Funeral Poems - Poems For Funeral

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Chicomico - Part Iii - Poem by Lucretia Maria Davidson

WHILE swift on his way young Rathmond sped,
Death's horrors awaited those he fled.
Already were the prisoners bound,
One word, and every torch would fly;
No step was heard, nor feeblest sound,
Save the death-raven's wing on high!
The sign was given, each blazing brand
Like lightning, shot from every hand;
The crackling, sparkling fagots blazed, —
Then Montonoc his dark eye raised;
He whistled shrill — an answering call
Told that each foeman then should fall!
Sudden a band of warriors flew
From earth, as if from earth they grew.
The brake, the fern, and hazel-down,
Blazed brightly in the sinking sun;
Confusion, blood, and carnage then
Spread their broad pinions o'er the glen;
The blazing brands were quenched in blood,
And Montonoc unshackled stood!
He paused one moment — dark he frowned,
By dire revenge and slaughter crowned;
Then bent his bow, let loose the dart,
And pierced the foeman Chietain's heart.
Yes, Montonoc, thy arrow sped,
For Hillis-ha-ad-joe is dead!

And now within their hidden tent,
The conquered make their sad lament;
Before them lay their slaughtered king,
While slowly round they form the ring;
Dread e'en in death, the Chieftain's form
Seemed made to stride the whirlwind storm;
Upon his brow a dreadful frown
Still lingered as the warrior's crown;
And yet it seemed as mortal ire
Still sparkled in that eye of fire,
And blazing, soon should light the face
O'er which death's shadow held its place,
And like the lightning 'neath a cloud,
Shoot, flaming from its sable shroud.
But, hark! low notes of sorrow break
The solemn calm, and o'er the lake,
Float on the bosom of the gale;
Hark! 't is the Chieftain's funeral wail!

Fallen, fallen, fallen low
Lies great Hillis-ha-ad-joe!
To the land of the dead,
By the white man sped!

In his hunting garb they shall welcome him there,
To the land of the bow, and the antlered deer!
Fallen is Hillis-ha-ad-joe!
Chaunt his death-dirge sad and slow;
In the battle he fell, in the fight he died,
And many a brave warrior sunk by his side.
In his hunting garb they shall welcome him there,
To the land of the bow, and the antlered deer.

The sun is sinking in the deep,
Our 'mighty fallen one' we weep;
Fallen is Hillis-ha-ad-joe!
The axe has laid our broad oak low!
In his hunting garb they shall welcome him there,
To the land of the bow, and the antlered deer.

The last sad note had sunk on the breeze,
Which mournfully sighed among the dark trees,
When a forth thickly shrouded, swift glided along,
But joined not her voice to the funeral song.
When the notes cease, she knelt, and in accents of woe,
Besought the Great Spirit for Hillis-ad-joe.
Her words were but few, and her manner was wild,
For she was the slaughtered Chief's poor orphan child!
She raised her dark eye to the sun sinking red,
She looked, and that glance told that reason had fled!

Why does thy eye roll wild, Chicomico?
Why dost thou shake like aspen's quivering bough?
Why o'er that fine brow streams thy raven hair?
Read! for the 'wreck of reason's written there!'
'T is true! the storm was high, the surges wild,
And reason fled the Chieftain's orphan child!
Thou poor heart-broken wretch on life's wild sea,
Say! who is left to love, to comfort thee?
All, all are gone, and thou art left alone,
Like the last rose, by autumn rudely blown.

But she has fled, the wild and winged wind
Is by her left, long loitering far behind!
But whither has she fled? to wild-wood glen,
Far from the cares, the joys, the haunts of men!
Her bed the rock, her drink the rippling stream,
And murdered friends her ever constant dream!
Her wild death-song is wafted on the gale,
Which echoes round the Chieftain's funeral wail!
Her little skiff she paddles o'er the lake,
And bids 'the Daughter of the Voice,' awake!
From hill to hill the shrieking echoes run,
To greet the rising and the setting sun.


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