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THE CHIEFTAIN'S TEAR.
BY ROBERT R. RAYMOND.
"It is said that the Indians, when preparing to cross the Mississippi, left all their possessions, with peculiar stoicism, until they came to bid farewell to the graves of their fathers, when the stoutest warriors were moved, even to tears.
• JOURNAL OF COMMERCE,' 1837.
'Ay, fell the tall old groves — the sacred home
Of the Great Spirit! and the grass-grown mound,
And lay their offerings — level to the ground,
That proudly lifts its broad green crest on high
And waves its scalp-lock in the golden sky,
"When first he built the world, He planted it
By the hill-side there; and beneath its shade
When a young brave, and woo his star-eyed maid;
* It may not be generally known, that some of the Indian tribes talk without moving the lips. The writer has used this fact, as applying here, by 'license.'
"Close at its foot, a boy, with limbs unstrung
As the young fawn's, I drew the hickory bow, And at its trunk the river-pebble flung;
And now ha, see!-- it reeis! - can it be so? Ay, ay – he cuts it down! Well - let it go!
"With murderous bullet, drink the Indian's blood !
With ruthless steel, raze low his forest-home ! Rear your cursed cabins in the sacred wood,
To whose deep gloom the red-deer dared not roam, And none but the dark prophet's step, ere now, hath come.
'It matters not; my wasted tribe are gone!
My black-browed Maqua and her eaglet boy
On the blue hill-top stands the chieftain! Joy
'Beyond great Mississippi's sweeping wave,
The broken warrior takes his weary way; 'Mid Oregon's wild wastes to find a grave,
Where the big mountains hide the dying day, And nought may e'er disturb the banquet of decay.
'He heaves no sigh for the old hunting-ground !
Back on your heads a burning curse, to sear,
His soul Alings down to ye! Maneto, hear!
Swiftly he turned upon his heel and leaped,
In a dark clump of elms, that seemed as though,
His stalwart frame upon the ground, and strove -
Alas! for thee, my father! resting low,
Sleep on secure! 'Tis a brave brow
On a good arm!
"Tis well; thou didst live long enough to sing The death-song of thy tribe's renown, my sire;
And then thy spirit spread its chainless wing
Unmixed with fire.
Alas! my gentle wife! when, in my dream Of holy vengeance, 'mid red battle won,
I swore to faint not, I did fondly deem Ever to have thy dark eyes' fadeless beam
To cheer me on.
But from the stem they've torn the vine away And the tree's sapless. Oh, a glorious boon
'T would be, to follow! From yon cloud-born ray I see thee beckoning. Yet a brief day
I shall come soon!
And thou, my glorious boy! I thought, one dayOh, what proud hopes I garnered up for thee!
To see thee tallest of thy tribe, and they By thy brave arm, the invader swept away
Happy and frce.
'I thought to see thee, yet, chasing the deer, And grappling with the bear, o'er prairie-grass
And wood, pathless and all thine own; and hear Thy free whoop ringing on the sky-roof clear;
Alas! - alas!
Wife, people, sire and son, all gone! I know Ye're rambling now in the bright hunting-ground —
Where the grim pines upreaehing ever grow, And the deer rove, and mighty waters flow,
With onward bound.
'I hear ye calling, in the night-bird's lay, And in the winds that round my lone lodge moan;
Ye wait; I read it in each heaven-sent ray! Vain - vain! I may not go! 'Tis mine to stay,
Alone — alone!
As erst the rock smit by the prophet's wand
How blissful is it, O, J.....! when sympathizing souls commune ! Souls, which perhaps once loved in a former heaven, and now that they meet, the remembrance of each other arises dimly, like the confused recollection of a dream, of which naught but an indefinite though agreeable idea can be realized. Perchance Fate separated them, when they descended from that happy condition, to commence their perilous pilgrimage of trial in this strange land. But their better genius again unites them, even though years, mountains, and oceans may intervene. Scarcely do these twin souls awake from the confusion into which their fall into this wretched world has plunged them; scarcely do they feel their former serenity return, ere a secret longing also arises, strange even to themselves. They aspire to a good which is wanting; they are not contented. Oftentimes they are buried in solitary reveries, or, under the dark wings of the night, wander in serious dreams. A thousand varied visions pass before the meditating soul, but the chord is yet untouched; at length it creates an image worthy of its affection; it contemplates and loves it, and wishes, like Pygmalion, that it might exist, as yet ignorant that this picture has an original, and that it is only engaged in recalling lineaments once familiar. How pleasing is then the astonishment of these harmonizing spirits, when at an unboped-for and unexpected moment, that original stands in all its beauty before them! A secret magnetic attraction draws them together; they gaze and love for ever; and the more deeply, the longer they examine. And how could they do otherwise than love ? Their hearts are attuned to the sweetest harmony. Nature has the same charms for both ; this pure azure of the heavens, these balsamic flowers, this blooming landscape, that slumbers peacefully beneath the silver light of the moon, and the more lofty aspirations of the mind, spiritual beauty, order, goodness, innocence, virtue, which, unencouraged, unknown, and uninitiated, remains in the midst of the turmoils of a degenerate world, faithful to the call of heaven. All these affect both in the same manner. How delightful is it to them to unlock to each other their inmost thoughts ! How readily do they comprehend them! How speedily does each feeling find an answering emotion in the heart of the other! There is no great thought, no beautiful perception, no joyful hope, no noble deed, that they do not share in common. There is no dissonance in the one, which is not changed into harmony by the sympathy of the other. The mutual desire to approach ever more nearly the immortals in that holy land from whence they have sprung; this rooted desire, whether it be called virtue or religion, unites them in all that they think, and in all that they do. For what other species of harmony can exist between soul and soul, that is not based upon virtue?
Beware, oh ye grovelling souls! whom avarice or luxury (degrading cares!) unite for a brief space under the same yoke, beware that ye profane not the names of Love and Friendship! Call not that VOL. XI.
sympathy, which is only a shameful concurrence in vice; a feeling which you gratuitously baptize with the names of Love and Friendship, as Leda would conceal a vicious disposition beneath the glowing roses of her cheeks. Rest satisfied with your grosser pastimes and pleasures, undisturbed by us. Restrain yourselves within your proper limits, and grant that we may view the world in a different light; that we would rather nourish and enlarge our minds with mighty and certain hopes, than plunge into transient voluptuousness; would rather rejoice in a holy belief, than in wild creations of the fancy, that have no existence save in the brain of the dreamer; that our souls would rather commune with themselves, than be wasted in a thousand idle desires and frivolous follies; and that we believe ourselves to live so much the more, as the spirit soars free and conformable to its inborn nature, and as we can loosen the bonds that confine us to this earthly sphere.
And how can it be otherwise, than that all who are blessed with this mode of reflection, should stand in a close spiritual union, and yearn the one to the other, although they may never have seen opened their lips to each other? Their inclinations sympathize, their prayers
up in common to the same God; their souls strive in the same paths toward perfection ; their hopes aim at the same objects. It is true, that a veil is often suspended between them, so that they shall never know each other. Many will meet for the first time in another world. It is thus ordained by Him, who is all-wise. The earth is not to become a heaven. Nevertheless, a kind Providence frequently so orders it, that even here they may unite. And although space and time intervene, the mind of man has discovered a mean by which both may be annihilated, the inhabitants of far distant lands in a moment commune together, and the living be transported into the society of venerable shades, whose virtue is renovated with each century.
How often, when my soul flies from the vexations of the day to calm, solitary meditation, applies itself to its most beloved thoughts, and surrounds itself with visionary creations; how often then the sweet reflection has soothed me, that there is a companionship between minds, and that many paternal souls are scattered over the earth, who, perhaps, at this moment, like myself, are buried in reverie, and are calling up around them similar images and reflections. Then I indulge in these delightful dreams with calm rapture, and wander forth in imagination to meet these kindred spirits to my own, and sympathize with them, according to the circumstances in which they are placed. Perchance, this one longs for a friend to whom he may unburthen the sorrows of his heart ; one who will understand his feelings, and so advise him as to insure the return of peace; perchance, there is another, inexperienced but well-intentioned, in want of instruction; another astray, in need of advice; another despairing, to whom encouragement would be salvation; and another thoughtlessly pursuing a career, from whose fatal termination premonition might secure him. Thus do I imagine a varied tissue of events, in which my dearest and most intimate companions are concerned ; and animated by Friendship, I consider how I would teach or encourage, console or strengthen, punish or applaud. Then, committing my