoul to bliſs aſcends,
While thro’ the realms of endleſs day
Ouâbi ſpreads his brighten’d ray.
Laſt night the beaming warrior came,
Envelop’d in ſurrounding flame,
Stretch’d his heroic arms to me,
And rais’d this loit’ring heart from thee;
If once again he greets my ſight,
And calls me to the realms of light,
This killing draught will waft me o’er
The terrors of the win’try ſhore,
To wander midſt the bliſsful train,
And meet the fearleſs chief again.
How can the dead approach thy ſight!
Who guides them thro’ the ſhades of night!
Would that bright ſoul its bliſs reſign,
To give a laſting ſtab to mine!How 35 E2r 35
How could the wretch, who caus’d thy pain,
Know when the glorious chief was ſlain?
Perhaps, the victors’ triumph made,
He mourns beneath the ſilent ſhade,
Or the ſlow tortures ſtrive in vain
His great, unconquer’d mind to gain:
This daring arm ſhall ſet him free,
Pledge but thy ſacred oath to me,
By all the ſhining pow’rs above,
By thy Celario’s conſtant love,
’Till great Ouâbi’s fate is known,
Thou wilt not dare to touch thy own.
The foe an eaſy prey will be,
Now lull’d to calm ſecurity:
Surprize will ſeize the guardleſs train,
And ſnatch the warrior-chief from pain.
Then by the ruler of the ſkies,
By young Celario’s heav’nly eyes,
By the ſoft love, thoſe eyes expreſs,
By all his vari’d pow’rs to bleſs,
His hopeleſs tear, impaſſion’d ſigh,
And look of ſpeechleſs ſympathy,
Witneſs ye ſpirits of the dead,
That hover round this widow’d head,
The fatal bowl I will not drain,
’Till the young warrior comes again,
Or ’till the great Ouâbi’s ſhade
The ſad ſepulchral rites are paid.
Charm’d by her accents, from her ſight he ſpeeds,
Swift as the falcon darting on the prey,
With the red train The Indians ſtile themſelves The red people. in eager haſte proceeds,
And fires their courage, as he leads their way.
Soon as they gain the region of the foe,
Some he directs the ambuſh’d path to guide,
Some with ſtrong force to heave the ſudden blow,
And ſome to bear the captur’d chiefs aſide.
Return’d from conqueſt, and to eaſe reſign’d,
Th’ invaded tribe their haſty arms regain,
In ev’ry ſtep an inſtant death to find,
Or the ſad proſpect of a life of pain.
In vain Celario checks the ſavage hand,
The helpleſs mother with her infant dies, Theſe people make it a principle to ſpare neither the wives nor children of their enemies; but, like the partriarchy of old, endeavour to extincte the whole race.
Revenge inſpires his unforgiving band,
’Till all one heap of deſolation lies.
Now to the town they urge their rapid way,
With equal ſpeed the routed foe retires,
There in the midſt a tortur’d warrior lay,
Daring the fury of the raging fires.
His mangled form the tort’rers pow’r defies,
His changeleſs voice the ſong of death had ſung,
No tear of pain pollutes his ſteady eyes,
No cry of mercy trembles on his tongue.
Rear’d midſt the war-empurpled plain,
What Illinois ſubmits to pain!
How can the glory-darting fire
The coward chill of death inſpire!
The ſun a blazing heat beſtows,
The moon midſt penſive ev’ning glows,
The ſtars in ſparkling beauty ſhine,
And own their flaming source divine.
Then let me hail th’ immortal fire,
And in the ſacred flames expire;
Nor yet thoſe Huron hands reſtrain;
This boſom ſcorns the throbs of pain,
No griefs this warrior-ſoul can bow,
No pangs contract this even brow;
Not all your threats excite a fear,
Not all your force can ſtart a tear.
Think not with me my tribe decays,
More glorious chiefs the hatchet raiſe;
Not unreveng’d their ſachem dies,
Not unattended greets the ſkies.
Celario liſtens with the ear of care,
His ſinking limbs their wonted aid refuſe,
He calls his warriors with diſtracted air,
Whoſe ready hands the ſuff’ring victim looſe.
Around his feet the young deliv’rer clings:
It is Ouâbi! greateſt! firſt of men!
The ſong of death the dauntleſs ſachem ſings,
Yet claſps his lov’d Celario once agen.
Thro’ the deep wood they ſeek the healing balm,
Weep on his hands, or at his feet deplore,
Ah! how unlike Ouâbi’s glorious form!
Now gaſh’d with wounds, and bath’d in ſtreams of gore!
Snatch’d from the wiſh’d oblivion of the field,
Subjected to the victor’s hard decree,
Struck by his form, their iron boſoms yield,
They grant a life depriv’d of liberty,
Th’ indignant chief the proffer’d boon diſdains,
Defies thier rage, and ſcorns their threat’ning ire,
Demands the tortures, and their rending pains,
The ling’ring anguiſh of the tardy fire.
The Death Song echo’d thro’ the hollow wood,
Juſt when Celario led his warrior-train,
Th’ affrighted foe diſcard the work of blood,
And fly impetuous o’er the arid plain.
Thus when a carcaſe clogs the op’ning vale,
And birds of prey in prowling circles throng,
If ſome fierce hound approach the tainted gale,
He drives the wild relentleſs brood along.
Pale horror ſtalks, and ſwift deſtruction reigns,
Carnage and death pollute the ruin’d glade,
’Till nature’s weari’d arm a reſpite gains,
When night pacific ſpreads her ſable ſhade.
While the bent foreſt drops the chryſtal tear,
And frozen Huron chills the ſhorten’d day,
’Till the young ſpring reſtor’d the bloſſom’d year;
Rack’d by diſeaſe the patient ſachem lay.
O’er his pierc’d limbs, and lacerated form,
Celario binds the health-reſtoring leaf,
And guards his ſlumbers from ſurrounding harm,
With all the ſilent eloquence of grief.
’Till ſov’reign nature, and benignant art,
Revive each nerve, each weaken’d fibre brace,
And ev’ry charm, that health and youth impart,
Glows in his veins, and brightens in his face.
Still to his love, Celario’s heart returns,
Full oft he mourns her life-oppreſſing woe,
’Till great Ouâbi all his ſoul diſcerns,
And views the ſource, from whence his ſorrow’s flow.
In penſive thought he treads the fenny meads,
While for his native home they bend their way,
Light as the air each hurried ſtep proceeds,
Thro’ the ſlow moments of the ling’ring day:
’Till time, whom happy lovers form’d with wings,
To his own plains the matchleſs chief reſtores;
Around his neck the wild Azâkia clings,
Now weeps, now joys, now bleſſes, now deplores.
Another dream had rack’d her ſleepleſs mind,
Where the great hero chid her long delay,
While all her tortur’d breaſt, to death reſign’d,
Reproach’d the Europeans’s faithleſs ſtay.
The chief returns in all his native grace,
Tho’ mark’d with wounds, and ſear’d with many a ſcar,
Yet manly charms adorn his open face,
Still form’d to lead and guide the glorious war.
Celario gazes with unſated eye,
While down his cheek the tears of rapture flow,
His melting boſom heaves the breathing ſigh,
And riſing cares contract his poliſh’d brow.
Not unobſerv’d the nectar’d ſigh aſcends,
Nor yet in vain the tears of fondneſs roll,
With ſoften’d look the gen’rous ſachem bends,
While heav’nly muſic ſpeaks his yielding ſoul.
In freedom born, to glory bred,
Yet like a daſtard captive led,
When ſunk in bleſt oblivious night,
Rais’d to the ſorrows of the light,F The 42 F1v 42
The life, I ſcorn’d, they baſely gave,
And dar’d to claim me as a ſlave,
To threat me with the darts of pain,
Tho born o’er the glorious chiefs to reign;
But, ſaught Ouâbi’s ſoul to know,
They fought to bend that ſoul with woe,
By vari’d tortures vainly ſtrove
This heav’n directed eye to move,
When like a God Celario came,
And ſnatch’d me from the piercing flame.
From thee this arm its ſtrength receives,
By thee this form in freedom lives,
By thee was bright Azâkia’s breath,
Twice reſcu’d from the blaſt of death;
Each time a greater bleſſing gave
Than twice Ouâbi’s life to ſave; Ouâbi does not ſimply mean to compliment Azâkia in this expreſſion, but alludes to a cuſtom of his country, which in moſt caſes admits the payment of a fine, as an expiation for murder. If the deceaſed be a woman, the fine is double; and the reaſon they give for this partiality for that ſex, is, that they are capable of bringing warriors to the nation. See Letters. This law of expiating murder by pecuniary compenſation has, I believe, been obſerved by every uncivilized nation upon earth.
As he alone her love deſerves,
Whoſe pow’r her matchleſs charms preſerves,
That love, thoſe charms, I now reſign,
With ev’ry bliſs, that once was mine.
Since all her mind thy worth approves,
And all thy ſoul her beauty loves,
This grateful heart that hand beſtows,
Which not to ſhun a life of woes,Which 43 F2r 43
Which not to gain undying fame,
To ſave me from the Hurons’ flame,
Would this fond bleeding breaſt reſign,
Or yield to any worth but thine.
Firſt ſhall the ſun forget to lave
His bright beams in the red’ning wave,
The Pleiades ſhall forſake their ſphere, Celario will not be conſidered as addreſſing the ſavage in too philoſophical language, when it is remembered that people in a hunting ſtate are neceſſarily acquainted with the different ſtars and plantets, to aid their courſe in their excurſions from, and returns to, their places of reſidence. As no images can with propriety be taken from culture or civil ſociety in the dialogues, I am under the neceſſity of frequently repeating the moſt ſtriking objects of nature.
And midſt the blaze of noon appear,
Or cold Böotes’ car ſhall roll
In ſultry ſplendor round the pole,
Ere thy Celario hails the day,
In which he tears thy ſoul away.
Tho’ late—with pointed grief I ſee,
And own my black’ning crimes to thee.
When torn by woes, by cares oppreſs’d,
You claſp’d me to that ſhelt’ring breaſt,
Forbade my exil’d ſteps to roam,
And led me to this gen’rous home:
Regardleſs of thy ſacred fame,
I dar’d to urge my guilty flame;
Tho’ to that arm my life was due,
And ev’ry bliſs deriv’d from you,By 44 F2v 44
By each perfidious art I ſtrove,
To win the bright Azâkia’s love,
With ceaſeleſs paſſion ſought to gain
Her heav’nly charms—but, ſought in vain.
Yet will the wand’ring traitor go
To diſtant plains, to realms of woe,
’Till abſence from his breaſt remove
The tortures of his impious love,
’Till time with healing on his wing
Shall peace and ſoft oblivion bring.
Yes! in thy guilty deeds I trace
The crimes which ſtill thy realms diſgrace;
But my Celario, yet I find
Each native worth adorns thy mind;
For heav’nly beaming truth is there,
Of open brow and heart ſincere!
No daring vice could e’er control
Azâkia’s unpolluted ſoul.
Born amidſt virtue’s favor’d race,
Her mind as faultleſs as her face,
Vain muſt each daring effort prove,
That uncorrupted breaſt to move;
For on the pure tranſlucid ſtream
In vain the midnight lightnings beam,
It lifts its boſom to the day,
Unſullied as the ſolar ray.Yet 45 F3r 45
Yet have I ſworn by yon ſwift flood,
And by this cloud-envelop’d wood,
Ne’er in theſe war-devoted arms
To claſp again her matchleſs charms,
Nor yet theſe eyes to ſleep reſign,
’Till all thoſe matchleſs charms are thine.
The youthful Ziſma’s conſtant ſmile
Will ev’ry riſing grief beguile,
The ſhivers from the lofty tree,
The gentle maid will break with me:
In time her rip’ning form and face
Will bloom with all Azâkia’s grace.
But for the war this ſoul was made,
I ſcorn the peace-encircled ſhade:
Revenge recals me to the plain,
To meet the Huron foe again.
No friendly calumet ſhall glow,
No ſnow-white plume Their mode of making peace is, previous to ſmoking the friendly calumet, for the ſachem or head-warrior to advance with a white plume, in the form of a fan, towards the ambaſſadors of the rival nation, and to draw it lightly over their foreheads; meaning to indicate, that from that moment all former animoſities are wiped away, and all paſſed injuries conſigned to oblivion. The whiteneſs of the plume being emblematical of the purity of their intentions in the treaty they are forming. paſs o’er the brow,
’Till in one blaze of ruin hurl’d,
I ſink them to the nether world:
Revenge ſhall every torment eaſe,
And e’en the parted ſoul appeaſe.
Azâkia hears the changeleſs chief’s reply,
Now warm’d with hope, now chill’d with icy fear,
Nor dares to meet him with her ſwimming eye,
Her lab’ring breath, and ſoul-entrancing care.
Tho’ the fam’d warrior rul’d her faithful mind,
The young Celario ev’ry paſſion mov’d;
E’en to his faults her doting heart inclin’d—
Ouâbi was too godlike to be lov’d.
While the ſoft Ziſma learns the fix’d decree,
In modeſt ſilence and in pleas’d ſurpriſe,
To the great ſachem bends her willing knee
With grateful ſmiles, and rapture-glancing eyes.
In vain Celario pleads his alter’d breaſt,
No Illinois his ſacred word recals;
’Tis fix’d—the young deliv’rer ſhall be bleſt—
The flames aſcend—the branching cedar falls.
Ere the day cloſe the ſolemn rites begin,
The broken ſhivers feed the hungry blaze;
While the new ſpires adorn the ſocial green,
And the wild The muſic of the Indians, tho’ of a wild and inharmonious kind, is introduced at all their public feſtivities and ſolemnities. muſic joins the ſong of praiſe.
To his wrapt ſoul Celario claſps his bride,
Thinks it a dream, ſome ſweet deluſive charm:
Wonder and joy his beating breaſt divide,
Dart from his eyes, and ev’ry accent warm.
Thus the young hero from victorious war,
While the throng’d city ſwells the full acclaim,
Forgets each bleeding friend, each ghaſtly ſcar,
And ev’ry breeze wafts pleaſure, wealth and fame.
Ouâbi, ſtill in matchleſs worth array’d,
Betrays no grief, no ſoft, repentant ſigh;
But like a parent guards the timid maid,
And claims her friendſhip with his aſking eye.
Her ſlender limbs the matron-garb adorn,
Her locks no more in bright luxuriance flow,
From her ſmooth brow the maiden veil The unmarried women wear a kind of cap, or veil, on their heads, which is taken off at the marriage ceremony. [William Penn’s Letters.] To this, it is ſaid, ſucceeds a circle of beads of various colours. is drawn,
And gliſt’ning beads in rainbow-beauty glow.
Joy reigns, and pleaſure lights the ſmiling ſcene,
The graceful feet in mazy circles rove,
While muſic warbles o’er the peopled green,
And wafts the fond impaſſion’d breath of love.
Swift flies the ſunny morn, that gilds the ſpring,
Short is the ſhow’r, which bathes the ſummer day,
But ſwifter ſtill gay pleaſure’s tranſient wing,
With fleeter haſte contentment, glides away!
E’en while delight expands each winning charm,
Thro’ the wide plain the ſhrieks of fright ariſe;
The gentle Ziſma ſwells the loud alarm,
Her great, her lov’d Ouâbi falls—he dies!
Oh thou, whoſe feeling heart, and ready ſigh,
On ev’ry grief ſoft ſympathy beſtow,
Here turn thy bleſt, benignant, melting eye,
Here let the tears of full compaſſion flow!
Down at his feet the loſt Azâkia lies,
Her pale Celario parts the preſſing throng,
Th’ immortal warrior lifts his darken’d eyes,
And the chok’d words fall quiv’ring from his tongue.
To realms where godlike valour reigns,
Exempt from ills, and freed from pains,
Where this unconquer’d ſoul will ſhine,
And all the victor’s prize be mine,
I go—nor vainly ſhed the tear,
Ouâbi has no glory here;
Unfit the Illinois to guide,
No more the dauntleſs warriors’ pride—
Since as a hapleſs captive led,
Rack’d like a ſlave, he baſely bled,
No haughty Huron e’er ſhall boaſt,
He deign’d to live, when fame was loſt.
Celario! thou my place ſuſtain,
The chiefs expect thee on the plain.
Ah! ne’er in earth The principal Indian figure made uſe of to expreſs the making peace, is burying the hatchet. the hatchet lay,
’Till thou haſt ſwept my foes away.
The ſtrong convulſions ſhake his lab’ring form,
Hard, and with pain, the loit’ring blood retires;
Thus ſinks the oak, when loud tornados ſtorm,
The kingly lion with ſuch pangs expires.
Cold to the heart, the peerleſs ſachem falls,
No heav’nly pow’rs the fleeting breath reſtrain,
No human aid his parted ſoul recals,
Whoſe life was virtue, and whoſe fate was pain.
Now wailing ſorrow murmurs thro the glade,
While to the tomb, Their tombs, or rather cemetaries, are of great extent, and of curious conſtruction, and to which the living pay the utmoſt veneration. Governor Jefferson’s Notes on Virginia. where ſleep his glorious race,
Erect, The poſture in which they bury their dead is either ſitting or ſtanding upright, believing that when they riſe, they muſt inhabit heaven in the ſame poſture in which they are buried. as when a ſubject tribe obey’d,
The mourn’d Ouâbi’s ſacred form they place.
Thus the great ſoul to realms of light aſcends!
Down at his feet the conq’ring hatchet They not only believe in the immortality of the ſoul, but alſo of the bodies of men and animals, and even of their warlike arms, and other inanimate things; and for this reaſon it is cuſtom with them to bury with their chiefs, his hatchet at his feet, with the handle perpendicular, his bow unſtrung over his head, and a coin (made, according to William Penn, of a fiſh’s bone highly poliſhed) in his hand. ſtands,
O’er his high head the ſpreading bow They not only believe in the immortality of the ſoul, but alſo of the bodies of men and animals, and even of their warlike arms, and other inanimate things; and for this reaſon it is cuſtom with them to bury with their chiefs, his hatchet at his feet, with the handle perpendicular, his bow unſtrung over his head, and a coin (made, according to William Penn, of a fiſh’s bone highly poliſhed) in his hand. extends,
The luſtral coin They not only believe in the immortality of the ſoul, but alſo of the bodies of men and animals, and even of their warlike arms, and other inanimate things; and for this reaſon it is cuſtom with them to bury with their chiefs, his hatchet at his feet, with the handle perpendicular, his bow unſtrung over his head, and a coin (made, according to William Penn, of a fiſh’s bone highly poliſhed) in his hand. adorns his lifeleſs hands!
While to the ſpot, made holy by his ſhade,
His faithful tribe with annual care return At ſtated periods the Indians reviſit the ſepulchres or cemetaries of their chiefs, and perform certain rites and ceremonies not preciſely known the the Anglo-Americans. Governor Jefferſon, in his notes, gives one inſtance of this cuſtom.
And, as the ſolemn obſequies are paid,
In pious love, and humble rev’rence mourn.
Each lonely Illinois, who wanders by, Theſe ſepulchres or cemetaries are raiſed to a very great heighth above the ſurface of the earth, by immenſe piles of ſtones. See Notes. And to prevent their being levelled by time, it is a religious duty for every one of the ſame nation, who accidentally paſſes it, to add one ſtone in reverence to the pile. See Letters to the Rev. Ezra Stiles—who ſays, Rowland remarks that this cuſtom exiſts among the vulgar Welſh to this day, the ſame kind of mounts being ſcattered over the weſt of England and Wales.
Will with the hero’s fame his way beguile,
In fond devotion bend the ſuppliant eye,
And add one pillar to the ſacred pile.
There ſhall he reſt! and if in realms of day,
The good, the brave, diffuſe a light divine,
Redoubled ſplendor gilds the brighten’d ray,
Which bids Ouâbi’s native virtues ſhine!
Let not the critic, with diſdainful eye,
In the weak verſe condemn the novel plan;
But own, that virtue beams in ev’ry ſky,
Tho wayward frailty is the lot of man.
Dear as ourſelves to hold each faithful friend,
To tread the path, which innate light inſpires,
To guard our country’s rites, her ſoil defend,
Is all that nature, all that heav’n requires.