The Cherokee Poem by Mary Weston Fordham

The Cherokee

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'Twas a cloudless morn and the sun shone bright,
And dewdrops sparkled clear;
And the hills and the vales of this Western land
Were wreathed with garlands rare.
For verdant spring with her emerald robe
Had decked the forest trees;
Whilst e'er and anon the vine-clad boughs
Waved in the playful breeze.

All, all was still, not a sound was heard,
Save the music of each tree,
As gracefully it bent and bowed
Its branches o'er the lea.
But hark! a sound, 'tis the Red man's tread,
Breaks on the silent air;
And a sturdy warrior issues forth,
Robed in his native gear.

And wandering on, he neared the brook;
Then sat him down to rest;
'Twas a noble sight-that warrior free-
That Monarch of the West.
He gazed around, O! a wistful gaze
Saddened his upturned brow,
As he thought of those he'd fondly loved,
Of those now laid so low.

He mused aloud 'Great Spirit!' list
To the Indian's earnest plea;
And tell me why, from his own loved home,
Must the Indian driven be.
When the 'Pale Face' came to our genial clime,
We wondered and were glad;
Then hied us to our chieftain's lodge,
Our noble 'Flying Cloud.'

We told him all, and he calmly said
He'd gladly give them place;
And if friends they proved, perchance, extend
The calumet of peace.
But soon, alas! the dread truth rang
That the Pale Face was our foe;
For he made our warriors bite the dust-
Our children lie so low.

So now, my own, dear, sunny land,
Each woodland and each dell,
Once the Indian's home, now the Indian's grave,
I bid a last farewell.
To the 'Great Spirit's' hunting-ground,
To meet my long-lost bride,
My 'Raven Wing' I gladly hie-
He said, then calmly died.

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