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Antislavery Poetry from San Francisco

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The Pacific Appeal was the leading African American newspaper on the West Coast during the early 1860s.  A newly-published set of eight antislavery poems from the journal's inaugural 1862 volume captures the sense of expectancy within the African American community for the imminent end of US slavery.  These poems include the work of James Madison Bell, a San Francisco plasterer, brickmason, and poet.  Read more... 
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The Hireling and the Slave (XHTML)

An epic proslavery poem published in 1856 by William Grayson (Charleston, SC: McCarter & Co.). Digitized by the Antislavery Literature Project.




HIRELING AND THE SLAVE,
CHICORA,
AND OTHER POEMS.



BY



WILLIAM J. GRAYSON.



After all, Slavery in their case (the Jamaica slaves) is but another name for servitude. – M. G. LEWIS.

Irish whites have been long emancipated, and nobody asks them to work, or permits them to work, on condition of finding them potatoes. – CARLYLE.

I never saw servants in any old English family more comfortable or more devoted; it is a relief to see any thing so patriarchal after the * * * Northern States. I would rather be a slave here, than a grumbling, saucy "help" there. Miss MURRAY in Georgia.





CHARLESTON, S. C.:

McCARTER & CO., PUBLISHERS.

116 MEETING STREET.

1856.




[unnumbered page ii]



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand
eight hundred and fifty-six, by

McCARTER & CO.,

in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the United States
for the District of South Carolina.




[unnumbered page iii]


TO

JAMES L. PETIGRU, LL.D.


I ASK permission to inscribe the following verses to you. If not a fit offering to your taste and judgment, they at least give me an opportunity for saying how much I admire the wit, intellect, and learning which you have devoted with so much success to every noble purpose; which have never failed friend or stranger in distress, nor shrunk from a toil or sacrifice required by Justice, Humanity, or Generosity.

The most exalted station in society is that of the Advocate who employs distinguished legal attainments and abilities to defend the unfortunate, vindicate truth and right, and maintain law, order, and established government, and this station is universally admitted to be yours.

[unnumbered page iv]
[unnumbered page v]



PREFACE.


THE malignant abuse lavished on the slaveholders of America by writers in this country and England can be accounted for but in one way consistently with any degree of charitable consideration for the slanderers. They have no knowledge of the thing abused.

They substitute an ideal of their own contriving for the reality. They regard slavery as a system of chains, whips, and tortures. They consider its abuses as its necessary condition, and a cruel master its fair representative. Mr. Clarkson took up the subject, originally, as a fit one for a college exercise in rhetoric, and it became a rhetorical exercise for life to himself and his followers. With these people the cruelty of slavery is an affair of tropes and figures. But they have dealt so long in metaphorical fetters and prisons, that they have brought themselves to believe that the Negroes work in chains and live in dungeons.

To prove the evils of slavery, they collect, from all quarters, its abuses, and show the same regard for fairness and common sense as they would do to gather



[page vi]


all the atrocities of their own country committed by husbands and wives, parents and children, masters and servants, priest and people, and denounce these several relations in life in consequence of their abuses.

The laborer suffers wrong and cruelty in England, but they say it is against the law, against public opinion; he may apply to the courts for redress; these are open to him. Cruelty to the slave is equally against the law. It is equally condemned by public
opinion; and as to the courts of law being open to the pauper hireling, we may remember the reply of Sheridan to a similar remark, Yes, and so are the London hotels: justice and a good dinner at a public house are equally within his reach. If, in consequence of the evils incident to hireling labor because there are severe, heartless, grinding employers, and miserable, starving hirelings, it were proposed to abolish hireling labor, it would be quite as just and logical as the argument to abolish slavery because there are sufferings among slaves, and hard hearts among masters. The cruelty or suffering is no more a necessary part of the one system than of the other. Notwithstanding its abuses and miseries, the hireling system works beneficially with white laborers ; and so also, notwithstanding hard masters, slavery, among a Christian people, is advantageous to the Negro. But to establish the hireling system with Africans would be as wise as to endeavor to bestow the constitutional government of England on Ashantee or Dahomey. In both cases


[page vii]

there would be an equal amount of abstract truth and practical absurdity.

Slavery is that system of labor which exchanges subsistence for work, which secures a life-maintenance from the master to the slave, and gives a life-labor from the slave to the master. The slave is an apprentice for life, and owes his labor to his master; the master owes support, during life, to the slave. Slavery is the Negro system of labor. He is lazy and improvident. Slavery makes all work, and it insures homes, food, and clothing for all. It permits no idleness, and it provides for sickness, infancy, and old age. It allows no tramping or skulking, and it knows no pauperism.


This is the whole system substantially. All cruelty is an abuse; does not belong to the institution; is now punished, and may be in time prevented. The abuses of slavery are as open to all reforming influences as those of any other civil, social, or political condition.


The improvement in the treatment of the slave is as marked as in that of any other laboring class in the world. If it be true of the English soldier or sailor that his condition has been ameliorated in the last fifty years, it is quite as true of the negro.


If slavery is subject to abuses, it has its advantages also. It establishes more permanent, and, therefore, kinder relations between capital and labor. It removes what Stuart Mill calls "the widening and imbittering feud between the class of labor and the class of capi-



[page viii]

tal." It draws the relation closer between master and servant. It is not an engagement for days or weeks, but for life. There is no such thing with slavery as a laborer for whom nobody cares or provides. The most wretched feature in hireling labor is the isolated, miserable creature who has no home, no work, no food, and in whom no one is particularly interested. This is seen among hirelings only.

The sale of slaves is thought to be a great evil to the slave. But what is it substantially more than a transfer of labor from one employer to another? Is this an evil to the laborer? Would it be considered an evil by the European hireling if the laws required every master, before he dismissed his workmen, to secure to them another employer? Would it be an evil to the hireling to be certain of obtaining work to be safe from the misery of having no employer, no work, while he is starving for bread? The sale of the slave is the form in which the laws secure the slave from this misery of the hireling secure to him a certainty of employment and a certainty of subsistence. The hireling has neither.


I do not say that slavery is the best system of labor, but only that it is the best for the Negro in this country. In a nation composed of the same race or similar races, where the laborer is intelligent, industrious, and provident, money-wages may be better than
subsistence. Even under all advantages there are great defects in the hireling system, for which, hitherto, no



[page ix]

statesman has discovered an adequate remedy. In hireling states there are thousands of idlers, trampers, poachers, smugglers, drunkards, and thieves, who make theft a profession. There are thousands who suffer for want of food and clothing, from inability to obtain them. For these two classes those who will not work, and those who can not there is no sufficient provision. Among slaves there are no trampers, idlers, smugglers, poachers, and none suffer from want. Every one is made to work, and no one is permitted to starve. Slavery does for the Negro what European schemers in vain attempt to do for the hireling. It secures work and subsistence for all. It secures more order and subordination also.* The master is a Commissioner of the Poor on every plantation, to provide food, clothing, medicine, houses, for his people. He is a police-officer to prevent idleness, drunkenness, theft, or disorder. I do not mean by formal appointment of law, but by virtue of his relation to his slaves. There is, therefore, no starvation among slaves. There are, comparatively, few crimes. If there are paupers in slave states, they are the hirelings of other countries, who have run away from their homes. Pauperism began with them when serfage was abolished.


* One of the best arrangements for the relief of the hireling laborer is the provision made in France of houses where the children of laborers are taken in when the laborers go to work in the morning, are carefully attended during the day, and restored to the parents on their return at night. A similar provision for the care of children is found on every plantation.


[page x]

But you must confess, it is said, that slavery is an evil. True enough; in the same sense in which the hireling’s hard labor is an evil. But the poet tells us that there are worse things in the world than hard labor, "withouten that would come a heavier bale;" and so there are worse things for the Negro than slavery in a Christian land. Archbishop Hughes, in his late visit to Cuba, asked the Africans if they wished to return to their native country; the answer was always no. If the African is happier here than in his own country, can we say that, for him, the establishment of slavery is an evil? If the master is contented with his part in the system, with what reason can we regard it as an evil, so far as he is concerned? Slaves and masters are equally satisfied. The discontented are those who are neither.

What more can be required of slavery, in reference to the Negro, than has been done? It has made him, from a savage, an orderly and efficient laborer; it supports him in comfort and peace; it restrains his vices; it improves his mind, morals, and manners; it instructs him in Christian knowledge.


But the quarrel is with the master, and the design is to calumniate and injure him. And why this attack on the master? Who, among its pretended friends, will dare to say that they have done for the African race what the slaveholders of North America have done
and are doing? What Abolitionist has bestowed on the Negro the same enduring patience, the same useful


[page xi]

education, the same care and attendance? Who among them has done, or given, or sacrificed as much? Under the master’s care, the miserable black savage has been fed, clothed, instructed in useful arts, and made an important contributor to the business and enjoyments of the world. What have the Abolitionists done, what have they given, for the Negro race? They use the slave for the purposes of self-glorification only, indifferent about his present or future condition. They are ambitious to bring about a great social revolution — what its effects may be they do not care to inquire.

All Christians believe that the affairs of the world are directed by Providence for wise and good purposes. The coming of the Negro to North America makes no exception to the rule. His transportation was a rude mode of emigration; the only practicable one in his case; not attended with more wretchedness than the emigrant ship often exhibits even now, notwithstanding the passenger law. What the purpose of his coming is we may not presume to judge. But we can see much good already resulting from it — good to the Negro in his improved condition; to the country whose rich fields he has cleared of the forest, and made productive in climates unfit for the labor of the white man; to the Continent of Africa in furnishing, as it may ultimately, the only means for civilizing its people.


The end of slavery, then, would seem to be, present good to the slave himself, to .the country in which he labors and the world at large, and future good to his


[page xii]

race. Whether Mr. Clarkson or Lord Carlisle approve or disapprove of the mode in which it has pleased divine Providence to bring all this about, the event will probably be the same. It may be doubted whether these gentlemen and their friends could have administered the affairs of the world more wisely, whatever our opinion may be of their wisdom or benevolence. As they will never have the power to try, this must remain among the other unsettled questions that perplex the ingenuity of mankind.

There is, however, a plain, practicable mode in which these anti-slavery zealots may confer freedom on thousands, year after year, without offense to any party. The plan is simple and easy. Let them show their sympathy for the Negro, not by eloquent speeches, but more eloquent acts; not with sentiment, but with sovereigns. They can buy any number of Negroes and carry them where they please. For such a purpose the government would not object. Efficient laborers are wanted in the West Indies. Here is a ready way
to procure them. They may, in this manner, bestow freedom on many of the slaves of America, confer a benefit on their colonies, and gratify their own excited sensibilities with something more than unprofitable words. They feel profoundly for the Negro; let them feel to the amount of a million a year. This would be better than bringing Coolies from Asia and negroes from Africa by a system of very doubtful character. It would convince the world that their sympathy is an

[page xiii]

honest one, and not the offspring of vanity or arrogance.

An ingenious lady of South Carolina, in a very admirable letter, has made a similar proposal to the Duchess of Sutherland. But Her Grace is a near relation of the priest in the fable, who refused a half crown to a suppliant, but was ready enough to give him a blessing. The Abolitionists all belong to this benevolent class of world-menders, who are willing at all times to help every body, if it cost them no more than pretty phrases.


In the remarks made in reference to the condition of the hireling in Europe of England especially I have no feeling but compassion for the unfortunate paupers, and intend no reproach to their country. I venerate England as the great mother of nations, as our teacher in law, literature, civil and political liberty. The facts relating to the poverty, vice, brutality, and ignorance of the British laborer are taken, as may be seen from the notes attached, from English authorities; they can be multiplied a hundred fold. In adverting to them, I have merely desired to show that there is a poor and suffering class in all countries, the richest and most civilized not excepted laborers who get their daily bread by daily work, and that the slave is as well provided for as any other. The poor we shall have with us always; and whether the poor hireling or the poor slave is most the object of pity or subject of distress, is the only question proposed, and the true one at issue.


In comparing their several conditions, no contempt




[page xiv]

is implied, certainly none intended for the situation of the hireling poor. All honest labor is worthy of honor, that of the faithful slave not less so than any other. Moralists are accustomed to weigh the advantages and evils of the highest and lowest, the palace and cottage: what forbids us to do so with the good and ill of the two humblest stations of civilized life?

It may be thought unnecessary to invite public attention again to the subject of slavery. But if the subject be trite, it is also of incalculable and unceasing interest. I have endeavored to diversify the mode, if not the matter of the argument, by throwing the remarks offered into verse. I have done so, not only for the reason assigned, but with the additional purpose of offering some variety to the poetic forms that are almost universally prevalent. The poetry of the day is, for the most part, subtile and transcendental in its character. Every sentiment, reflection, or description is wrought into elaborate modes of expression from remote and fanciful analogies. The responses of the Muses have
become as mystical and sometimes as obscure as those of more ancient oracles, and disdain the older and homelier forms of English verse.

It has occurred to me that a return to the more sober style of an earlier period may not be an unreasonable experiment on the public taste. The fashion in dress and furniture now and then goes back a century or two; why not the fashion in verse? The school of Dryden
and Pope is not entirely forgotten. May we not imi-


[page xv]

tate the poetry of Queen Anne’s time as well as the tables and chairs? The common measure of that period, applied to a didactic subject, may diversify the dishes presented to the public, and provide for its appetite the same kind of relief that bread and butter or beef and pudding would offer after a long indulgence in more refined and elaborate dishes. The most fastidious appetite may tolerate an occasional change of diet, and exchange dainties now and then for plainer fare.



[unnumbered page]
[unnumbered title page]




____________________________

THE



HIRELING AND THE SLAVE.

____________________________




[unnumbered blank page]
[unnumbered title page]



PART I

________________

THE ARGUMENT.


THE state of the hireling and the slave the same substantially, the condition hard labor, the reward subsistence; the hireling does not always obtain the reward his miseries, starvation, vices, brutality, subjection to military service, expulsion from his country; the transportation of the Negro from Africa to America a blessing to him, instructs him in mechanic arts, in agriculture; the various products of his industry numerous and useful to the whole world; his improvement not possible in his own country, therefore brought by Providence to this; Abolitionists denouncers of Providence; their object selfish; the Negro improved by the master’s care only, the Abolitionists do nothing for him; the superiority of the slave over the rest of his race; his security from want; his education not more defective than that of hirelings in Europe; his punishments less severe for similar offenses; master’s police more efficient in preserving order and preventing vice.


[unnumbered blank page 20]
[unnumbered page 21]


THE


HIRELING AND THE SLAVE.

__________________________

PART FIRST.


Oh, mortal man, that livest here by toil,
Do not complain of this thy hard estate;

That, like an emmet, thou must ever moil,
Is a sad sentence of an ancient date;

And, certes, there is for it reason great.

* * * * *

Withouten that would come a heavier bale,
Loose life, unruly passions, and diseases pale.

CASTLE OF INDOLENCE


FALLEN from primeval innocence and ease,
When thornless fields employed him but to please,*
The laborer toils; and from his dripping brow
Moistens the lengthening farrows of the plow;
In vain he scorns or spurns his altered state,                 [5]
Tries each poor shift, and strives to cheat his fate:
In vain new-shapes his name to shun the ill
Slave, hireling, help the curse pursues him still;
Changeless the doom remains, the mincing phrase
May mock high Heaven, but not reverse its ways.         [10]


* "Cursed is the ground for thy sake; * * * thorns and thistles
shall it bring forth to thee; * * * in the sweat of thy brow shalt thou
eat bread." Genesis.

[page 22]

How small the choice, from cradle to the grave,
Between the lot of hireling, help, or slave!
To each alike applies the stern decree
That man shall labor; whether bond or free,
For all that toil, the recompense we claim —                 [15]
Food, fire, a home and clothing — is the same.1
The manumitted serfs of Europe find
Unchanged this sad estate of all mankind;
What blessing to the churl has freedom proved,
What want supplied, what task or toil removed?             [20]
Hard work and scanty wages still their lot,
In youth o’erlabored, and in age forgot,
The mocking boon of freedom they deplore,
In wants and labors never known before.*
Free but in name — the slaves of endless toil,                 [25]
In Britain still they turn, the stubborn soil,
Spread on each sea her sails for every mart,
Ply in her cities every useful art;
But vainly may the peasant toil and groan
To speed the plow in furrows not his own;                     [30]
In vain the art is plied, the sail is spread,
The day s work offered for the daily bread; 2
With hopeless eye, the pauper hireling sees
The homeward sail swell proudly to the breeze,
Rich fabrics wrought by his unequaled hand,                 [35]
Borne by each breeze to every distant land;
For him, no boon successful commerce yields,
For him no harvest crowns the joyous fields,
The streams of wealth that foster pomp and pride,
No food nor shelter for his wants provide;                     [40]


* Pauperism began with the abolition of serfage. Westminster Review.

[page 23]

He fails to win, by toil intensely hard,
The bare subsistence — labor’s least reward. 3
In squalid hut — a kennel for the poor,
Or noisome cellar, stretched upon the floor,
His clothing rags, of filthy straw his bed,                         [45]
With offal from the gutter daily fed, 4
Thrust out from Nature’s board, the hireling lies:
No place for him that common board supplies,
No neighbor helps, no charity attends,
No philanthropic sympathy befriends;
None heed the needy wretch’s dying groan,                     [50]
He starves unsuccor’d, perishes unknown.
These are the miseries, such the wants* the cares,
The bliss that freedom for the serf prepares;
Vain is his skill in each familiar task,
Capricious Fashion shifts her Protean mask,                     [55]
His ancient craft gives work and bread no more, 5
And Want and Death sit scowling at his door.
Close by the hovel, with benignant air,
To lordly halls illustrious crowds repair* —
The Levite tribes of Christian love that show                     [60]
No care nor pity for a neighbor’s woe;
Who meet, each distant evil to deplore,
But not to clothe or feed their country’s poor;
They waste no thought on common wants or pains,
On misery hid in filthy courts and lanes,                             [65]
On alms that ask no witnesses but Heaven,
By pious hands to secret suffering given;
Theirs the bright sunshine of the public eye,
The pomp and circumstance of charity,



* Exeter Hall, the show-place of English philanthropy.


[page 24]

The crowded meeting, the repeated cheer,                         [70]
The sweet applause of prelate, prince, or peer,
The long report of pious trophies won
Beyond the rising or the setting sun,
The mutual smile, the self-complacent air,
The labored speech and Pharisaic prayer,                         [75]
Thanksgivings for their purer hearts and. hands,
Scorn for the publicans of other lands,
And soft addresses — Sutherland’s delight,
That gentle dames at pious parties write —
These are the cheats that vanity prepares,                         [80]
The charmed deceits of her seductive fairs,
When Exeter expands her portals wide,
And England’s saintly coteries decide
The proper nostrum for each evil known
In every land on earth, except their own,                           [85]
But never heed the sufferings, wants, or sins
At home, where all true charity begins.
There, unconcerned, the philanthropic eye
Beholds each phase of human misery;
Sees the worn child compelled in mines to slave                [90]
Through narrow seams of coal, a living grave,
Driven from the breezy hill, the sunny glade,
By ruthless hearts, the drudge of labor made,
Unknown the boyish sport, the hours of play,
Stripped of the common boon, the light of day,                 [95]
Harnessed like brutes, like brutes to tug, and strain,
And drag, on hands and knees, the loaded wain:
There crammed in huts, in reeking masses thrown,
All moral sense and decency unknown, 6
With no restraint but what the felon knows,                     [100]
With the sole joy that beer or gin bestows,



[page 25]

To gross excess and brutalizing strife,
The drunken hireling dedicates his life: 7
Starved else, by infamy’s sad wages fed,
There women prostitute themselves for bread,                 [105]
And mothers, rioting with savage glee,
For murder’d infants spend the funeral fee; 8
Childhood bestows no childish sports or toys,
Age neither reverence nor repose enjoys,
Labor with hunger wages ceaseless strife,                         [110]
And want and suffering only end with life;
In crowded huts contagious ills prevail,
Dull typhus lurks, and deadlier plagues assail, 9
Gaunt Famine prowls around his pauper prey,
And daily sweeps his ghastly hosts away;                         [115]
Unburied corpses taint the summer air,
And crime and outrage revel with despair. 10
Torn from the cottage, conscript peasants go
To distant wars, against an unknown foe,
On fields of carnage, at ambition’s call,                             [120]
Perish — the warrior’s tool, the monarch’s thrall;
Wasted by plagues, unhonored their remains,
They fill a ditch on Danube’s marshy plains;
In the night trench of mingled mire and blood,
Swept by cold winds and rains, a ceaseless flood,             [125]
Half fed, half clad, the tentless earth their bed,
Reeking with gore in mutual slaughter shed,
Scourged by disease, at every dreary post,
They fall in myriads on Crimea’s coast,
Or whelmed in snows on Beresina’s shore,                         [130]
Sleep the long treacherous sleep that wakes no more;
Worn by the toilsome march, the sleety sky,
Crouching in groups, the sinking squadrons lie:


[page 26]

No longer fly the fierce barbarian bands,
But, rapt in visions of far-distant lands,                                 [135]
In their last wild delirious fancies see
The sunny hills — the haunts of infancy,
Green summer meadows, warm unclouded skies,
Welcomes of homely joy and glad surprise,
Till the stern frost-king stops the crimson stream                 [140]
Of life, and breaks the dying soldier’s dream;
Home, friends recede before his icy sway,
The dream of bliss and dreamer fade away,
With frozen hosts, the snowy waste is spread,
And howling wolves feast on the unburied dead.                 [145]
Far from their humble homes and native land,
Forced by a landlord’s pitiless command, 11
In uncongenial climes condemned to roam,
That sheep may batten in the peasant’s home,
The pauper exiles, from the hill that yields                             [150]
One parting look on their abandoned fields,
Behold with tears no manhood can restrain,
Their ancient hamlet level’d with the plain:
Then go in crowded ships new ills to find,
More hideous still than those they left behind;                         [155]
Grim Chol’ra thins their ranks, ship-fevers sweep
Their livid tithes of victims to the deep;
The sad survivors, on a foreign shore,
The double loss of homes and friends deplore,
And beg a stranger’s bounty to supply                                  [160]
The food and shelter that their homes deny.
Yet homebred misery, such as this, imparts
Nor grief nor care to philanthropic hearts; 12
The tear of sympathy forever flows,
Though not for Saxon or for Celtic woes;                             [165]

[page 27]

Vainly the starving white, at every door,
Craves help or pity for the hireling poor;
But that the distant black may softlier fare,
Eat, sleep, and play, exempt from toil and care,
All England’s meek philanthropists unite                                 [170]
With frantic eagerness, harangue and write;
By purchased tools diffuse distrust and hate,
Sow factious strife in each dependent state,
Cheat with delusive lies the public mind,
Invent the cruelties they fail to find, 13                                    [175]
Slander, in pious garb, with prayer and hymn,
And blast a people s fortune for a whim.
Cursed by these factious arts, that take the guise
Of charity to cheat the good and wise,
The bright Antilles, with each closing year,                             [180]
See harvests fail, and fortunes disappear;
The cane no more its golden treasure yields;
Unsightly weeds deform the fertile fields;
The negro freeman, thrifty while a slave,
Loosed from restraint, becomes a drone or knave;                 [185]
Each effort to improve his nature foils,
Begs, steals, or sleeps and starves, but never toils;
For savage sloth mistakes the freedom won,
And ends the mere barbarian he begun. 14
Then, with a face of self-complacent smiles,                             [190]
Pleased with the ruin of these hapless isles,
And charmed with this cheap way of gaining heaven
By alms at cost of other countries given —
Like Nathan’s host, who hospitably gave
His guest a neighbor’s lamb his own to save,                             [195]
Clarkson’s meek school beholds with eager eyes,
In other climes, new fields of glory rise,

[page 28]

And heedless still of home, its care bestows,
In other lands, on other Negro woes.
Hesperian lands, beyond the Atlantic wave,                             [200]
Home of the poor, and refuge of the brave,
Who, vainly striving with oppression, fly
To find new homes beneath a happier sky;
Hither, to quiet vale or mountain side,
Where Peace and Nature undisturbed abide,                             [205]
In humble scenes unwonted lore to learn,
Patriot and prince their banished footsteps turn;
The exiled Bourbon finds a place of rest,
And Kossuth comes, a nation’s thankless guest;
Here, driven by bigots to their last retreat,                                 [210]
All forms of faith a safe asylum meet,
Each as it wills, untouched by former fears,
Its prayer repeats, its cherished altar rears:
Scorned by all tongues, assailed by every hand,
Alien and outcast from his promised land,                                 [215]
From Carmel’s heights and Sion’s holier hill,
By God’s decree a ceaseless wanderer still,
The Hebrew finds, his long oppression past,
A grateful home of equal laws at last;
The Jesuit’s zeal, in this secure abode,                                     [220]
No hostile edict fears, nor penal code,
And Luther’s followers, in their Western home,
Like Bachman, scorn the bulls and fires of Rome.
To exile flying from a perjured state,
From royal bigotry and papal hate,                                         [225]
The Huguenot, among his ancient foes,
Found shelter here and undisturbed repose;
Sad the long look the parting exile gave
To France receding on the rising wave!


[page 29]

Her daisied meads shall smile for him no more,                         [230]
Her orchards furnish no autumnal store,
With memory’s eye alone the wanderer sees
The vine-clad hills, the old familiar trees,
The castled steep, the noonday village shade,
The trim quaint garden where his childhood played;                     [235]
No more he joins the labor of the fields,
Or shares the joy the merry vintage yields;
Gone are the valley homes, by sparkling streams
That long shall murmur in the exile’s dreams,
And temples, where his sires were wont to pray,                         [240]
With stern Farel and chivalrous Mornay —
Scenes with long-treasured memories richly fraught,
Where Sully counseled, where Coligni fought,
And Henri’s meteor plume in battle shone,
A beacon-light to victory and a throne.                                         [245]
These all are lost; but, smiling in the West,
Hope, still alluring, calms the anxious breast;
And, dimly rising through the landward haze,
New forms of beauty court his wistful gaze:
The level line of strand that brightly shines                                     [250]
Between the rippling waves and dusky pines,
A shelving beach that sandy hillocks bound,
With clumps of palm and fragrant myrtle crowned;
Low shores, with margins broad of marshy green,
Bright winding streams the grassy wastes between,                         [255]
Wood-crested islands that o’erlook the main,
Like dark hills rising on a verdant plain;
Trees of new beauty, climbing to the skies,
With various verdure meet his wondering eyes:
Gigantic oaks, the monarchs of the wood,                                     [260]
Whose stooping branches sweep the rising flood,


[page 30]

And, robed in solemn draperies of moss,
To stormy winds their proud defiance toss;
Magnolias bright with glossy leaves and flowers,
Fragrant as Eden in its happiest hours;                                             [265]
The gloomy cypress, towering to the skies,
The maple, loveliest in autumnal dyes,
The palm armorial, with its tufted head,
Vines over all in wild luxuriance spread,
And columned pines, a mystic wood, he sees,                                 [270]
That sigh and whisper to the passing breeze:
Here, with determined will and patient toil,
From wood and swamp he wins the fertile soil;
To every hardship stern endurance brings,
And builds a fortune undisturbed by kings;                                         [275]
Fair fields of wealth and ease his children find,
Nor heed the homes their fathers left behind.
Companions of his toil, the axe to wield,
To guide the plow, and reap the teeming field,
A sable multitude unceasing pour                                                     [280]
From Niger’s banks and Congo’s deadly shore;
No willing travelers they, that widely roam,
Allured by hope to seek a happier home,
But victims to the trader’s thirst for gold,
Kidnapped by brothers, and by fathers sold,                                     [285]
The bondsman born, by native masters reared,
The captive band in recent battle spared;
For English merchants bought; across the main,
In British ships, they go for Britain’s gain;
Forced on her subjects in dependent lands,                                     [290]
By cruel hearts and avaricious hands,
New tasks they learn, new masters they obey,
And bow submissive to the white man’s sway.


[page 31]

But Providence, by his overruling will,
Transmutes to lasting good the transient ill,                                         [295]
Makes crime itself the means of mercy prove,
And avarice minister to works of love.
In this new home, whate’er the negro’s fate —
More bless’d his life than in his native state!
No mummeries dupe, no Fetich charms affright,                                 [300]
Nor rites obscene diffuse their moral blight;
Idolatries, more hateful than the grave,
With human sacrifice, no more enslave;
No savage rule its hecatomb supplies
Of slaves for slaughter when a master dies: 15                                     [305]
In sloth and error sunk for countless years
His race has lived, but light at last appears —
Celestial light: religion undefiled
Dawns in the heart of Congo’s simple child;
Her glorious truths he hears with glad surprise,                                     [310]
And lifts his eye with rapture to the skies;
The noblest thoughts that erring mortals know,
Waked by her influence, in his bosom glow;
His nature owns the renovating sway,
And all the old barbarian melts away.                                                 [315]
And now, with sturdy hand and cheerful heart,
He learns to master every useful art,
To forge the axe, to mould the rugged share,
The ship’s brave keel for angry waves prepare:
The rising wall obeys his plastic will,                                                     [320]
And the loom’s fabric owns his ready skill.
Where once the Indian’s keen, unerring aim,
With shafts of reed transfixed the forest game,
Where painted warriors late in ambush stood,
And midnight war-whoops shook the trembling wood,                         [325]



[page 32]

The Negro wins, with well-directed toil,
Its various treasures from the virgin soil;
Swept by his axe the forests pass away,
The dense swamp opens to the light of day;
The deep morass of reeds and fetid mud,                                             [330]
Now dry, now covered by the rising flood,
In squares arranged by lines of bank and drain,
Smiles with rich harvests of the golden grain,
That, wrought from ooze by nature’s curious art
To pearly whiteness, cheers the Negro’s heart,                                     [335]
Smokes on the master’s board in goodly show,
A mimic pyramid of seeming snow,
And borne by commerce to each distant shore,
Supplies the world with one enjoyment more.
On upland slopes, with jungle lately spread,                                         [340]
The lordly maize uplifts its tasseled head;
Broad, graceful leaves of waving green appear,
And shining threads adorn the swelling ear —
The matchless ear, whose milky stores imparts
A feast that mocks the daintiest powers of art                                       [345]
To every taste; whose riper bounty yields
A grateful feast amid a thousand fields,
And sent, on mercy s errand, from the slave
To starving hirelings, saves them from the grave.
In broader limits, by the loftier maize,                                                   [350]
The silk-like cotton all its wealth displays:
Through forked leaves, in endless rows unfold
Gay blossoms tinged with purple dyes and gold;
To suns autumnal bursting pods disclose
Their fleeces, spotless as descending snows;                                        [355]
These, a rich freight, a thousand ships receive,
A thousand looms with fairy fingers weave;



[page 33]

And hireling multitudes in other lands 16
Are blessed with raiment from the Negro’s hands.
Nor these alone they give; their useful toil                                             [340]
Lures the rich cane to its adopted soil —
The luscious cane, whose genial sweets diffuse
More social joys than Hybla’s honeyed dews;
Without whose help no civic feast is made,
No bridal cake delights — without whose aid                                     [345]
China’s enchanting cup itself appears
To lose its virtue, and no longer cheers,
Arabia’s fragrant berry idly wastes
Its pure aroma on untutored tastes,
Limes of delicious scent and golden rind                                             [350]
Their pungent treasures unregarded find,
Ices refresh the languid belle no more,
And their lost comfits infant worlds deplore.
The weed’s soft influence, too, his hands prepare,
That soothes the beggar’s grief, the monarch’s care,                         [355]
Cheers the lone scholar at his midnight work,
Subdues alike the Russian and the Turk,
The saint beguiles, the heart of toil revives,
Ennui itself of half its gloom deprives,
In fragrant clouds involves the learned and great,                              [360]
In golden boxes helps the toils of state,
And, with strange magic and mysterious charm,
Hunger can stay, and bores and duns disarm.
These precious products, in successive years,
Trained by a master’s skill, the Negro rears;                                     [365]
New life he gives to Europe’s busy marts,
To all the world new comforts and new arts;
Loom, spinner, merchant, from his hands derive
Their wealth, and myriads by his labor thrive;



[page 34]

While slothful millions, hopeless of relief,                                         [370]
The slaves of pagan priest and brutal chief,
Harassed by wars upon their native shore,
Still lead the savage life they led before.
Instructed thus, and in the only school
Barbarians ever know — a master’s rule,                                     [375]
The Negro learns each civilizing art
That softens and subdues the savage heart,
Assumes the tone of those with whom he lives, 17
Acquires the habit that refinement gives,
And slowly learns, but surely, while a slave,                                 [380]
The lessons that his country never gave.
There tropic suns with fires unceasing pour
A baleful radiance on the deadly shore;
Foul vapors guard it; a remorseless host
Of phrensied fevers sentinel the coast,                                         [385]
Brood on the stream, the forest depths invade,
Lurk with alluring slumber in the shade,
Pursue the stranger that attempts to brave
Their fatal power, and hurl him to the grave.
Science in vain her healing hand applies,                                     [390]
From the dread coast refining Commerce flies,
The savage gloom no foreign lights remove
Of arts or arms that conquer to improve;
Nor yet beneath these unpropitious skies,
Of native growth, can art or science rise;                                     [395]
While states and empires — an august array,
In ruin glorious, flourish and decay;
No sable muses here, with voice divine,
Speak the charmed words that soften and refine,
No black Prometheus with heroic heart,                                     [400]
Wins and bestows the shining gifts of art,




[page 35]

Bondsman of Fetich violence and lust,
A slave of slaves, the Negro licks the dust,
Unchanged since Heaven’s creative word outspread
The seas, and heaved the mountains from their bed.                     [405]
Hence is the Negro come, by God’s command,
For wiser teaching to a foreign land;
If they who brought him were by Mammon driven,
Still have they served, blind instruments of Heaven;
And though the way be rough, the agent stern,                             [410]
No better mode can human wits discern,
No happier system wealth or virtue find, 18
To tame and elevate the Negro mind:
Thus mortal purposes, whate’er their mood,
Are only means with Heaven for working good;                         [415]
And wisest they who labor to fulfill,
With zeal and hope, the all-directing will,
And in each change that marks the fleeting year,
Submissive see God’s guiding hand appear.
Such was the lesson that the patriarch taught,                             [420]
By brothers sold, a slave to Egypt brought,
When, throned in state, vicegerent of the land,
He saw around his guilty brethren stand,
On each pale, quivering lip, remorse confess’d,
And fear and shame in each repentant breast;                             [425]
No flashing eye rebuked, no scathing word
Of stern reproof the trembling brothers heard;
Love only glistened in the prophet’s eyes,
And cheering told the purpose of the skies;
Grieve not your hearts, he said, dismiss your fear,                     [430]
It was not you, but Heaven, that sent me here;
His chosen instrument, I come to save
Pharaoh’s proud hosts and people from the grave,



[page 36]

From Egypt s ample granaries to give
Their hoarded stores, and bid the dying live:                             [435]
To Israel’s race deliverance to impart,
And soothe the sorrows of the old man’s heart:*
This Heaven’s high end; to further the design,
As he commands, your humble task and mine.
So here, though hid the end from mortal view,                         [440]
Heaven’s gracious purpose brings the Negro too;
He comes by God’s decree, not chance nor fate,
Not force, nor fraud, nor grasping scheme of state,
As Joseph came to Pharaoh’s storied land,
Not by a brother’s wrath, but Heaven’s command;                 [445]
What though humaner Carlisle disapprove,
Profounder Brougham† his vote of censure move,
And Clarkson’s friends with modest ardor show
How much more wisely they could rule below,
Prove, with meek arrogance and lowly pride,                         [450]
What ills they could remove, what bliss provide,
Forestall the Savior’s mercy, and devise
A scheme to wipe all tears from mortal eyes;
Yet time shall vindicate Heaven’s humbler plan,
"And justify the ways of God to man."                                     [455]
But if, though wise and good the purposed end,
Reproach and scorn the instrument attend;
If, when the final blessing is confess’d,
Still the vile slaver all the world detest;
Arraign the states that sent their ships of late 19                         [460]
To barter beads and rum for human freight,
That claimed the right, by treaty, to provide
Slaves for themselves, and half the world beside,


* "That old man, of whom ye spake, is he yet alive?"
† "Pronounced Broom from Trent to Tay." — BYRON.


[page 37]

And from the Hebrew learned the craft so well,
Their sable brothers to enslave and sell.                                     [465]
Shame and remorse o’erwhelmed the Hebrew race,
And penitence was stamped on every face;
But modern slavers, more sagacious grown,
In all the wrong, can see no part their own;
They drag the Negro from his native shore,                                [470]
Make him a slave, and then his fate deplore;
Sell him in distant countries, and when sold,
Revile the buyers, but retain the gold:
Dextrous to win, in time, by various ways,
Substantial profit and alluring praise,                                         [475]
By turns they grow rapacious and humane,
And seize alike the honor and the gain:
Had Joseph’s brethren known this modern art,
And played with skill the philanthropic part,
How had bold Judah raved in freedom’s cause,                         [480]
How Levi cursed the foul Egyptian laws,
And Issachar, in speech or long report, 20
Brayed at the masters found in Pharaoh’s court,
And taught the king himself the sin to hold
Enslaved the brother they had lately sold,                                 [485]
Proving that sins of traffic never lie
On knaves who sell, but on the dupes that buy.
Such now the maxims of the purer school*
Of ethic lore, where sons of slavers rule; 21
No more allowed the Negro to enslave,                                     [490]
They damn the master, and for freedom rave,


* The purer school of New England, which sets aside the Constitution and the Gospel, and substitutes Parker for St. Paul, and Beecher and Garrison for the Evangelists.


[page 38]

Strange modes of morals and of faith unfold,
Make newer gospels supersede the old,
Prove that ungodly Paul connived at sin,
And holier rites, like Mormon’s priest, begin;                             [495]
There, chief and teacher, Gerrit Smith appears,
There Tappan mourns, like Niobe, all tears,
Carnage and fire mad Garrison invokes,
And Hale, with better temper, smirks and jokes;
There Giddings, with the Negro mania bit,                                 [500]
Mouths, and mistakes his ribaldry for wit,
His fustian speeches into market brings,
And prints and peddles all the paltry things;
The pest and scorn of legislative halls,
No rule restrains him, no disgrace appalls;                                 [505]
Kicked from the House, the creature knows no pain,
But crawls, contented, to his seat again, 22
Wallows with joy in slander’s slough once more,
And plays Thersites happier than before;
Prompt from his seat —— when distant riots need                     [510]
The Senate’s aid —— he flies with railway speed,
Harangues, brags, bullies, then resumes his chair,
And wears his trophies with a hero’s air;
His colleagues scourge him; but he shrewdly shows
A profitable use for whips and blows —                                     [515]
His friends and voters mark the increasing score,
Count every lash, and honor him the more.
There supple Sumner, with the Negro cause,
Plays the sly game for office and applause; 23
What boots it if the Negro sink or swim?                                     [520]
He wins the Senate —— ‘tis enough for him.
What though he blast the fortunes of the state
With fierce dissension and enduring hate?



[page 39]

He makes his speech, his rhetoric displays,
Trims the neat trope, and points the sparkling                             [525]
    phrase
With well-turned period, fosters civil strife,
And barters for a phrase a nation’s life;
Sworn into office, his nice feelings loathe*
The dog-like faithfulness that keeps an oath;                             [530]
For rules of right the silly crowd may bawl,
His loftier spirit scorns and spurns them all;
He heeds nor court’s decree nor Gospel light,
What Sumner thinks is right alone is right;
On this sound maxim sires and sons proceed,                             [535]
Changed in all else, but still in this agreed;
The sires all slavers, the humaner son
Curses the trade, and mourns the mischief done.
For gold they made the Negroes slaves, and he
For fame and office seeks to set them free;                                 [540]
Self still the end in which their creeds unite,
And that which serves the end is always right.
There Greeley, grieving at a brother’s woe,
Spits with impartial spite on friend and foe; 24
His Negro griefs and sympathies produce                                     [545]
No nobler fruits than malice and abuse;
To each fanatical delusion prone,
He damns all creeds and parties but his own,
Brawls, with hot zeal, for every fool and knave,
The foreign felon and the skulking slave;                                     [550]
Even Chaplin, sneaking from his jail, receives 25
The Tribune’s sympathy for punished thieves,


* "Is thy servant a dog that he should do this thing?" Mr. Sumner’s answer, when asked whether he would obey the Constitution as interpreted by the authorities of the country.


[page 40]

And faction’s fiercest rabble always find
A kindred nature in the Tribune’s mind;
Heady each, furious impulse to obey,                                         [555]
He raves and ravens like a beast of prey,
To bloody outrage stimulates his friends,
And fires the Capitol for party ends. 26
There Seward smiles the sweet perennial smile,
Skilled in the tricks of subtlety and guile;                                     [560]
The slyest schemer that the world e’er saw;
Peddler of sentiment and patent law;
Ready for fee or faction to display
His skill in either, if the practice pay,
But void of all that makes the frank and brave,                             [565]
And smooth, and soft, and crafty like the slave;
Soft as Couthon when, versed in civil strife,
He sent his daily victims to the knife,
Women proscribed with calm and gentle grace,
And murdered mildly with a smiling face:                                     [570]
Parental rule in youth he bravely spurned,
And higher law with boyish wit discerned;
A village teacher then, his style betrays
The pedant practice of those learned days,
When boys, not demagogues, obeyed his nod,                             [575]
His higher law the tear-compelling rod;
While Georgia’s guest, a pleasant life he led,
And Slavery fed him with her savory bread,
As now it helps him, in an ampler way,
With spells and charms that factious hordes obey.                         [580]
There Stowe, with prostituted pen, assails
One half her country in malignant tales;
Careless, like Trollope, whether truth she tells,
And anxious only how the libel sells,


[page 41]

To slander’s mart she furnishes supplies,                                     [585]
And feeds its morbid appetite for lies
On fictions fashioned with malicious art,
The venal pencil, and malignant heart,
With fact distorted, inference unsound,
Creatures in fancy, not in nature found                                         [590]
Chaste Quadroon virgins, saints of sable hue,
Martyrs, than zealous Paul more tried and true,
Demoniac masters, sentimental slaves,
Mulatto cavaliers, and Creole knaves
Monsters each portrait drawn, each story told I                             [595]
What then? The book may bring its weight in gold;
Enough! upon the crafty rule she leans,
That makes the purpose justify the means,
Concocts the venom, and, with eager gaze,
To Glasgow flies for patron, pence, and praise, 27                         [600]
And for a slandered country finds rewards
In smiles or sneers of duchesses and lords. 28
For profits and applauses poor as these,
To the false tale she adds its falser Keys*
Of gathered slanders —— her ignoble aim,                                 [605]
With foes to traffic in her country’s shame.
Strange power of nature, from whose efforts flow
Such diverse forms as Nightingale and Stowe!
One glares a torch of discord; one a star
Of blessing shines amid the wrecks of war;                                 [610]
One prone to libel; one to deeds of love;
The vulture-spirit one, and one the dove;


* Mrs. Stowe has published what she calls a Key to her tale. It is a compilation of all the slanders and crimes among slaveholders; just as she would write a story denouncing matrimony, and make a Key, from the courts or gossiping chronicles, of all the cruelties, murders, and adulteries of husbands and wives, representing the crimes as the normal condition of the relation.


[page 42]

In various joys their various natures deal,
One leaves her home to wound it, one to heal;
That to expose its sorrows, not deplore;                                         [615]
To help and cheer, this seeks a foreign shore.
Far from her country, where Marmora flows,
On Mercy’s errand England’s daughter goes,
To tend the suffering sick with woman’s care,
To snatch the bleeding soldier from despair;                                     [620]
Bend o’er his couch, his languid head sustain,
With tender hand assuage the pangs of pain,
Watch o’er the dying moments of the brave,
And smooth, at least, his passage to the grave;
Love’s labor this, and —— hers no common fame!                         [625]
With the heart’s homage millions bless her name.
Not such with Stowe, the wish or power to please,
She finds no joys in gentle deeds like these;
A moral scavenger, with greedy eye,
In social ills her coarser labors lie;                                                     [630]
On fields where vice eludes the light of day,
She hunts up crimes as beagles hunt their prey;
Gleans every dirty nook —— the felon’s jail,
And hangman’s mem’ry, for detraction’s tale,
Snuffs up pollution with a pious air,                                                  [635]
Collects a rumor here, a slander there;
With hatred’s ardor gathers Newgate spoils,
And trades for gold the garbage of her toils.
In sink and sewer thus, with searching eye,
Through mud and slime unhappy wretches pry;                                 [640]
In fetid puddles dabble with delight,
Search every filthy gathering of the night;
Fish from its depths, and to the spacious bag
Convey with care the black, polluted rag;


[page 43]

With reeking waifs secure the nightly bed,                                         [645]
And turn their noisome stores to daily bread.
These use the Negro, a convenient tool,
That yields substantial gain or party rule,
Gives what without it they could never know,
To Chase distinction, courtly friends to Stowe,                                 [650]
To Parker, themes for miracles of rant,
And Beecher blesses with new gifts of cant.
The master’s task has been the black to train,
To form his mind, his passions to restrain;
With anxious care and patience to impart                                         [655]
The knowledge that subdues the savage heart,
To give the Gospel lessons that control
The rudest breast, and renovate the soul ——
Who does, or gives as much, of all who raise
Their sland’rous cry for foreign pence or praise;                                [660]
Of all the knaves who clamor and declaim
For party power or philanthropic fame,
Or use the Negro’s fancied wrongs and woes
As pretty themes for maudlin verse or prose?
Taught by the master’s efforts, by his care                                         [665]
Fed, clothed, protected many a patient year,
From trivial numbers now to millions grown,
With all the white man s useful arts their own,
Industrious, docile, skilled in wood and field,
To guide the plow, the sturdy axe to wield,                                         [670]
The Negroes schooled by slavery embrace
The highest portion of the Negro race;
And none the savage native will compare,
Of barbarous Guinea, with its offspring here.
If bound to daily labor while he lives,                                                 [675]
His is the daily bread that labor gives;


[page 44]

Guarded from want, from beggary secure,
He never feels what hireling crowds endure,
Nor knows, like them, in hopeless want to crave,                                 [680]
For wife and child, the comforts of the slave,
Or the sad thought that, when about to die,
He leaves them to the cold world’s charity,
And sees them slowly seek the poor-house door ——
The last, vile, hated refuge of the poor. 29                                             [685]
Still Europe’s saints, that mark the motes alone
In other’s eyes, yet never see their own,
Grieve that the slave is never taught to write,
And reads no better than the hireling white;
Do their own plowmen no instruction lack,                                         [690]
Have whiter clowns more knowledge than the black?
Has the French peasant, or the German boor,
Of learning’s treasure any larger store;
Have Ireland’s millions, flying from the rule
Of those who censure, ever known a school?                                     [695]
A thousand years and Europe’s wealth impart
No means to mend the hireling’s head or heart;
They build no schools to teach the pauper white,
Their toiling millions neither read nor write;
Whence, then, the idle clamor when they rave                                     [700]
Of schools and teachers for the distant slave? 30
And why the soft regret, the coarse attack,
If Justice punish the offending black?
Are whites not punished? When Utopian times
Shall drive from earth all miseries and crimes,                                     [705]
And teach the world the art to do without
The cat, the gauntlet, and the brutal knout,
Banish the halter, galley, jails, and chains,
And strip the law of penalties and pains;


[page 45]

Here, too, offense and wrong they may prevent,                                 [710]
And slaves, with hirelings, need no punishment:
31
Till then, what lash of slavery will compare
With the dread scourge that British soldiers bear?
What gentle rule, in Britain’s Isle, prevails,
How rare her use of gibbets, stocks, and jails!                                   [715]
How much humaner than a master’s whip,
Her penal colony and convict ship!
Whose code of law can darker pages show,
Where blood for smaller misdemeanors flow?
The trifling theft or trespass, that demands                                         [720]
For slaves light penance from a master’s hands,
Where Europe’s milder punishments are known,
Incurs the penalty of death alone.
And yet the master’s lighter rule insures
More order than the sternest code secures;                                         [725]
No mobs of factious workmen gather here,
No strikes we dread, no lawless riots fear;
Nuns, from their convent driven, at midnight fly, 32
Churches, in flames, ask vengeance from the sky,
Seditious schemes in bloody tumults end,                                         [730]
Parsons incite, and senators defend,
But not where slaves their easy labors ply,
Safe from the snare, beneath a master’s eye;
In useful tasks engaged, employed their time,
Untempted by the demagogue, to crime,                                         [735]
Secure they toil, uncursed their peaceful life,
With labor’s hungry broils and wasteful strife.*
No want to goad, no faction to deplore,
The slave escapes the perils of the poor.


* The late Preston strike lost to the parties —— masters and workmen —— over two millions of dollars, and ended where it began.


[unnumbered blank page 46]
[unnumbered page 47]


PART II.

_________________

THE ARGUMENT.


THE hireling in Europe willing to exchange for the security of the slave his own precarious subsistence; the comforts of the slave; his religious enjoyments; his sports and amusements; extinction of the Indian tribes in the country now inhabited by the Negro; certainty that the Negro would also disappear if not protected by slavery; this fate speedy in temperate climates as certain, if slower, in tropical countries, habitable by whites, awaits the blacks in Hayti; folly of exchanging the comfort and security of the slave for a certain evil or problematical good; purposes of African slavery the cultivation of tropical countries, the improvement of the Negro, the civilization of Africa; duty of the master to govern with vigor, but kindness; to regard his part of the work as also assigned by Providence, and to perform it faithfully.



[unnumbered blank page 48]
[unnumbered page 49]


THE


HIRELING AND THE SLAVE.

___________________________

PART SECOND.



See yonder poor o’erlabored wight,
So abject, mean, and vile,
Who begs a brother of the earth
To give him leave to toil,
And see his lordly fellow-worm
The poor petition spurn,
Unmindful though a weeping wife
And helpless offspring mourn. —— BURNS.


WHERE hireling millions toil, in doubt and fear,
For food and clothing all the weary year,
Content and grateful if their masters give
The boon they beg —— to labor and to live;
While dreamers task their idle wits to find                                 [5]
A short-hand method to enrich mankind,
And Fourier’s scheme or Owen’s plans entice
Expectant thousands with some deep device
For raising wages, for abating toil,
And reaping crops from ill-attended soil:                                 [10]
If, while the anxious multitudes appear,
Now glad with hope, now yielding to despair,
A seraph form, descending from the skies,
In mercy sent, should meet their wond’ring eyes,



[page 50]

And, smiling, offer to each suppliant there                                 [15]
The promised good that fills the laborer’s prayer ——
Food, clothing, freedom from the wants, the cares,
The pauper hireling ever feels or fears;
And, at their death, these blessings to renew,
That wives and children may enjoy them too,                             [20]
That, when disease or age their strength impairs,
Subsistence and a home should still be theirs —
What wonder would the gracious boon impart,
What grateful rapture swell the peasant’s heart!
How freely would the hungry list’ners give                                 [25]
A life-long labor thus secure to live!
And yet the life, so unassailed by care,
So blessed with moderate work, with ample fare,
With all the good the starving pauper needs,
The happier slave on each plantation leads;                                 [30]
Safe from harassing doubts and annual fears,
He dreads no famine in unfruitful years;
If harvests fail from inauspicious skies,
The master’s providence his food supplies;
No paupers perish here for want of bread,                                 [35]
Or lingering live, by foreign bounty fed;
No exiled trains of homeless peasants go,
In distant climes, to tell their tales of woe:
Far other fortune, free from care and strife,
For work, or bread, attends the Negro’s life,                             [40]
And Christian slaves may challenge as their own,
The blessings claimed in fabled states alone —
The cabin home, not comfortless, though rude,
Light daily labor, and abundant food,
The sturdy health that temperate habits yield,                             [45]
The cheerful song that rings in every field.


[page 51]

The long, loud laugh, that freemen seldom share,
Heaven’s boon to bosoms unapproached by care,
And boisterous jest and humor unrefined,
That leave, though rough, no painful sting behind;                     [50]
While, nestling near, to bless their humble lot,
Warm social joys surround the Negro’s cot,
The evening dance its merriment imparts,
Love, with his rapture, fills their youthful hearts,
And placid age, the task of labor done,                                     [55]
Enjoys the summer shade, the winter sun,
And, as through life no pauper want he knows,
Laments no poor-house penance at its close.
Safe in Ambition’s trumpet call to strife,
No conscript fears harass his quiet life,                                     [60]
While the crushed peasant bleeds — a worthless thing,
The broken toy of emperor or king;
Calm in his peaceful home, the slave prepares
His garden-spot, and plies his rustic cares;
The comb and honey that his bees afford,                                 [65]
The eggs in ample gourd compactly stored,
The pig, the poultry, with a chapman’s art,
He sells or barters at the village mart,
Or, at the master’s mansion, never fails
An ampler price to find and readier sales.                                  [70]
There, when December’s welcome frosts recall
The friends and inmates of the crowded hall,
To each glad nursling of the master’s race
He brings his present, with a cheerful face
And offered hand — of warm, unfeigning heart,                         [75]
In all his master’s joys he claims a part,
And, true as clansman to the Highland chief,
Mourns every loss, and grieves in all his grief;


[page 52]

When Christmas now, with its abundant cheer
And thornless pleasure, speeds the parting year,                         [80]
He shares the common joy — the early morn
Wakes hunter, clamorous hound, and echoing horn,
Quick steps are heard, the merry season named,
The loiterers caught, the wonted forfeit claimed,
In feasts maturing busy hands appear,                                         [85]
And jest and laugh assail the ready ear;
Whose voice, than his, more gayly greets the dawn,
Whose foot so lightly treads the frosty lawn,
Whose heart as merrily, where mirth prevails,
On every side the joyous season hails?                                         [90]
Around the slaughtered ox — a Christmas prize,
The slaves assembling stand with eager eyes,
Rouse, with their dogs, the porker’s piercing cry,
Or drag its squealing tenant from the sty;
With smile and bow receive their winter dues,                             [95]
The strong, warm clothing and substantial shoes,
Blankets adorned with stripes of border red,
And caps of wool that warm the woollier head;
Then clear the barn, the ample area fill,
In the gay jig display their vigorous skill;                                     [100]
No dainty steps, no mincing measures here —
Ellsler’s trained graces — seem to float in air,
But hearts of joy and nerves of living steel,
On floors that spring beneath the bounding reel;
Proud on his chair, with magisterial glance                                 [105]
And stamping foot, the fiddler rules the dance;
Draws, if he nods, the still unwearied bow,
And gives a joy no bearded bands bestow;
The triple holiday, on angel wings,
With every fleeting hour a pleasure brings;                                 [110]


[page 53]

No ennui clouds, no coming cares annoy,
Nor wants nor sorrows check the Negro’s joy.
His, too, the Christian privilege to share
The weekly festival of praise and prayer;
For him the Sabbath shines with holier light,                                 [115]
The air grows balmier, and the sky more bright;
Winter’s brief suns with warmer radiance glow,
With softer breath the gales of autumn blow,
Spring with new flowers more richly strews the ground,
And summer spreads a fresher verdure round;                             [120]
The early shower is past; the joyous breeze
Shakes patt’ring rain-drops from the rustling trees,
And with the sun, the fragrant offerings rise
From Nature’s censers to the bounteous skies;
With cheerful aspect, in his best array,                                         [125]
To the far forest church he takes his way;
With kind salute the passing neighbor meets,
With awkward grace the morning traveler greets,
And joined by crowds, that gather as he goes,
Seeks the calm joy the Sabbath morn bestows.                             [130]
There no proud temples to devotion rise,
With marble domes that emulate the skies,
But bosomed deep in ancient trees, that spread
Their limbs o’er mouldering mansions of the dead,
Moss-cinctured oaks and solemn pines between,                         [135]
Of modest wood, the house of God is seen,
By shaded springs, that from the sloping land
Bubble and sparkle through the silver sand,
Where high o’er arching laurel blossoms blow,
Where fragrant bays breathe kindred sweets below,                     [140]
And elm and ash their blended arms entwine
With the bright foliage of the mantling vine:


[page 54]

In quiet chat, before the hour of prayer,
Masters and slaves in scattered groups appear;
Loosed from the carriage, in the shades around,                             [145]
Impatient horses neigh and paw the ground;
No city discords break the silence here,
No sounds unmeet offend the listener’s ear;
But rural melodies of flocks and birds,
The lowing, far and faint, of distant herds,                                     [150]
The mocking-bird, with minstrel pride elate,
The partridge whistling for its absent mate,
The thrush’s solitary notes prolong,
Bold, merry blackbirds swell the general song;
The crested cardinal, of scarlet hue,                                             [155]
The jay, with restless wing of softer blue,
The cawing crow upon the loftiest pine
Cautious and safe their various voices join.
When now the pastor lifts his earnest eyes,
And hands outstretched, a suppliant to the skies,                         [160]
No rites of pomp or pride beguile the soul,
No organs peal, no clouds of incense roll,
But, line by line, untutored voices raise,
Like the wild birds, their simple notes of praise,
And hearts of love, with true devotion, bring                                 [165]
Incense more pure to Heaven’s eternal King;
On glorious themes their humble thoughts employ,
And rise transported with no earthly joy;
The blessing said, the service o’er, again
Their swelling voices raise the sacred strain;                                 [170]
Lingering, they love to sing of Jordan’s shore, 33
Where sorrows cease, and toil is known no more.
Not toil alone the fortune of the slave
He shares the sports and spoils of wood and wave;


[page 55]

Through the dense swamp, where wilder forests rise                     [175]
In tangled masses, and shut out the skies,
Where the dark covert shuns the noontide blaze,
With agile step he threads the pathless maze;
The hollow gum with searching eye explores,
Traces the bee to its delicious stores,                                             [180]
The ringing axe with ceaseless vigor plies,
And from the hollow scoops the luscious prize.
When Autumn’s parting days grow cold and brief,
Light hoar-frost sparkles on the fallen leaf,
The breezeless pines, at rest, no longer sigh,                                 [185]
Bright, pearl-like clouds hang shining in the sky,
And on strong pinions, in the clear blue light,
Exulting falcons wheel their towering flight,
With short, shrill cry arrest the cheerful flow
Of song, and hush the frightened fields below.                                 [190]
When to the homestead flocks and herds incline,
Sonorous conchs recall the rambling swine,
And from the fleecy field the setting sun
Sends home the slave, his easy harvest done;
In field and wood he hunts the frequent hare,                                 [195]
The wild hog chases to the forest lair;
Entraps the gobbler; with persuasive smoke
Beguiles the ‘possum from the hollow oak; 34
On the tall pine-tree’s topmost bough espies
The crafty coon — a more important prize —                                 [200]
Detects the dodger’s peering eyes, that glow
With fire reflected from the blaze below;
Hews down the branchless trunk with practiced hand,
And drives the climber from his nodding stand:
Downward at last he springs, with crashing sound,                            [205]
Where Jet and Pincher seize him on the ground;



[page 56]

Yields to the hunter the contested spoil,
And pays, with feast and fur, the evening toil.
If breezes sleep, and clouds obscure the light,
The boatman tries the fortune of the night,                                         [210]
Launches the swift canoe — on either side
Dips his light paddle in the sparkling tide;
By bank and marshy isle, with measured force
And noiseless stroke, directs his quiet course;
Still, at the bow, a watchful partner stands,                                         [215]
The leaded meshes ready in his hands,
Prepared and prompt to cast — the torch’s beam
Gleams like a gliding meteor on the stream;
Along the shore the flick’ring firelight steals,
Shines through the deep, and all its wealth reveals;                             [220]
The spotted trout its mottled side displays,
Swift shoals of mullet flash beneath the blaze;
He marks their rippling course; through cold and wet,
Lashes the flashing wave with dextrous net,*
With poised harpoon the bass or drum assails,                                     [225]
And strikes the barb through silv’ry tinted scales.
On sandy islets, when, in early June,
With lustrous glory looks the full-orbed moon,
And, spreading from the eye, her pearly light
Shines on the billows tremulously bright,                                             [230]
When swelling tides — the winds and waves at rest —
Tempt the shy turtle to her simple nest,
That, scooped in sand, and hid with curious art,
Waits the quick life that summer suns impart,
The Negro’s watchful step the beach explores,                                     [235]
In the loose sand detects its secret stores,


* "Latum funda jam verberat amnem."


[page 57]

Pursues the fugitive’s slow, cumbrous flight,
And wins his crowning trophy from the night.
No need has he the poacher’s doom to fear,
Himself ensnared, while sedulous to snare;                                             [240]
To him no keeper closes field or wood,
Nor laws forbid the riches of the flood;
Shrimp, oyster, mullet, an Apician feast,
Fit for the taste of pampered prince or priest,
He freely takes, nor dreads the partial law                                             [245]
That seeks the boon of Nature to withdraw
From common use, for Fortune’s sated son,
A pastime only for his rod or gun,
Kept for an idler’s sport, preserved and fed,
While hungry thousands cry aloud for bread.                                         [250]
Still braver sports are his when April showers
Give life and beauty to the joyous flowers,
When jasmines, through the wood, to early spring,
In golden cups, their dewy incense bring,
White dogwood blossoms sparkle through the trees, 35                         [255]
The grape’s wild fragrance scents the morning breeze,
And with the warmer sun and balmier air,
The finny myriads to their haunts repair:
Such sports are his with ready jest and glee,
Where bold Port Royal spreads its mimic sea;                                     [260]
Far in the north the length’ning bay and sky
Blent into one its shining waters lie,
And southward, breaking on the shelving shore,
Meet the sea-wave, and swell its endless roar;
On either hand gay groups of islands show                                         [265]
Their charms reflected in the stream below:
No sunnier lands, no lovelier isles than these,
No happier homes the weary traveler sees!


[page 58]

Hilton’s long shore on Ocean’s breast reclines,
And rears her headland of majestic pines;                                         [270]
Fenced from the billows by her subject isles,
Touched by the rising sun, St. Helen smiles,
Gleaming afar across the purple bay,
Her sand-hills glitter with the morning ray;
Worn by the tides, reluctant Parris yields                                            [275]
To waves and shallows her receding fields;
Dawes centred lies in marshes broad and green,
Beaufort’s dark woods adorn the varying scene,
And Lemon’s oak, in lonely grandeur, rears
His form — a giant of a thousand years —                                         [280]
The sole survivor of a Titan race,
A living monument, he marks the place
Where dauntless hearts, Hibault’s ill-fated band,
Claimed, as their own, the wide imperial land; 36
Sent by Coligni’s wisdom to explore,                                                 [285]
For peaceful homes, this new-discovered shore.
They mark each quiet nook, each grassy glade,
And spreading oak of broad, inviting shade,
In endless woods, with eager pleasure roam,
And hail with joy the promised Western home;                                 [290]
While chiefs and kings the wondrous stranger greet,
And lay their presents at the white man’s feet;
But vain the hope! To this sequestered place
Their ancient foes, the fierce Iberian race,
Through miry swamps and pathless thickets steal,                             [295]
Murder the heretic with frantic zeal,
Pollute, with Christian blood, the virgin sod,
And prove, by massacre, their love of God.
With better fortune, near the bloodstained grave,
Advent’rous Britons, braving wind and wave,                                 [300]


[page 59]

Guided by Sayle, in merry Charles’s reign,
Sought wealth and empire on these shores again;
Weary of storm and calm, of seas and skies,
They watched the rising coast with rapturous eyes,
Trod with delight the fragrance-breathing strand,                             [305]
And drew new life and vigor from the land,
But, warned by spectral visions of the dead,
From the broad bay and peerless islands fled,
To safer fields their feeble fortunes bore,
And built their state on Ashley’s sheltered shore                            [310]
Far in the west, where sunset’s parting beam
With brighter splendor tints the glassy stream,
Pinckney’s green island-home yet bears the name*
Of one whose virtues share his country’s fame,
A soldier proved, without reproach or fear,                                     [315]
A statesman skilled new commonwealths to rear,
To field and forum equally inured,
What arms had won, his eloquence secured;
With stern resolve his country to defend,
He spurned the arrogance of foe and friend;                                     [320]
War crowned him with the laurels of the brave,
And civic garlands Peace as amply gave;
With care he watched the anarchy that waits,
In ambushed strength, to crush revolting states,
And strove with zeal, all jealous fears above,                                     [325]
To bind them fast by ties of social love:
In this alone his generous spirit saw
For peace, security, and rule for law,
Safety from border strife, from foreign foe,
And the long ills that feeble nations know.                                         [330]


* The country-seat of Gen. C. C. Pinckney.


[page 60]

Here, every work of patriot duty wrought,
His peaceful shades the veteran statesman sought,
With ready anecdote the livelong day,
Or playful wit, he charmed the grave and gay,
And taught the art to brighten and refine,                                         [340]
With cheerful wisdom, life’s unmarked decline.
With ready sympathy, he loved to view
The April sports, and to partake them too;
To watch — at early dawn, when skies are bright,
And dews lie sparkling in the early light                                             [345]
On leaf and flower — the sail and glistening oar,
Launched on the bay from every creek and shore,
The favorite rock, the noted shoal to reach,
Their landmarks tracing on the distant beach,
Far as the eye commands the scene around,                                     [350]
Gay fleets glide swiftly on the shining Sound;
With shouts and taunts the daily race is run,
The sail is furled, the wonted station won,
The line prepared, the hook with caution tried,
The various bait with artful care applied:                                           [355]
All eager — slaves and masters — to behold
Their annual prize, with glittering scales of gold,
To feel the line through glowing fingers glide,
Watch where the victim shows his burnished side,
With patient skill his various efforts foil,                                             [360]
And seize, in triumph, on the conquered spoil;
Then boast and jest exultingly proclaim
New trophies added to the victor’s fame,
And the broad grin and shining face declare
How true a joy the Negro sportsmen share.                                     [365]
Now, with declining day, on every hand,
The loaded boats turn slowly to the land,


[page 61]

Spread the light sail, or ply the bending oar,
And seek warm shelter on the wooded shore:
The boat song’s chorus, with its wonted charm,                                 [370]
Imparts new vigor to each sturdy arm;
The camp, the hamlet catch the well-known note,*
Expect the spoil, and hail the welcome boat.
With sharpened appetite, the joyous crews
Prolong their feast of savory steaks and stews,                                 [375]
And join, where camp-fires glimmer through the trees,
The light laugh floating on the western breeze;
Describe the fish and fortunes of the day,
How sly the bite, how beautiful the play;
Tell, with grave face, the superstitious charm                                     [380]
That wrought the fisherman success or harm;
Recount the feats of fishing or of fun,
In other days, by older sportsmen done;
In dreams renew their triumphs through the night,
And wake to others with the dawning light.                                     [385]
Not Marshfield’s master, in the palmiest day, 37
For feast or fish could readier skill display,
Chowder expound with more consummate art,
At the full trencher play a manlier part,
Or, more secure from each intrusive care,                                     [390]
The joy participate and feast prepare.
Not Elliott, early trained, with easy skill,
Old Walton’s various offices to fill,
The sport to lead, the willing ear beguile,
And charm with rare felicity of style,                                             [395]
The straining line with nicer art employs,
With keener zest the manly sport enjoys,


* The fishermen from a distance encamp near the plantations among the trees.


[page 62]

Or takes the fish and fortunes of the day,
Sunshine or shower, more buoyantly gay.
But if the wayward fish refuse the bait,                                         [400]
If floating lines for slacker tides await,
Its trick and fun the idle moment brings,
From boat to boat light-hearted laughter rings;
The novice starts alarmed, his slumber broke
By the sly veteran’s oft-repeated joke,                                         [405]
Or Dupe or Jester, stretched in dreamless sleep,
Lie rocked by billows rolling from the deep,
Fanned by the southern breeze, that on its wings,
From the blue sea refreshing coolness brings:
Now roused by hunger, every hand explores                                 [410]
The well-filled box, and culls its ample stores —
Fish from the morning feast; the bounteous maize,
Of grist or flour, an ampler dish displays;
With appetite unsated to the last,
They feast, and kings may covet the repast.                                 [415]
Or more alert the crew, on pleasure bent,
In the gay race the idle hour is spent;
The anchors lifted from their oozy bed,
The long lines coiled, the snowy canvas spread;
With pennants streaming, on the sparkling bay                             [420]
Their speed or skill the swifter boats display;
The Gull and Falcon stretch their pointed wings,
Through the light foam the rapid Dolphin springs,
The peerless Nautilus, with broader sail,
Skims the green wave, and courts the fresh’ning gale.                 [425]
But other scenes attract the sportsman’s gaze,
And turn his wandering thoughts to other days,
When on these streams the Indian’s swift canoe,
Light as the gull, to sport or battle flew;


[page 63]

Light as the noisy flocks that meet the eye,                                 [430]
On restless pinions flitting gayly by;
A tameless ocean-brood that love to rove
The shore and sea, but shun the quiet grove,
In idle sport they chase and are pursued,
With sudden dart surprise their minnow food,                             [435]
The rising diver watch, the well-earned prize
Snatch from his bill with sharp, exulting cries,
Or in the stream their glossy plumage lave,
And sit with graceful lightness on the wave.
Aloft the fish-hawk wings his wary way,                                     [440]
Stops, turns, and watches the incautious prey;
Quick, as the fish attracts his piercing eye,
With fluttered wings a moment poised on high,
Headlong he plunges with unerring aim,
In iron claws secures the struggling game,                                 [445]
Upward again his joyous flight resumes,
And shakes the water from his ruffled plumes.
Vain is his joy! The eagle’s watch explores
The busy scene from Edings distant shores;
Perched on the pine or live-oak’s blasted height,                         [450]
His wing half folded, and prepared for flight,
With neck outstretched he sits, and flashing eye
Bent on the hawk that hovers lightly by,
Sees the bold plunge, the shining victim sees,
And spreads his dusky pinions to the breeze;                             [455]
Swift as the shaft just parted from the bow,
Or the sharp flash that cleaves the clouds below,
The hawk perceives the dread aerial king,
Quails at the shadow of the broad dark wing,
Ceases in circling sweeps to scale the sky,                                 [460]
And drops his treasure with indignant cry;*


* So Audubon interprets the cry to mean.

[page 64]

Swooping with matchless power and rushing sound,
Before the falling prize can reach the ground,
In graceful curve, the eagle meets his spoil,
The plundered product of another’s toil,                                     [465]
Eegains his perch that far o’erlooks the main,
Feasts with fierce eye, and holds his watch again.
So the mailed baron, with the dawning light,
Watched the broad valley from his castled height;
If far below, dense clouds of mist between,                                 [470]
The passing burgher s flocks and herds were seen,
The merchant troop from Orient climes returned,
With pearls and gold by toil and peril earned,
Down swooped the pennon from the feudal hold,
And clutched the flocks, the costly gems and gold;                     [475]
Safe on the rocky perch, in wassail rude
Spent the long night, and watch at morn renewed.
Bright streams and isles, how memory loves to trace
Its boyish sports in each familiar place,
By wood and wave with joy renewed to dwell,                         [480]
And live again the life once loved so well:
Still, with the scene, old faces reappear,
Voices, long silent, meet the musing ear,
And many a hamlet, gleaming on the shore,
Recalls a friend whose sports and toils are o’er.                         [485]
Can ceaseless cares for power and place impart
Scenes such as these to charm and mend the heart?
The blue arch resting on the distant trees,
The bright wave curling to the ocean breeze,
The dewy woods that greet the rising sun,                                 [490]
The clouds that close the golden circuit run,
Rolled in bright masses of a thousand dyes,
A pomp and glory in the western skies.

[page 65]

Here every flower that gems the forest sod
May guide the heart from Nature to its God,                             [495]
And higher hopes and purer joys bestow
Than the poor slaves of faction ever know,
When demagogues have won, with brazen throat,
The loudest cheer and most triumphant vote.
Even when nor party nor a people’s voice,                                 [500]
But Providence itself hath made the choice,
And lifts the man, whom worth and wisdom grace,
To sit in Liberty’s supremest place;
Though loved and honored in a nation’s eyes,
Though faction’s self confess him just and wise,                         [505]
Still the calm home, where peace and virtue dwell,
Charms with a silent, but a mightier spell;
And Fillmore left, without a sigh, the toys
Of state for homelier but serener joys;
Faithful, like Washington, to order’s cause,                                 [510]
And prompt, like him, to vindicate her laws,
Like him, he looked with still reverted eye
To happier scenes than office can supply,
Turned from the noisy hall, the coarse debate,
The curse of patronage and frauds of state,                               [515]
The caucus juggler and his pliant tool,
The slaves of party and its tyrant rule,
The knavish arts that demagogues employ,
Lies that supplant, and whispers that destroy;
Whose work would shame the honest hand of toil,                     [520]
Whose love of country means the love of spoil,
Who, for their party, wrong their nearest friends,
Betray that party for then: private ends,
Pursue with subtle craft, by fraud and force,
The patriot-trade — the scoundrel’s last resource;                     [525]


[page 66]

Deplore the people’s wrong, inflame their rage,
In factious brawls for fancied ills engage,
Hot with unmeasured zeal — till office fills
Their itching palms, and cures all wrongs and ills;
From these he turned — from falsehood, craft, and strife,             [530]
To the pure joys that wait on private life
In scenes like this, where forest, stream, and sky
Speak in charmed accents to the gazer’s eye,
And Nature’s voiceless eloquence imparts
Her hopes and joys to renovated hearts.                                     [535]
And even here, if Sorrow finds her way,
If, as they will, these hopes and joys decay,
Nor talents guard, nor charms of temper save,
Nor virtues shield the loved one from the grave;
While worldly turmoil wrings the mourner’s heart                        [540]
Home’s quiet scenes a soothing balm impart,
Faith here has room to spread her heavenward wing,
Hope strips the baffled conqueror of his sting,
The heart communes with spirits from above,
And for a mortal’s finds an angel’s love;                                     [545]
By wood and stream, where twilight walks beguile,
Hears the soft voice, and sees the undying smile.
He, too, that sorrows for another’s woes,
And early dead, the same sad fortune knows,
Hears, at the midnight hour, the fevered groan,                           [550]
The cry of mortal pain, the dying moan;
With trembling hand attempts at last to close
The rayless eyes, the lifeless limbs compose,
Sees the brave, gentle bosom fill the grave,
And mourns the son he could have died to save.                         [555]
To other griefs that changeful life supplies,
Griefs of a race, awakened Memory flies,


[page 67]

And backward as she turns her thoughtful view,
The vanished Indian seems to live anew;
Low voices whisper round from stream and bay,                         [560]
The mournful tale of nations passed away;
And names, like spirits of the buried race,
Of plaintive sweetness, tell their dwelling-place;
On every isle, in every field and wood,
Shells show, in heaps, where once the wigwam stood;                 [565]
Spear-points of flint and arrow-heads are found,
Fragments of pottery strew the haunted ground,
And barrows broad, with ancient trees o’erspread,
Still hold the relics of the warrior dead —
Relics of tribes and nations that of yore                                     [570]
Welcomed the Saxon stranger to the shore;
Then masters of the land, with matchless skill,
They chased the deer by valley, plain, and hill,
Through gloomy forests sought a nobler game,
And won, with pride, the warrior’s sterner fame;                         [575]
Where moose and elk their fragrant forest home
In wastes of fir by Madawaska roam;
Where, on his breast, Potomac loves to trace
The patriot s home and hallowed resting-place;
In quiet beauty, where Saluda flows;                                         [580]
Catawba rushes from his mountain snows;
Through the lost Eden of the Cherokee,
Where Tallapoosa seeks the Southern sea;
Where slow Oscilla winds his gentler tides,
By cypress shadow where Suwannee glides;                             [585]
Where, crowned with woods, the Apalachians rise,
The Blue Ridge blends its summit with the skies,
Long rolling waves break foaming from the deep,
And Erie’s ocean thunders down the steep;


[page 68]

Lords of the lake, the shore, the stream, the wood,                     [590]
Painted and plumed, the giant warriors stood,
With presents filled the feeble stranger’s hand,
And hailed his coming to the Red Man’s land;
Now from these homes expelled, in seeming rest,
A hopeless remnant, cowering in the West,                                 [595]
They linger till the surge of millions come
To sweep them headlong from their transient home;
Vainly the gentle wish, the gen’rous strive
To save the helpless wanderers that survive,
Lure them from sloth, from ignorance and strife,                         [600]
And make them learn the social arts of life;
In vain, with adverse will, the Indian tries
To win the bread that toil or art supplies,
Like their wild woods before the Saxon’s sway,
The native nations wither and decay;                                         [605]
The same their doom where wars the forest sweep,
Like winter torrents rushing to the deep,
Or where the tides of peace more slowly eat
As sure a passage to their last retreat;
Where’er their lot, with Puritan or Friend,                                 [610]
Friendship and hatred bring one common end;
Chieftain and brave have vanished from the scene,
And memory hardly tells that they have been.
Such, too, the fate the Negro must deplore,
If slavery guard his subject race no more,                                 [615]
If by weak friends or vicious counsels led
To change his blessings for the hireling’s bread.
Cheated by idle hopes, he vainly tries
To tempt the fortune that his strength denies,
Quits the safe port, deserts the peaceful shore,                         [620]
An unknown sea of peril to explore;


[page 69]

Hard the long toil the hireling bread to gain,
Slight is his power life’s battle to maintain;
And war’s swift sword, or peace, with slow decay,
Must, like the Indian, sweep his race away. 38                         [625]
Swift is the doom where temperate climes invite
To fruitful soils the labors of the white;
Where no foul vapor taints the morning air,
And bracing frosts his wasted strength repair;
Where Europe’s hordes, from home and hunger fled,             [630]
Task every nerve and ready art for bread,
Rush to each work, the calls for labor yield,
And bear no sable brother in the field;
There in suburban dens and human sties,
In foul excesses sunk, the Negro lies;                                     [635]
A moral pestilence to taint and stain,
His life a curse, his death a social gain,
Debased, despised, the Northern Pariah knows
He shares no good that liberty bestows;
Spurned from her gifts, with each successive year,                 [640]
In drunken want his numbers disappear.
In tropic climes, where Nature’s bounteous hand
Pours ceaseless blessings on the teeming land,
And, with the fruits and flowers that she bestows,
Fierce fevers lurk, the white man’s deadliest foes,                 [645]
More safe the Negro seems — his sluggish race
Luxuriates in the hot, congenial place —
A lotus-bearing paradise, that flows
With all the lazy joys the Negro knows,
Where all day long, beneath the tamarisk shade,                     [650]
Stretched on his back, in scanty garb arrayed,
With sated appetite, in sensual ease,
Fanned into slumber by the listless breeze,


[page 70]

A careless life of indolence he lives,
Fed by the fruits perpetual summer gives:                               [655]
Yet here, unguided by Caucasian skill,
Unurged to labor by a master will,
Abandoned to his native sloth, that knows
No state so blessed as undisturbed repose,
With no restraint that struggling virtue needs,                         [660]
With every vice that lazy pleasure breeds,
His life to savage indolence he yields,
To weeds and jungle, the deserted fields;
Where once the mansion rose, the garden smiled,
Where art and labor tamed the tropic wild,                         [665]
Their hard-wrought trophies sink into decay,
The wilderness again resumes its sway,
Rank weeds displace the labors of the spade,
And reptiles crawl where joyous infants played. 39
Such now the Negro’s life, such wrecks appear                 [670]
Of former affluence, industry, and care,
On Hayti’s plains, where once her golden stores
Gave their best commerce to the Gallic shores;
While yet no foul revolt or servile strife
Marred the calm tenor of the Negro’s life,                         [675]
And lured his mind — with mimicry elate
Of titled nobles and imperial state —
From useful labor, savage wars to wage,
To glut with massacre a demon’s rage,
Forget the Christian in the pagan rite,                                 [680]
And serve a Negro master for a white. 40
But even, in climes like this, a fated power
In patient ambush waits the coming hour, 41
When to new regions war and want shall drive
Its swarms of hunger from the parent hive,                         [685]



[page 71]

And Europe’s multitudes again demand
Its boundless riches from the willing land
That now, in vain luxuriance, idly lies,
And yields no harvest to the genial skies,
Then shall the ape of empire meet its doom,                         [690]
Black peer and prince their ancient task resume,
Renounce the mimicries of war and state,
And useful labor strive to emulate.
Why peril, then, the Negro’s humble joys,
Why make him free, if freedom but destroys?                     [695]
Why take him from that lot that now bestows
More than the Negro elsewhere ever knows —
Home, clothing, food, light labor, and content,
Childhood in play, and age in quiet spent,
To vex his life with factious strife and broil,                         [700]
To crush his nature with unwonted toil,
To see him, like the Indian tribes, a prey
To war or peace, destruction or decay?
Not such his fate Philanthropy replies,
His horoscope is drawn from happier skies;                     [705]
Bonds soon shall cease to be the Negro’s lot,
Mere race-distinctions shall be all forgot,
And white and black amalgamating, prove
The charms that Stone admires, of mongrel love, 42
Erase the lines that erring nature draws                             [710]
To sever races, and rescind her laws;
Reverse the rule that stupid farmers heed,
And mend the higher by the coarser breed;
Or prove the world’s long history false, and find
Wit, wisdom, genius in the Negro mind;                             [715]
If not intended thus, in time, to blend
In one bronze-colored breed, what then the end?


[page 72]

What purposed good, like that which brought before
The Hebrew seer to Nile’s mysterious shore,
Brings the dusk children of the burning zone                         [720]
To toil in fields and forests not their own?
They come where summer suns intensely blaze,
And Celt and Saxon shun the fatal rays;
Where gay savannas bloom, wild forests rise,
And prairies spread beneath unwholesome skies;                 [725]
Where Mississippi’s broad alluvial lands
Demand the labor of unnumbered hands,
With promised gifts from endless hill and vale,
From fields whose riches mock the traveler’s tale,
Where nature blossoms in her tropic pride,                         [730]
All bounties given, but health alone denied;
They come to cleave the forest from the plain,
From the rank soil to rear the golden grain,
The wealth of hill and valley to disclose,
Make the wild desert blossom as the rose,                         [735]
To all the world unwonted blessings give,
The naked clothe, and bid the starving live;
Where Amazon’s imperial valley lies
Untamed and basking under tropic skies
They come, his secret treasures to unfold —                       [740]
Spices and silks, and gems and countless gold;
For fields of cane his matted woods displace,
For flocks and herds exchange their reptile race,
With tower and city crown the ocean stream,
And make his valley one Arcadian dream.                           [745]
Slaves of the plow — when duly tasked they bring.
Like the swart genii of the lamp and ring,
Their priceless gifts — their labors yield in time
Unbounded blessings to their native clime;


[page 73]

Though round it, darkly, clouds and mists have rolled,            [750]
Of sloth and ignorance, for years untold,
Still, in the future, Faith’s prophetic eye,
Beyond the cloud, discerns the promised sky;
Sees happier lands their sable thousands pour,
Missions of love, on Congo’s suppliant shore,                     [755]
Skilled in each useful civilizing art,
With all the power that knowledge can impart,
O’er the wild deep, whose heaving billows seem
Bridged for their passage by assisting steam,
To Africa, their fatherland, they go,                                     [760]
Law, industry, instruction to bestow;
To pour, from Western skies, religious light,
Drive from each hill or vale its pagan rite,
Teach brutal hordes a nobler life to plan,
And change, at last, the savage to the man.                         [765]
Exulting millions, through their native land,
From Gambia’s river to Angola’s strand,
Where Niger’s fountain-head the traveler shuns,
And mountain snows are bright with tropic suns,
See, spreading inward from the Atlantic shore,                     [770]
Industrial skill and arts unknown before;
Through the broad valleys populous cities rise,
With gilded domes, and spires that court the skies,
Forests, for countless years the tiger’s lair,
Yield their glad acres to the shining share;                             [775]
Where once, along the interminable plain,
The weary traveler dragged his steps with pain,
In iron lines continuous roads proceed,
And steam outstrips the ostrich in its speed;
Timbuctoo’s towers and fabled walls, that seem                     [780]
The fabric only of a traveler’s dream,


[page 74]

Spread, a broad mart, where commerce brings her stores
Of gems and gold from earth s remotest shores;
Wealth, art, refinement, follow in her train,
Learning applauds a new Augustan reign, 43                         [785]
To tropic suns her fruits and flowers unfold,
And Libya hails, at last, her age of gold.
For these great ends hath Heaven’s supreme command
Brought the black savage from his native land,
Trains for each purpose his barbarian mind,                         [790]
By slavery tamed, enlightened, and refined;
Instructs him, from a master-race, to draw
Wise modes of polity and forms of law,
Imbues his soul with faith, his heart with love,
Shapes all his life by dictates from above,                             [795]
And, to a grateful world, resolves at last
The puzzling question of all ages past,
Revealing to the Christian’s gladdened eyes
How Gospel light may dawn from Libya’s skies,
Disperse the mists that darken and deprave,                         [800]
And shine with power to civilize and save.
Let, then, the master still his course pursue,
"With heart and hope" perform his mission too;
Heaven’s ruling power confessed, with patient care
The end subserve, the fitting means prepare,                         [805]
In faith unshaken guide, restrain, command,
With strong and steady, yet indulgent hand,
Justly, "as in the great Taskmaster’s eye,"
His task perform —— the Negro’s wants supply,
The Negro’s hand to useful arts incline,                                 [810]
His mind enlarge, his moral sense refine,
With Gospel truth his simple heart engage,
To his dull eyes unseal its sacred page,


[page 75]

By gradual steps his feebler nature raise,
Deserve, if not receive, the good man s praise;                       [815]
The factious knave defy, and meddling fool, 44
The pulpit brawler and his lawless tool,
Scorn the grave cant, the supercilious sneer, 45
The mawkish sentiment and maudlin tear,
Assured that God all human power bestows,                         [820]
Controls its uses, and its purpose knows,
And that each lot on earth to mortals given,
Its duties duly done, is blessed of Heaven.



[unnumbered blank page 76]
[unnumbered page 77]






__________________

CHICORA,

AND

OTHER POEMS.

___________________


[unnumbered blank page 78]
[unnumbered page 79]



INTRODUCTION.
________________


THE Indian character is not generally interesting. He is a mere barbarian, as we now see him, drunken, stupid, filthy, and degraded.

It was not always so. When the first colonists arrived from England in North America, they found the Indians brave, high-spirited, generous, and hospitable.

They were deeply imbued with the sentiment of religion. They believed in a Supreme Being, the Great Spirit, Yohèwah; and in subordinate spirits, good and bad; in demons, witchcraft, necromancers, medicine or meda men professing supernatural powers, able to procure rain and to heal all diseases by influences drawn from the sun; from birds; from plants emitting musical sounds; from precious stones found in the heads of old serpents, especially rattlesnakes.


They proceeded on no enterprise without previous solemn rites and ceremonies, prayers, and purifications with bitter potions from the snake-root, the yopon or casseena. They ascribed defeat or success to the Divine interposition, with a devout faith that Christians



[page 80]

would do well to emulate. They celebrated feasts and festivals in honor of the Great Spirit, especially at harvest time, when they threw away the remnants of the old crop a custom intended to promote hospitality by preventing hoarding and, extinguishing all their fires, relighted them from the flame produced by the rubbing of pieces of dry wood one on another. They believed their fires to become impure from use, and to require this yearly renewal. These religious rites were so numerous, their cries, as Hallelujah, Yohèwah, so similar to those of the ancient Hebrews, that Adair, who lived forty years among them, wrote a book to prove that they were the descendants of the Lost Tribes.

They were not addicted to wars among themselves until incited to them by the policy and arts of the white traders, nor did they attack the whites except when wronged and assailed. To the question whether the Indians ever made unprovoked war on the colonists,
General Cass once replied, "Never, NEVER, NEVER."

They were not sullen, apathetic, or unsocial. Among themselves they engaged in all sports and amusements, dancing and singing; the war dance; the ball play; in the telling and hearing tales and legends. Their hearts were open to all passions and delights, love and friendship, attachment to family and country.


I have introduced to the reader two of their legends from Schoolcraft. One of them has been used by Professor Longfellow and by Mr. Taylor. I did not know it until I had written, or I would not have ventured into



[page 81]

the same field. The property, however, is the Indian’s, if, indeed, the legends, like McPherson s Ossian, be not rather the chattels of the compiler than of the nominal owner.

The incidents in the history of the Spanish expedition under De Ayllon are familiar to all readers. He landed on the coast of what was called Chicora, at the mouth of Coosaw River, or Saint Helena Sound; carried off two or three hundred of the Indians; returned
to repeat the speculation the next year; lost one of his ships and two hundred men by an attack from the natives, and died from disappointed avarice or mortification.

It is one of those rare occasions in which Nemesis has trodden on the heels of Wrong; when the injury done was avenged amply and speedily; and the graver beauties of Justice united to the meretricious charms of Success. The combination of the two may enable us
to sympathize with the poor Indian, particularly as the defeated assailants were not our own people or kindred.

The Uchees are supposed by Schoolcraft to have occupied the coast at the time of the Spanish expedition. They were, perhaps, a kindred tribe of the great Yemassee nation, who held it when the English colonists arrived, a hundred and fifty years afterward. The
Uchees had then been removed into the ulterior of the country.


[blank unnumbered page 82]
[unnumbered page 83]



C H I C O R A.
_____________

I.

FAIR is the island shore where first,
To waste and blight with sword and flame,
Insatiate with the burning thirst
For gold, Castilian warriors came;
Chicora’s shore, where Nature’s hand                         [5]
Profusely spreads her choicest flowers,
Where not a rock deforms the strand,
Its groves of palm, or myrtle bowers;
No step of Time’s destroying march
Here marks the valley, hills, or plains                         [10]
With crumbling wall or broken arch,
With tower or temple’s gray remains;
Where barons feasted once, or fought,
On coursers mailed, with lance and shield,
In cloistered walks, where abbots sought                     [15]
The bliss that prayer and vigil yield;
But every charm that Nature knows
Shines freshly here the towering trees,
The sea that sparkles as it flows,
The flowering shrubs, the murmuring bees,                     [20]
The verdant land, the glassy stream
As placid as an infant’s dream.



[page 84]

Here Coosaw s quiet waters lave
Bright fields that blush when Summer smiles;
The sunlight dances on the wave                                     [25]
By white shell beds and marshy isles;
With brimming banks, a kindred stream,
Comb’hee from swamp and forest pours;
They meet, combined, the broader gleam
Of ocean’s surge, on Otter’s shores;                             [30]
Light clouds in pointed masses lie
On ether floating far and wide,
Like mountains lifted to the sky,
Of snowy top and dusky side;
Sweeping the river’s utmost bound,                                 [35]
Blue sky and emerald marsh between,
Dark lines of forest circle round,
A setting for the pictured scene;
Serenely beautiful it lies,
Breathing an air of Paradise;                                         [40]
So soft, so still, as though a care
Or wrong had never sheltered there;
As though no eye had ever shed
Its tears of anguish for the dead,
Nor heart with sorrow beat or bled.                             [45]

Fair fields, calm river smooth and bright,
Sweet-breathing flowers and rustling trees,
The honeyed haunts of early bees,
Where birds with morning songs unite
To hail the newly-risen light,                                         [50]
What isles of earth are blessed like these?
No age, no blight ye ever know,
Oh beauteous land and glorious sea!


[page 85]

Still shall your breezes softly blow,
Your rippling waters ever flow,                                     [55]
Blending their ceaseless harmony,
When smiling earth and glowing sky
No longer fill the gazer’s eye,
Hushed his last pulse of hope and fear;
When passing ages shall efface                                     [60]
All memory of his name and race,
Without a toil, without a care,
Nature in her undying grace,
Each form and show as fair and true,
The sea as bright, the sky as blue,                                 [65]
Shall glow with smiles and blushes here.

Still shall be heard the loon’s lone cry
Upon the stream, and to their rest
Long trains of curlews seaward fly,
At sunset, to their sandy nest;                                         [70]
Still joyous from the sparkling tide
With silver sides shall mullets leap
The eagle soar in wonted pride;
And by their eyrie strong and wide,
On the dry oak beside the deep,                                     [75]
Their watch shall busy ospreys keep;
Still shall the otter win his prize,
Stealthy and dextrous as before;
And marsh-hens fill with startled cries
Or noisy challenges the shore;                                         [80]
And — when from the redundant main
The spring-tide with a bolder sweep
Spreads over all the marshy plain —




[page 86]

Cunning and still shall sit the while
On drifted sedge, a floating isle,                                     [85]
And patiently their vigils keep
Till the short deluge sinks again;
All freshly, beautifully bright,
As when creation s morning gave
To Eden’s bowers their purple light,                                 [90]
Its sparkling to Euphrates wave,
Nature shall still with glad surprise
Fill other hearts; and other eyes
Look with deep joy on earth and skies.

So, too, before the Saxon came                                     [95]
To vex the soil with spade and plow,
Each scene of land and sea the same,
Shone in the sunlight bright as now;
When the red tribes, with shaft and bow,
Held still their undisputed sway;                                     [100]
From ocean foam to mountain snow,
When broad, unbroken forests lay;
And mouldering bones, that grimly lie
By heaps of shell or earthen mound,
In life and strength, with sparkling eye,                         [105]
Looked as we look on all around;
And joyously the Indian viewed
The setting sun, the dawning day,
Watching with fancies warm, if rude,
The forms of Nature, grave or gay;                             [110]
The morning then was fair as this,
The sky as blue, the stream as calm,
Rejoicing Nature breathing bliss,
The forest joy, the breezes balm.



[page 87]

Close clinging to the forest shade,                                 [115]
By groves of oak and laurel made,
Where, pendent from the stately pine,
Waved the lithe branches of the vine;
In tranquil beauty, by the wood,
The Indian hamlet nestling stood;                                 [120]
A homestead like a poet’s dream,
The glistening leaves, the gliding stream,
The whitened wigwam scantly seen,
Ambushed amid the forest green;
With rival charms alluring there,                                     [125]
Music and fragrance filled the air,
And birds and flowers of kindred hue
Vied, each with each, in beauty too;
There, side by side, the jay’s blue wing,
The flag as blue of opening spring;                               [130]
The flowering maple s crimson bloom,
The red-bird’s scarlet-tinted plume;
And stealing, on from bower to bower,
Its tints and sweets from every flower,
The humming-bird, amid the beams                             [135]
Of noon, a flying flow’ret seems;
Upward or down, to left or right,
From every trumpet-fashioned cup,
With flashing wings too quick for sight,                         [140]
Insect and honey gathering up,
Till, garnered on his viscid tongue,
Pouring from ruby-tinted throat
Of fervid love the murmured note,
He gives them to his mate and young.                             [145]

There common fields profusely bore
The tasseled maize — a golden store;


[page 88]

The gourd, whose polished vases bring
Its crystal waters from the spring;
The leaf, whose soft and subtle charm,                             [150]
In freezing or in torrid zone,
Wherever care or grief is known,
With offered incense can disarm
The torturing power, and still impart
A help to every burdened heart.                                     [155]

There, rising at every wigwam door,
Relics of feasts enjoyed no more
By Indian tribe, a shell-heap shows
The dainties that the stream bestows.

Such, in these sunny island homes,                                 [160]
Where now his foot no longer roams,
The gifts, the pleasures, calm and true,
Of Nature that the Indian knew;
Child of the woods, his nerves of steel
No hunter’s toil or danger feel:                                     [165]
Firm is his pulse’s even beat
In winter cold, in summer heat;
His drink the water cool and clear
Of springs; his feast the forest deer;
And when his simple toil had won                                 [170]
Full harvests from the shower and sun,
His annual praises to the Power
That gives the fostering sun and shower
Rose from as true and warm a heart
As theirs whose formal service yields                             [175]
Its statelier thanks for fruitful fields
With all the pomp of priestly art;


[page 89]

And found as ready entrance where
The heart alone avails in prayer.
Here, in this Indian hamlet home,                                 [180]
By sparkling stream and forest shade,
Where Uchee warriors loved to roam,*
The harvest feast was yearly made;
Here sachems gathered to renew,
In solemn rites, with grateful hearts,                             [185]
The fervent thanks and praises due
To the Great Spirit who imparts
The annual harvest, and supplies
Refreshing showers and fostering skies.
No hand would use the ripened ear                             [190]
Till priest or prophet offered up,
With the first fruitlings of the year,
The yopon’s purifying cup; †
They cleansed the temple’s sacred square,
The mystic dish, the holy vase;                                     [195]
Repaired its seats with pious care,
And dressed with flowers the hallowed place;
Of forest boughs rebuilt its bower,
Cedar and bay, with berries blue,
And to the fire’s propitious power,                             [200]
Stablished the altar-stone anew;
There the new flame was duly sought
With solemn form and ancient rite,


* The Uchees, a branch, perhaps, of the Yemassee nation, are supposed by Schoolcraft to have held the coast of Chicora.
† The yopon, or cusseena, made a sacred purifying drink.


[page 90]

That yearly from Yohèwah* brought
To every hearth its warmth and light;                             [205]
From chafing slips of seasoned oak
They watched with joy the rising smoke
And sacred fire; with eager cries
Hailed the bright offspring of the skies,
Nourished the struggling flame, supplied                         [210]
Light splintered pine and mosses dried,
And fanned it with the snowy wings
Of stately swans, that hither roam
When Winter’s sterner rigor brings
The wanderers from their northern home;                       [215]
Now on the altar’s growing blaze
Are heaped the gifts of ripened maize,
Anointed with the proudest spoil
Of Indian shaft, the Neeta’s † oil;
Then, newly to each hearth once more                           [220]
The Heaven-sent blessing to restore,
They quenched their fires from use impure,
Cleansed the hearth-stone from every stain,
And from the Spirit’s gift secure
A brand to light their homes again;                                 [225]
From every granary is cast
The remnant of the harvest past,
And with the consecrated bread,
Trustful that Providence again
Would give the genial sun and rain,                               [230]
With liberal hands the feast is spread.

They spread the feast with dance and song,
To Heaven’s great Power their praises rise,


* The name of the Divine Being. † The black bear.



[page 91]

To warrior voices deep and strong,
The maiden’s softer note replies;                                 [235]
The sullen drum, the rattling gourd,
With polished pebbles fitly stored,
Wake the wild echoes of the wood;
While floating over field and flood,
Gently as sounds of mourning float,                             [240]
Is heard the flute of softer note.

Far spreading through the forest round,
Wild hallelujahs* rise to Heaven
From every lip — a solemn sound
Of praise for bounties yearly given;                             [245]
While joyous children, free as air
From cumbrous dress and scholar’s lore,
With brave and hunter boldly share
The savory cake and venison store;
And chiefs and sachems, stately bands,                       [250]
Hoary with age, in badges dressed,
White wands of honor in their hands,
White plumes and snowy down their crest,
Look calmly on the festive throng,
And for Yohèwah’s bounty raise,                                 [255]
With shout of youth and maiden’s song,
Their graver notes of prayer and praise.

The music hushed, the dances o’er,
In long procession to the shore,
Painted with purifying clay                                         [260]
To cleanse the stains of sin away,


* This, Adair says, is the word used in their religious rites.


[page 92]

Silent they go; beneath the wave
Headlong they plunge; the priest, the brave,
Child, chief, the old beloved one;*
Far from each heart the currents sweep                     [265]
The year’s pollutions to the deep,
And the great harvest feast is done.

II.

The rites are paid on Coosaw’s side,
The hamlet’s voice of joy is still,
Canoes of bark, in fleets, abide                                 [270]
With morning light the cacique’s will;
Beside the ocean’s shore of foam
They seek the lichee’s autumn home;
There shoals of fish — as stories tell,
From the Great Spirit the Indian’s boon —                 [275]
Mullet and trout in myriads dwell,
In winding creek and long lagoon.

Launched from the shore, the vessels fly,
Their rival paddles flash and gleam,
Long foaming wakes behind them lie,                         [280]
And break in lines the glassy stream;
With gladsome look the maiden sees,
Bright eyes of boyish pleasure heed
The passing bank, the gliding trees,
Fast hurrying back, as on they speed;                         [285]
They note, with ebbing tide, the bed
Of jagged oysters, black and bare,
Rising apace; and round them spread
Long sandy shallows reappear;


* The name applied to the most revered of the chiefs.


[page 93]

Beside their edges, calm and still,                                 [290]
Where shrimp and fish are wont to stray,
With neck outstretched and pointed bill,
The wading crane awaits his prey;
Where Morgan’s Point receives the surge
Of ocean s wrath when winds are high,                         [295]
Coursing along the shelly verge,
The sand-bird hunts with eager eye;
The curlew hastes, with piercing cries,
Where tiny crabs in myriads dwell,                                 [300]
Thrusts down his searching bill, and tries
To drag the fiddler* from his cell;
Perched on the stake that marks the shoal,
The halcyon sits, with shaggy crest,
And, darting where the billows roll,                                 [305]
Bears off the minnow to his nest;
Housed from his watch, with sudden fright
And croaking cry, the heron springs,
With legs outstretched, directs his flight,
And slowly flaps his wide blue wings.                             [310]

The sea is near; their paddles meet
Long heaving swells that know no rest —
Pulses that never cease to beat,
The great heart-throbs of Ocean’s breast;
Still felt, though moons on moons have passed                 [315]
Since storms have swept his placid face —
Still felt, though not a breeze has cast,
On the smooth glass, a ripple’s trace.


* The local name of the small crab that burrows in the sand: it is so called by Audubon.


[page 94]

They leave Saint Helen’s shore behind,
The Bird Key’s narrow limit pass,                                     [320]
Where gathering flocks of sea-birds find
A nest-place in the tufted grass;
They reach the wonted port within
The Point of Pines, where, calm and safe,
Land-locked, they hear the ocean’s din,                             [325]
And see the "billows roll and chafe.

Close by, upon the shining strand,
Hard, smooth, and shelving, that receives
The gathered boats, palmettos stand —
Tall columns capitaled with leaves;                                      [330]
The women rear amid the grove
Their huts, with hearths of genial flame;
Broad palm-leaves form the roof above,
And sapling pines the slender frame;
They spread upon the smooth warm sand,                         [335]
With skins of velvet-coated deer,
Soft robes, prepared with nicer hand,
Of shaggy buffalo and bear.
The feast enjoyed, in healthful sleep
That active vigor only knows,                                             [340]
Lulled by the murmurs of the deep,
The sated hunters seek repose;
In slumber sunk the hamlet lies,
Light, dreamless sleep that ever flies
When the gray lights of morning rise.                                   [345]

The dawn steals up the eastern sky,
Gray vapors hang o’er sea and land,
On the rank grass dews lightly lie
That cool by night the heated sand,



[page 95]

And from the tall palmetto’s top,                                         [350]
On the low roof, fall drop by drop.

So light the land-breeze that it wakes
No slumbering leaf of pine and palm;
So soft its breath, no ripple breaks
The ocean’s face of moveless calm;                                     [355]
The gentle swell, so still it falls,
No image of the storm recalls.

The tide is out; nor rock, nor stone,
Nor pebble breaks the long broad shore,
Sloping, of bright fine sand alone,                                         [360]
As hard and smooth as palace floor:
No traces there have yet betrayed
The passing foot of Indian maid.

Above the line that marks the bound
Where Ocean’s might is ever stayed,                                   [365]
Where myrtle thickets shade the ground
With fragrant leaves that never fade,
Light sands, that shift with every gale,
Spread in alternate hill and vale.

There, gathering on the loftiest hill                                         [370]
That looks abroad on beach and wave,
In anxious groups, sedate and still,
The Uchees stand, the chief, the brave,
Woman and child, with looks intent
On the wide waste of waters bent.                                       [375]


[page 96]

They watch its distant bound to view
Yohewah’s orb of glory rise,
And mark the ever-deepening hue
On crimson cloud and saffron skies,
Till, darker wave and sky between,                                     [380]
The first red line of fire is seen.

Thence, slowly rising from the sea,
With majesty almost divine,
In purple vestments, gorgeously
He comes, the day-god, from his shrine;                             [385]
His beams of golden lustre pour
A broad, bright pathway to the shore.

What wonder, when amid the isles
Of Greece his altars ever burned,
When Eastern sage to hallowed piles                                 [390]
Of sacred fire devoutly turned,
And worshiped on the mountain where
The sunbeams first and last appear;

What wonder if the forest race,
With eyes dilated, gazing stand,                                         [395]
Fixed, motionless, with awe-struck face,
Bronze statues on the hill of sand,
And as they gaze, with murmured prayer
Adore the life of earth and air;

Or if, in forest depths, where still                                       [400]
Unbroken silence broods around,
Save where the bird, with ivory bill,
Taps the dead pine of hollow sound,


[page 97]

They build, where Nature’s voice inspires
A solemn awe, their sacred fires!                                       [405]

The mist is gone; the breezes rise;
The early gull is on the wing;
Fast to the beach, with joyous cries
And foot of fawn, the children spring;
With busy hands they gather up                                         [410]
The fluted shell, an ocean-cup.

The maiden to her listening ear
Lifts the sea-conch where voices sleep,
And hears within, or seems to hear,
Soft wailings for the parent deep;                                     [415]
Songs of the sea that ever fill
The pearly wreaths, unuttered still.

Unuttered so, in human minds
The soul of song forever dwells,
Though, hushed with most, it never finds                           [420]
A voice — its murmur sinks and swells;
And he that listens well may hear
The soft, low tone that whispers there:

That whispers deep, mysterious things,
Dim shadowy visions, half discerned,                               [425]
But beautiful, and with them brings
Thoughts of remembered worlds, that, learned
We know not where, before us pass,
Like faces in a magic glass.


[page 98]

It whispers in each heart and eye                                      [430]
At morn, at eve, when joy beguiles,
When Sorrow weeps, when friendships die,
When Love is dressed in tears or smiles;
And though the words be unexpressed,
They burn in every human breast:                                     [435]

Else vain the poet’s art! as well
Sing notes like Lind’s to deafened ear,
As the soul’s tale of music tell
To hearts that have no ears to hear;
As well paint pictures for the blind                                     [440]
As paint them to the sightless mind.

Interpreter of Nature — his
The art to speak what others feel,
The common grief, the common bliss,
The deep heart-life of all reveal,                                         [445]
Most happy when his words impart
An image to the common heart —

Most happy when, in notes as clear
As mountain springs, as roses sweet,
Murmuring upon the unsated ear                                         [450]
With Music’s voice, the listeners meet
Reflected their own thoughts and dreams,
Like banks of flowers in glassy streams:

Such is the song that ever lives,
From Avon’s banks, from Scio’s isle,                                 [455]
The song that Scotland’s poet gives,
Of glistening tear and sunny smile;


[page 99]

Not taught by theory or rule,
But learned alone in Nature’s school.

The dusky maiden of the wood,                                            [460]
That, listening by the ocean, stood,
And heard sweet voices in the shell
Of strange, mysterious beings tell,
Felt waking in her simple heart
The day-dreams of the poet’s art;                                         [465]
But soon, the transient fancy o’er,
Her flying feet again explore
The shelving beach, and as she flies,
New beauties charm her wandering eyes.

They gather pearly shells, that lie,                                          [470]
Above the swell or surge’s sweep,
In the loose sand, where, high and dry,
The storm has hurled them from the deep;
Pierced in the sea, on strings they deck
The warrior’s brow, the maiden’s neck.                                [475]

With rapid pace as on they pass,
New ocean wonders meet their eyes —
Medusas shine, a jellied mass,
With fringes dressed of various dyes;
Though lifeless seeming on the sand,                                     [480]
They sting the rude, incautious hand.

The horse-shoe crawls in half-moon mail,
Arching and smooth, of dusky green,
Behind a length of bony tail,
Beneath sharp claws, with legs between:                               [485]


[page 100]

A score of each, in fierce array,
Frighten the boldest hand away;

And sea-weeds, plants of various hue,
In branching bunches court their sight,
Yellow and green, and ocean blue,                                        [490]
Each varied tint a new delight;
Torn from the deep by storm or tide,
They fade and languish by its side.

Rough urchins of the sea are there,
Of rounded form and brittle shell,                                           [495]
And star shapes from a higher sphere
That fallen in ocean’s bosom dwell;
Dimmed, yet on every point an eye
Still gazes on its parent sky.

In the moist sand the hunter’s skill                                           [500]
Detects the deer’s forked foot, and through
The cutting palm by vale and hill,
Keeps the shy quarry’s trail in view;
The leaf displaced, the broken spray,
Are marks that guide the hunter’s way.                                   [505]

Strong is his bow, and keen his sight,
His shaft unerring in its aim,
The swan’s white plume that wings its flight
Is crimsoned in the dying game;
Fast as his arrows fly, the slain                                                [510]
Are stretched upon the sandy plain.




[page 101]

Others the winding creek explore
Within the island’s marshy bound,
That offers still the tempting store
On its soft banks profusely found;                                         [515]
Large, rounded clams, of inky hue,
And oysters load the long canoe.

They bar the creek from side to side
With vines and strips of oak entwined,
And gather with the ebbing tide                                             [520]
A river feast of various kind,
Or with green cane a pointed spear
Transfix the trout and mullet there.

Days of calm joy, of pure delight,
What heart can want a truer bliss?                                         [525]
What moiling town or country wight
Can boast a life as free as this?
No artificial want nor woe
The simple sons of nature know.

When evening comes the crescent car                                     [530]
Its points upturning clear and dry,*
And on its right the peerless star
Doubling the glories of the sky
Seated upon the sandy shore,
They listen to the ocean’s roar,                                               [535]

The merry jest, the moving tale,
Where grief and joy by turns prevail,
And, as the billows ebb and flow,
Light tears and laughter come and go.


* The Indians believe the upturned horns of the new moon to indicate dry weather.


[page 102]

III.

Harsh is the tale the victor tells                                                 [540]
Of conquered foes: success has charms
In every field, and still excels
In worth and wisdom as in arms;
So they who seize the Indian’s land,
Drive him in distant wilds to roam                                             [545]
From all he ever loved, a band
Of exiled poor without a home;
When, with relentless hand, they stain
His native land with Indian gore,
Till not a wandering tribe remain                                               [550]
Their fallen fortunes to deplore;
Then scorn the race as fierce and rude,
With no soft sympathies imbued,
No gentle sense of joy or woe
Like those our happier people know,                                       [555]
But cruel, treacherous, and base,
A bloody and detested race,
And on their name, as on their life,
Still wage the long unceasing strife.

Unjust the charge! when wronged alone,                                 [560]
His bow, in wrath, the warrior drew,
All gentler joys to others known,
The husband and the parent knew:
Guarded and cold — the Saxon nigh —
They closed the heart and veiled the eye,                                 [565]
And left no passion’s lightest trace
To mark the stern, impassive face,
But in their woods, not yet afraid
Of evil eye and grasping hand,



[page 103]

Where yet no friendly white has strayed                                    [570]
To seize and keep their father-land,
The red tribes spend their summer day
In morning sport and evening tale,
And dance, and song, and jest, and play,
In every hamlet home prevail.                                                   [575]
The Indian loved no needless strife
With kindred tribes or border friends,
Till the white trader cursed his life,
And changed its course for crafty ends;
When in the forest blood was shed,                                         [580]
If fierce avengers never slept,
But, unrelenting for the dead,
Long, patient weeks of vigil kept
To lay the tribe’s assailant low,
Nature’s rude justice struck the blow:                                     [585]
Not justice like the white man’s, dress’d
With solemn forms and glossing pleas,
In courts where juggling tongues arrest,
Pervert, cajole for tempting fees;
Not halting, blind and lame, along,                                         [590]
But, like the lightning, swift and strong,
Justice with them avenges wrong.

The wrong avenged, the dead at rest,
Appeased the kindred warrior’s breast,
The calm of peace again was spread                                     [595]
From ocean shore to river head;
Far o’er the land of Yemassee
To where the Appalachians rise,
Where the brave tribes of Cherokee
See purer streams and brighter skies;                                     [600]




[page 104]

Beyond the mystic spring, that sends
Eastward and west diverging streams,
With Mississippi’s current blends,
With ocean’s morning radiance gleams;
The magic spring, that whoso tastes,                                     [605]
Around its banks of shade and flowers
For seven long years the taster wastes*
In slothful ease his joyous hours;
Beyond the fount whose deeper spell
Gives youth and beauty never ending,                                     [610]
Hid in its dark mysterious dell,
With leafy arches o’er it bending:
No eye can trace its waters there,
The tangled boughs no hand can sever
But his whose life, serene and clear,                                       [615]
Is, like the fountain, stainless ever;
Vainly De Leon’s warriors came,
And Soto’s bands of loftier fame,
On fiery coursers breathing flame,
Of Arab breed, in stately ships;                                             [620]
Still undisturbed, and clear, and deep,
In their dark fount the waters sleep,
Unsullied by unhallowed lips;
Nor, since has mortal foot or mind
So kept the narrow path of duty,                                             [625]
As in the forest maze to find
The secret spring of youth and beauty;
Never shall mortal footstep trace,
Shall mortal eye the fount discover,
Till spirits, to the sacred place                                                 [630]
Like doves to guide, around them hover;


* Herbert’s Spring, of which Adair tells the story.



[page 105]

Winged messengers, like those of yore,
That guided, on Hesperia’s shore,
The hero’s steps through forest glades
Where, hidden in the maze of green,                                         [635]
The sacred bough of gold was seen —
An offering for the Elysian shades.

Beyond Toccoa’s fairy dell,
From brow of rock with mosses gray,
Where waving falls the sparkling veil                                         [640]
Of pearl showers dipped in silver spray —
Light mists of spray, that ever rise
From the deep, breezy pool below,
Tinged with the many-colored dyes
That rainbow showers at evening show;                                     [645]
Onward the restless waters go,
Through rocky ledges brightly gushing,
By groves of pine and chestnut rushing,
And with the river as they flow,
Dark, like its flood, and turbid grow;                                         [650]
So gentle heart and stainless mind,
That leave their native vales and hills,
In the foul city’s concourse find
The taint of its polluting ills;
Nor the pure life that knows no stain                                         [655]
Can ever brook or heart regain,
Till in the deep they slumbering lie,
And, raised by Heaven’s blessed influence, fly
From earth and ocean to the sky.

Beyond Tallulah’s giant den,                                                     [660]
A mountain rent by Nature’s throes,


[page 106]

Where, roaring down the rocky glen,
The stormy torrent falls or flows;
Its waters now a quiet stream,
Now plunging from the giddy steep,                                         [665]
Down rapids now they foam and gleam,
In gloomy pools unfathomed sleep;
From the rent rock you gaze below,
The heart with awe and terror stirred,
You hardly see the torrent flow,                                             [670]
Its fearful voice is faintly heard;
Half down, the hovering crow appears
A moving speck; from rifted beams
Of granite grown, the pine, that rears
Its towering trunk, a sapling seems.                                         [675]

Turn from the din; a calmer scene,
More soft and still, invites your sight;
Beneath your feet, a sea of green*
Fills the charmed heart with new delight;
Down from the mountain top you gaze;                                   [680]
Far, deep below, the verdant maze
Of forest still unbroken lies;
And farther yet, a line of blue
Catches at last the gazer’s view,
The ocean seems to meet his eyes;                                         [685]
With ecstasy beyond control
He sees, while Fancy’s magic power
With witching influence rules the hour,
The surges break, the billows roll.


* The ocean view near Tallulah, where a young lady once said to the writer, "I see the white caps."


[page 107]

Far over hill and hunting-ground,                                           [690]
Chatuga’s stream, Jocassee’s vale,
Hushed every sterner martial sound,
With merry song and mournful tale,
By fountain, stream, and sacred grove,
They kept spring festivals to Love;                                         [695]
From kindred nations, youth and maid,
In rival parties danced and played,
And feasted in the forest shade.

So on the shore, each voice suppressed,                                 [700]
The shades of evening deepening round,
By Ocean’s side, in grateful rest,
Stretched carelessly along the ground,
Expectant listeners wait to hear
The promised tale with eager ear.                                             [705]

IV.

A Meda-man, who had the power
To draw from heaven its genial shower,
And on the growing maize diffuse
Warm sunbeams and refreshing dews,
Told them how, moons on moons before,                                 [710]
The grain first blessed the Indian’s store;
Where Mohawk warriors yearly meet
By seas of water pure and sweet,
Not like the salt sea at their feet,
How the Great Spirit first had given                                         [715]
The golden maize, with bounteous hand;
How the young warrior won from Heaven
This blessing for his native land.


[page 108]

A chief dwelt there of humble name,
Age had subdued his manly force,                                         [720]
His feeble shaft and erring aim
No longer stopped the headlong course
Of elk, or struck dead in his flight
The deer, or quelled the bison’s might;
And scantily his craft supplied                                               [725]
The pemmican or venison, dried
And stored for use, when tempests close
The wigwam door with drifted snows;
Yet not less earnestly was given
His daily prayer of thanks to Heaven,                                   [730]
Serene his bosom and content,
Whatever the Great Spirit sent.

His son now kept, his boyhood past,
The nation s customary fast;
Seven days and nights, deprived of food,                             [735]
He spent amid the sacred wood;
There, in a lodge from all apart,
With steadfast trust and manly heart,
He strove to win some spirit’s aid
To help him in the warrior’s strife,                                       [740]
To help him in the hunter’s life,
In field of blood and forest shade.

To calm his mind, his spirits cheer,
He wandered in the forest near;
Gathered sweet flowers in serious thought,                         [745]
And wished that by his youthful hand
Some signal wonder should be wrought,
Some boon to bless the Indian’s land;


[page 109]

Luxuriant vines above his head
Their purple clusters vainly spread                                     [750]
Berry and nut around him waste
Their sweets to tempt his boyish taste;
But still, with self-denial stern,
Upon the future blessing bent,
He strives with earnest will to earn                                     [755]
The boon to virtue only sent
By the Great Spirit’s hand, whose care
The humblest as the highest share.

Three days and nights of weary fast
And dreary solitude were passed;                                     [760]
Feeble and faint, he slumb’ring lay,
Dreaming the fourth long sun away,
When at his door, of gentle mood
And beauteous form, a hunter stood;
A golden tassel crowned his head,                                     [765]
About his shoulders waving leaves
Of dark, rich verdure broadly spread,
And with them mixed were golden sheaves.
He smiled — the forest seemed more fair,
A fresher verdure clothed the ground;                                 [770]
He spoke — sweet music filled the air,
And fragrant odors lingered round;
"Bear with strong heart," the stranger said,
"The burden on your courage laid;
Bear bravely; ‘tis the good alone                                         [775]
To whom the nobler part is known,
Burdened to bear with spirit high,
Unshaken heart, unblenching eye,
And so achieve the good from heaven
To steadfast virtue only given;                                             [780]


[page 110]

Rise from the ground, and from you cast
The feebleness of watch and fast;
Attempt, though suffering now and weak,
The trial task I come to claim,
The manly strife, the wrestler s game,                                 [785]
That so the boon you nobly seek
May fill your hands and bless your name."

The faster with the wrestler strove,
With warmer glow his spirits rise,
His limbs a strength unwonted prove,                                 [790]
More vigorous all the more he tries:
"Cease, now," the stranger said; "refrain
From further strife: we stop to-day;
To-morrow I return again:"
He spoke, and passed, unseen, away.                                [795]

To cheer or try the sufferer’s mood,
Thrice at his door the wrestler stood;
Thrice as they strove, as subtle flame,
A spell of power increasing came
With vigor to the wasted frame.                                         [800]
The third day, when the strife was past,
The hunter said, "I come again
But once; the visit is the last;
Then lay my body in the plain;
Open the spot to sun and rain;                                           [805]
Guard well the place, and watch with care,
That no rank weed may flourish there;
And when four moons have waxed and waned,
From the Great Source whence ever flows
Each blessing that the Red Man knows,                             [810]
Your guerdon’s won, your wish obtained."


[page 111]

His mother in the forest sought
Her fasting son, and fondly brought,
Dressed by her hands, the choicest cheer,
The tender bird and savory deer;                                         [815]
In vain all day the dainties wooed
His taste; with patience unsubdued
He waited for his friend again,
Buried his body in the plain,
Cherished the spot with anxious care,                                 [820]
Suffered no weed to shelter there;
And when the stated time was gone,
One glorious morn of purple light,
Sparkling with dews at early dawn,
A shape of beauty met his sight;                                         [825]
A tassel formed its lofty head,
Like that the friendly hunter bore;
Broad, graceful leaves around it spread,
Like those the friendly wrestler wore,
And glossy in the morning rays                                         [830]
Hung clustered ears of golden maize;
Surprised he stood, with joy elate,
Then homeward hastened to relate
The wondrous story yet untold,
And brought the aged sire to see                                     [835]
Where, from the rising mound, unfold,
These richer gifts than gems or gold,
Won by his spirit’s constancy.

The sachem looked with wondering eyes:
"‘Tis the Great Spirit’s boon," he said,                             [840]
"Sent by the Ruler of the skies
For grateful rites devoutly paid;


[page 112]

Its fruits shall bless the Indian’s store
With plenty never known before,
And the Red tribes shall want no more."                         [845]

The prophet ceased; the tale was done;
With grateful thought each bosom heaved,
And for the priceless bounty won,
The peaceful victory achieved,
They praise the bounteous Power that gave,                   [850]
And hail with joy the youthful brave
That in the happy valley, blessed
With lighter foot and keener zest
For forest sports, with shadowy bow,
Drives, as he drove the deer before                               [855]
On Michigan or Erie’s shore,
The antlered elk or buffalo.

V.

Their wish unsated still to hear,
The listening maidens forward bend
The glistening eye, the half-turned ear,                             [860]
And sachems grave and chiefs attend,
Sedate and still, till one again
Resumes the legendary strain.

A warrior he, whose eagle eye
Flashed with the fires of ardent youth,                             [865]
With boundless hope and purpose high,
With dreams of constancy and truth,
That life on every heart bestows,
To bloom, to wither, and decay,
Like the sweet flowers that April shows,                         [870]
With April showers to pass away;


[page 113]

He tells the tale — a grateful task —
Of faithful love, Acura’s tale;
The love that gentle maidens ask,
The hopes and joys that never fail,                                 [875]
In city or in desert lone,
Wherever human hearts are known.

In climes beyond Chicora far,
He said, where five great nations dwell
Beneath the moveless northern star,                               [880]
That stands, a sentinel, to tell
The spirits of the earth and air
Their courses through the misty night,
Helping their ministering flight
When sent by Heaven on errands there;                         [885]
Where hills and vales in winter lie
Whelmed in deep snows; where rivers stand
Still, hard, and smooth, and to the sky
Rises all night the solemn cry
Of the frost spirit as he bends                                         [890]
Along the stream the icy band
That binds the river to the land,
And the broad surface warps and rends;
Where spreading oak, with crystal coat,
And pine and fir are crushed or bowed,                         [895]
And through the forest drear and loud
Deep sounds of crashing branches rise,
From rended trees the wailing cries,
In freezing rains and snowy skies;

Close by the lake, beside the wood,                              [900]
The lodges of Acura stood;



[page 114]

His the Great Spirit’s choicest boon,
The lofty stature, strong and straight,
The foot that traced from morn till noon,
From noon till night, the flying deer,                                 [905]
The buffalo or grizzly bear,
And drove the monster to his lair,
Unerring as the foot of Fate;
His heart was pure, his hand was strong,
Through the five tribes no name exceeds                         [910]
His in the brave’s triumphant song,
For fame achieved in warlike deeds.

But in the chief s young heart, the flame
Of love, with quiet progress stealing,
And warmer influence, daily came,                                 [915]
New hopes, and joys, and thoughts revealing;
The maid was beautiful as Spring,
With leaves and flowers, and whispering breeze,
And cloudless skies, and murmuring bees,
And humming-birds of glittering wing —                         [920]
Such beauty as Yohèwah gives
At distant intervals, to show
The form of loveliness that lives
Where pure and gentle spirits go;
Scarce seen on earth the vision bright,                             [925]
When, radiant with celestial light,
It vanishes from mortal sight;
So to the nation’s wondering view,
Like some bright flower before unknown,
In wild or wood, of matchless hue,                                 [930]
In beauty’s light, Avora shone;


[page 115]

So snatched away from human eyes,
In the cold grave the maiden lies.

Heart-broken now, the youth deplores
His loss by forest, vale, and hill,                                     [935]
By frozen lake and river shores,
Moon after moon, in sorrow still;
The bow unstrung, the quiver’s store
Of shining shafts all idle lie;
No longer, as they shunned before,                               [940]
The herds of deer now shun his eye;
In vain the lodges ask for game,
Bear, elk, and moose unsought remain;
And through the tribes the sachems blame
The young brave’s mournful mood in vain.                     [945]

One morn, on new adventure bent,
To the wide wood the hunter went,
For there he knew a pathway led
Through the dim forest to the dead;
Such he had heard the legend told,                                 [950]
In stormy nights, when spirits wake,
By Meda-men and prophets old,
In winter lodge, by Erie’s lake.

Onward he pushed, day after day,
In ice and snow, his eager way,                                     [955]
Through tangled swamp and deep morass,
Where moose or elk would never pass,
Till suddenly the yielding air
Grew soft, the thickets disappear;



[page 116]

The open wood is dressed in green,                                 [960]
And green the wider glades below,
And flowers of every hue are seen
On shrub or tree that ever blow;
With wondering eyes, and joyous breast,
And swifter foot, the hunter pressed                                 [965]
Onward to where a sachem stood
By the green margin of the wood,
With head of snow, and eyes that beam
As calm and sweet as autumn morn,
When crimson leaves the woods adorn,                           [970]
And fall on sunny bank and stream.

"Not unexpected are you come,"
The old man said; "your wish I know;
But to the happy spirit home
No limbs of flesh can ever go;                                          [975]
Leave here the cumbrous mass; pursue
Your course; the open pathway take,
That ever leads the just and true
In safety to the sacred lake;
There, by the pictured rocks that rise                               [980]
From the blue waters to the skies,
Are crystal boats, that swiftly bear
Good spirits to the sacred isle,
And there, released from every fear,
Your eyes shall meet Avora’s smile,                                 [985]
More bright and beautiful than when
Her spirit dwelt with mortal men."

The body’s weight arid weakness gone,
With swifter course the hunter flew,


[page 117]

And farther as he hastened on,                                         [990]
More wonderful the region grew;
No shadow from the rock was cast
In this the dream-land of the dead,
Through lofty trees his passage passed,
Yet pauseless on the hunter sped.                                     [995]

He found the pictured rocks, the strand,
With shining boats an endless store,
And, launching boldly from the strand,
Upon the lake were myriads more;
Straight onward to the spirits home,                                 [1000]
Like flying swans, the vessels made.
Their rapid course through mist and foam,
In every shadowy boat a shade.

He seized a boat, the paddle plied,
Nor thought of rising wave or storm,                               [1005]
When in another, by his side,
He wondering sees the maiden’s form;
Forward with vigorous arms they urge
Their passage through the swelling surge,
That rises foaming on their way                                       [1010]
With curling crest and blinding spray,
And threatens with resistless force,
Like a white rock, to bar their course.

But as the mountain billows swell,
And curl to crush the light canoe,                                     [1015]
Obedient to some secret spell,
That ever guards the just and true,
The surge is hushed, the waves subside,


[page 118]

And on the calm, unruffled tide,                                        [1020]
With placid course the vessels glide.

While, countless as the fallen leaves,
When Autumn dyes and strews them round,
Or when the storm-torn forest grieves
For the green wreck that spreads the ground,                   [1025]
Where the fierce billows foam and rave
With deafening roar, by furies tossed,
Canoes and forms of chief and brave
In the wild deep are sunk and lost;
Sunk by the sin-avenging waves,                                     [1030]
Where purifying waters flow,
In crystal-roofed and pillared caves
Downward the wailing spirits go;
There, washed from every taint and stain,
They rise, in time, to earth again;                                     [1035]
But, carried by an unknown hand
For other shadowy forms to try
Their fortune, on the pictured strand
The bright canoes returning lie,
Ready for those who next explore                                 [1040]
A passage to the sacred shore.

Fast on they pass — the maid, the youth;
The island cliffs that shine afar,
Radiant as evening’s peerless star,
The guides of constancy and truth                                 [1045]
Direct their way; upon the strand
The light prows grate; they leap to shore;
With hearts of rapture, hand in hand,
The hills ascend, the vales explore.



[page 119]

Not in those isles of summer seas,                                 [1050]
Where, stories say, no winters come,
Are hills and vales as fair as these
In the blessed land, the spirits home;
A richer verdure spreads the ground,
The sky is of a softer blue,                                             [1055]
And scattered in profusion round
Are flowers of every shape and hue;
Their fragrance on the unsated breeze
Floats exquisite; and evermore
On purple vines and bending trees                                 [1060]
Are various fruits, an endless store;
Innumerable birds prolong,
With chattering joy, their dainty cheer,
Of brighter plume and sweeter song
Than meet with mortal eye or ear;                                 [1065]
The spotted fawn and timid doe
Browse the sweet shrub without a fear,
They never dread the hunter’s bow
And quivered deaths that strike them here;
Not in this gentle spirit land                                             [1070]
The warrior heeds his earthly fame,
Nor hunters drive, with practiced hand
And shining shafts, their former game;
No reptile crawls, no falcon flies,
No beast prowls savage and alone,                                 [1075]
Nor snows, nor ice, nor stormy skies
In the blessed isle are ever known;
No need for food; the balmy air
Gives life, and strength, and added grace,
And beauty brightening every year                                 [1080]
To youthful form and radiant face:



[page 120]

With senses more refined, and keen,
And various than we know in this,
Our grosser state, from every scene
They draw a sweeter, purer bliss.                                     [1085]

By the Great Spirit’s gracious boon,
In forests here, by crystal stream,
Acura lived moon after moon,
Earth almost a forgotten dream;
But when twice six were come and gone,                         [1090]
By the night lodge, at early dawn,
A gentle voice of music rose,
Than morning birds more soft and clear,
And whispering in the hunter’s ear,
Not this the life, it said, for those                                     [1095]
Whose bodies sleep not with the dead,
Through life’s sharp cares and duties led —
Nature’s sole pathway to repose;
To calm your grief, your courage cheer,
The pitying spirit has sent you here;                                 [1100]
Return, and now, with manly heart,
Perform the chief’s — the hunter’s part;
Protect, defend, the wants supply
Of others; when the time to die
That comes for all shall come for you,                             [1105]
With bosom tried, but ever true,
Then come: the maid you love so well
Again shall meet you on the shore,
And with you in these vales once more
In boundless joys forever dwell.                                     [1110]



[page 121]

Back to earth’s toils the hunter came:
Among the tribes of purest race,
With chiefs and braves the first in fame,
Acura filled the noblest place;
And now, to leave its vales no more,                             [1115]
Blessed with the bliss enjoyed before,
He treads again the happy shore.

VI.

The warrior’s words and glance impart
A charm, whose gentle influence lies
Warm in each youthful listener’s heart,                         [1120]
Her heaving breast and sparkling eyes;
But, pleased with change, the circle now
Of eager hearers look to see,
With lips compressed and anxious brow,
If the great chief of Yemassee                                     [1125]
Would tell the tale of grief and fear
They dreaded and yet wished to hear —
The tale of ocean mystery.

An aged chief; upon his head
A hundred snows were lightly spread;                         [1130]
A mighty Meda-man — his art
Each potent herb and berry knew,
Could make the eagle, as he flew
High over mist and cloud, impart
A healing spell for every ill                                         [1135]
That claimed the chief s unerring skill;
Or from the sun’s bright beam could steal
Its mystic power to charm and heal;


[page 122]

With subtle sense, his ear could hear
From singing plants, at summer noon,                         [1140]
The warbled notes, as soft and clear
As mock-bird’s to the rising moon;
Plants whose slight touch alone could cure
Each pain and grief that men endure.
His the carbuncle’s radiant light,                                 [1145]
From rattlesnake’s dark cavern won,
That burned and sparkled through the night,
A fragment from the setting sun;
Hidden with jealous care, it shone
For the old warrior’s eyes alone,                                 [1150]
Filling with fire his piercing sight,
And awing with a spirit’s might
The gazer’s eye; the icy weight
Of years was powerless to bow
His towering stature, or abate                                     [1155]
The strength that knows no equal now.

He rose, and stood erect and still;
Deep sorrow marked the cacique’s face
Each sterner glance and loftier grace
Lost in some dim o’ershadowing ill,                             [1160]
That seemed his prescient breast to fill
With terror for the Indian race.
With eye of awe and open ear,
And bosom filled with doubt and fear,
The listeners looked intent to hear.                             [1165]

"In years long past," he said, "before
The life-day of my father s sire,
One autumn noon, toward the shore,
A race with thunder armed and fire;


[page 123]

Came from the sea. The warriors shone                         [1170]
In war-coats brighter than the stone
Of mountain caves; their spear-heads keen
As the hooked thorn that guards the rose
With glossy leaves in Cherokee;
And brandished in their hands were seen                       [1175]
Long glittering knives, whose flashing throws
A dazzling sunlight on the sea,
Blinding the startled eyes of those
Who gazed and wondered on the land,
Near the same spot where now I stand.                         [1180]

"Proudly they came, in great canoes,
Broad-winged, like winter cranes that fly
In banded flocks, with whooping cry,
At nightfall through the silent sky,
From icy fields; the spirits use                                         [1185]
These wings of might with speed to urge
Their courses through the yielding surge;
Skimming the wave, the vessels seem
Like birds that skim the frozen stream.

"Obedient to some secret force,                                     [1190]
With sudden cry the white wings close,
And, resting from their rapid course,
They stop in motionless repose,
Breasting the current as it flows;
O’er land and sea, from every boat,                               [1195]
Unearthly notes of music float.

"The strangers land — a hideous crew,
With shaggy beards of grizzly hue.
With faces pale and eyes of blue;


[page 124]

Strong in the power of spells and charms                         [1200]
To guide their steps and nerve their arms.
One grim black chief in silence bore,
And planted on the sandy shore,
Their Spirit’s sign; they kneeled around,
And bowed their faces to the ground,                             [1205]
With words and songs of solemn sound,
And forms and rites — an offering made
To the great Demon Power that gave
These ocean tribes his mighty aid
The sea’s dread forms of fear to brave,                           [1210]
And cross unharmed its stormy wave.

"Secure amid the sheltering wood,
With wondering eyes our people stood,
In troubled thought, with changeful view,
Doubting if the Great Spirit’s hand                                 [1215]
Had brought these strangers to the land,
Or some ill-boding Manitou.

"But soon, the doubt and terror lost,
Unversed as yet in Spanish frauds,
To the light wind their caution tossed,                             [1220]
And, lured and won by tempting gauds,
With eager haste they seek the beach,
Launch the swift boats, the vessels reach;
Climb the tall sides; with cautious eye,
In secret holes and caverns pry;                                     [1225]
With wonder view the lofty tree
That towering stood, like blasted pines,
Branchless and bare, and round it see,
Hung from its top, long leafless vines.


[page 125]

The cloud-like wings with which they fly,                         [1230]
Hiding their wonders from the eye,
In folded forms reposing lie.
Through the long boat, in solemn mood,
Austere and still, the strangers stood;
Strong plates of dazzling lustre spread                             [1235]
On ample chest and lofty head.

"At every sight that met their eyes
The lichees gazed, with wild surprise
But moveless face; a solemn awe
Weighed on each heart; a secret fear                             [1240]
Shook every simple breast that saw,
In the pale-featured strangers there,
Proud messengers from Heaven, with charms
And spells of power and fearful arms;
Yet, bowing to each bearded form,                                 [1245]
They hope the God that rules the sea
Had sent these spirits of the storm
With gifts and joys for Yemassee.

"But as they gazed around, and spoke
Their rising hopes, a sudden sound                                 [1250]
From the boat’s side like thunder broke,
With lightning flash and clouds of smoke,
Far through the forest echoing round.
With a shrill cry the wings expand;
Loosed by the spell, the vessels fly                                 [1255]
Away, away! upon the land
Is heard the long, despairing cry,
Borne on the tossed and troubled sea,
A wail of speechless agony,
The death-cry of the captive band.                                 [1260]


[page 126]

"One, with the vigor of despair
One youthful chief, with manly pride
Braving the ocean forms of fear,
Plunged headlong in the foaming tide.
In vain the billows round him roar;                                 [1265]
Breasting the surge with vigorous arm
And heart of fire, he wins the shore
By spirit hands, secure from harm.

"Dripping, he stood upon the beach,
And gazed with horror and amaze,                                 [1270]
Till his strained vision failed to reach
The monster in the thickening haze;
Like the gull’s wing or breaking surge,
It vanished on the ocean verge.

He raised his arm with flashing eye,                                 [1275]
With lips compressed and burning heart,
And prayed to Him who rules the sky
For vengeance on the spoiler’s art.
Grant me, the Uchee warrior said,
To rend the scalp, to cleave the head,                             [1280]
That, here returning to the shore,
They fall in bleeding heaps of dead,
And steep it in perfidious gore;
And so avenged, among the blessed,
Our friends at last, their miseries o’er,                             [1285]
In the calm vales may gladly rest,
Where joys, enduring evermore,
With rapture fill the warrior’s breast.


[page 127]

"The prayer was heard. When summer poured
Warm light on land and sea again,                                     [1290]
While still the tribes in vain deplored
The unavenged, unburied slain,
Once more from the mysterious main,
On its dim verge, the boats appeared,
And, moved by some strong demon force,                         [1295]
Cleaving the billows in their course,
Straight for Chicora’s Islands steered;
There, in the broad and sheltered bay,
With folded wings, secure and still,
Obedient to the spirit's will                                                 [1300]
That ruled their flight, the vessels lay.

"Warned by the past, the mother pressed
The child more closely to her breast,
And from the fierce, relentless crew,
To darker swamp or forest flew,                                         [1305]
Where stranger foot could never trace
A passage to the secret place;
But brave and chief, dissembling yet
Their grief and anger, freely met
The pale-faced robbers as before;                                       [1310]
Striving in vain by signs to know
If, where the deep blue waters flow,
Their people lived, or breathed no more.

"While so employed, with gladdened eyes
And hearts of joy, the chiefs behold,                                   [1315]
Adorned with dress of crimson dyes,
With shining beads and chain of gold,


[page 128]

From the great vessel floating near,
A captive Uchee boy appear;
Brought by the Spaniards from abroad,                             [1320]
Their hostile purpose to disguise,
With tale prepared by Spanish fraud,
To cheat his friends with specious lies,
And lure their steps to trust again
The robber-vessels of the Main.                                       [1325]

"But vain the scheme! the Uchee, true
As stars and sun to skies of blue,
And steadfast to his native clime,
Scorning the Spaniards subtle art,
His forked tongue and crafty heart,                                 [1330]
Told the true tale of fraud and crime.

"Buried amid the stormy deep,
He said, a hundred captives sleep;
And now the sad, surviving band,
In gloomy mines, unhappy slaves,                                   [1335]
Women alike, and nobler braves,
Dig gold upon a foreign strand.
The fierce marauders come to lure
Our thoughtless tribes to trust again
Their ships, and, like the lost, endure                              [1340]
The torments of the land and main;
With endless labor to supply
The gold, for which a thousand bands
Of Indians, in those hapless lands,
In dismal caves, unheeded, die;                                     [1345]
Deep, gloomy caves of horror, where
The passing listeners daily hear
Wild cries of anguish and despair.


[page 129]

"Calm and unmoved he tells the tale,
"Watched by sharp eyes; the watchers fail                     [1350]
From lip, or glance, or brow, to trace
One passion on that moveless face,
One shade of anger or disgrace
Strong in the breast of Indian brave
When forced to be the stranger s slave.                         [1355]

"Calmly they heard. The Spaniards thought
The story told as it was taught,
And fearlessly, in troops, pursued
Laborious tasks by shore and wood;
Safe, they supposed, from force or guile,                     [1360]
With ceaseless toil, a sturdy band,
Bright tools in every vigorous hand,
On ditch and bank their labors plied,
And heaved the breast-work high and wide,
Of earth and wood a rising pile.                                 [1365]

"But when the fourth dark morning came,
High in the east the storm-clouds rear
Their angry front; the sun’s red flame,
Half darkened, casts a gloomy glare
On the fierce sea; a moan is heard,                             [1370]
Hollow and low, along the strand;
And from her haunts the wild sea-bird
Flies, screaming, to the sheltering land.
No sky is seen; a leaden cloud,
Unbroken, spreads and covers all;                             [1375]
Before the storm-wind, strong and loud,
The lifted waves in thunder fall;


[page 130]

Dashed into spray, like sleety rain,
Driven by the gale, they blight and burn;
The forest leaves that yet remain                                 [1380]
To winter s withered aspect turn;
No thunder rolls, no lightnings flash,
But, through the boundless forest round,
Gigantic oaks, with sudden crash,
Shake, as they fall, the quivering ground;                     [1385]
And stately pines, like saplings bent,
Like twisted reeds, are rent and torn,
And through the air, the branches rent,
On tempest wings are swiftly borne.
Far in, beyond the accustomed shore,                         [1390]
Swept by the storm o’er field and wood,
The ocean waters swell and roar,
And spread a fierce, resistless flood;
No creature stirs; the Spanish brave,
Awed like the Indian, hears and sees                         [1395]
Naught but the rush of wind and wave,
And crashing boughs and falling trees.

"The storm is gone; with early day
The broken clouds have passed away;
The skies are bright; the western breeze                     [1400]
Whispers and soothes the sorrowing trees;
And the hushed waters, soft and low,
In lulling murmurs calmly flow;
But in the forest, Nature’s face,
Stripped of its fresh, unsullied grace,                         [1405]
Is bright no more; she droops and grieves
For blighted flowers and shattered leaves;


[page 131]

Gone are the chiefs that towered above,
The leafy monarchs of the grove;
Tall forest-trees, in piles around                                 [1410]
Of broken masses, strew the ground,
And mourners sorrowful and sere
The remnants of the wood appear.

"Amid the wreck, upon the strand,
Where massy live-oaks stooping stand,                     [1415]
Shading at once the sea and land,
Dashed on the shore, with crushing stroke,
Against the overhanging oak,
As on a rock, a vessel lies —
The stranger’s boat of largest size.                             [1420]

"Around the hulk, with gloomy air
Of mingled terror and despair,
The Spaniards stand, and try to save
The fragments left them by the wave:
The bread, with water soaked and spoiled;                 [1425]
The shining armor stained and soiled;
The demon arms, whose sudden roar,
With lightning flashes, shook the shore.
Close by the boat, industrious bands,
With shining hatchets in their hands,                             [1430]
Striving their losses to repair,
By night and day are busied there.

"But in each Indian warrior’s breast
All outward show of joy repressed,
With curious eye, in watchful mood,                             [1435]
Before the wreck the Uchees stood;


[page 132]

They freely offered larger aid,
The daily gift as early made,
And gave, more amply than before,
Of meat and maize the hoarded store.                         [1440]
More readily the hunters bring
Fat venison from the forest near,
The turkey-poult of early spring,
The haunches of the autumn bear;
And reassure, with ready art,                                     [1445]
The anxious stranger’s sinking heart.

"But, unrelenting in their wrath,
Matured their stern, avenging plans,
Where, in the wood that knows no path,
The Uchee town by Huspah stands,                           [1450]
Long councils now the warriors hold,
Gathered from every forest near,
With purifying forms enrolled,
And solemn fast, and rites of fear;
The war-drum breathes its sullen sound,                     [1455]
The war-seat glares with deeper red,
And in the gloomy forest round
New wailings mourn the unhappy dead:
They drink the Yopon’s cup; secure
The braves from sinful act or thought,*                       [1460]
Three days of fast and watch endure,
Till, won from Heaven the blessing sought,
Supported by Yohèwah’s hand,
Who rules and guards the Indian land,


* The Indian warrior prepared for every enterprise with many rites, and was vigilant to prevent the young braves from indulging in excesses that would pollute them and forfeit the divine aid.


[page 133]

Successfully their files may tread                                 [1465]
The avenging war-path for the dead;
And so the spirits lingering near,
Their wrongs redressed, may now attain
The spirit land, and gladly share
The pleasures that they seek in vain                             [1470]
While unavenged their wrongs remain.

"First of the band, the youthful brave
That from the boat, with desperate leap,
Plunging amid the boiling wave,
Had dared the terrors of the deep,                               [1475]
Rousing to rage each warrior’s heart,
Takes with fierce joy the leader’s part.
Near him his bow, with skillful care
New strung with sinews of the deer;
His quiver full of shafts, that shone                                 [1480]
With polished heads of flint or bone;
And the curved club of seasoned oak,
That, as the lightning cleaves the tree,
Crushes the foeman with its stroke
Through bone and brain resistlessly.                               [1485]
Unmatched in skill, his arrows flew
From arm so strong, with aim so true,
The eagle towering in his height,
The mountain monster’s grizzly might,
Were quelled and tamed; and through and through            [1490]
Passing they pierced the bison’s flank,
Till, buried there, the feather drank
The cloven heart’s deep crimson hue.


[page 134]

"He stood before the warriors there
With head erect and flashing eye,                                     [1495]
And stamping foot and battle cry,
That rang and echoed far and near:
They come, he cried, the stranger band
Of robbers, to the Uchee land,
With fraud and violence once more,                                 [1500]
With hands still reeking with the gore
Of friends, to murder as before.
Accursed the day when first they came!
In the dark wood, when winds are high,
When storm-clouds fill the blackened sky,                         [1505]
I hear all night the sorrowing cry
Of the unburied dead; they blame
Our tardy wrath, and bid us go *
Like war-hawks on the hated foe,
Their hearts of crime to rend and tear;                               [1510]
They call for blood, the scalp, the groan,
The cries of battle, that alone
Are grateful to the spirit’s ear.
I hear the eagle’s scream for blood,
I see the vulture’s spreading wing —                                 [1515]
On to the battle! like the flood
Of mountain streams in early spring.
Theirs be the vengeance that they ask,
The last repose our brothers claim,
And yours the fierce avenger’s task,                                 [1520]
The battle joy and warrior’s fame.

"Up from their seats the council sprung,
The war-hoop through the forest rung,


[page 135]

With gesture fierce, and frantic yell,
Sachem, and brave, and cacique tell                                 [1525]
Their warlike deeds; prepared to steal
Like panthers through the forest shade,
And on the hated Spaniard deal
Fit vengeance for the tribe betrayed.
The band is formed, the pledge is made,                            [1530]
The war-paint on the warrior laid,
And to the wood in files they go,
Ambushed to wait the coming foe.

"Gray-headed chiefs and sachems old,
High festival by Huspah hold;                                             [1535]
On war resolved, they still devise
The scheme of blood in peaceful guise;
To strike, with unresisted blow
And surer aim, the crafty foe,
Old caciques hasten to invite                                             [1540]
The strangers to the festive rite;
Fearless they yield; on rapine bent,
With eager step the Spaniards went,
With grasping hand and cruel heart,
Prepared to play the robber’s part,                                   [1545]
Heedless alike of secret feud
Or bold attack from tribes so rude;
Scorning their strength or warrior craft,
Their naked limbs and pointless shaft,
At danger’s thought the Spaniard laughed.                         [1550]

"Through shaded trails by hunter traced,
In shining arms the strangers haste,


[page 136]

By paths that arching branches cross,
Where the pine towers, the live-oak spreads,
And from its limbs the long gray moss                               [1555]
Strikes, as they pass, their crested heads,
While something ever strange and new,
Of flower or plant, attracts their view:
The climbing vines, that overhead,
With trumpet-flowers of crimson, spread;                         [1560]
The trees of unknown leaf; the birds
Of various plume; the deer in herds,
That, bounding past the narrow way,
In careless freedom seemed to play;
With active foot and peering eyes,                                   [1565]
From tree to tree the squirrel flies;
The turkey flaps his clumsy wings,
Beneath their feet the partridge springs;
And high above, where lightly float
White, rounded clouds, distinct and clear                         [1570]
Is heard at times the falcon’s note,
As, stooping now again to rise
With moveless pinions to the skies,
His sharp wing cleaves the yielding air

"Beneath the hamlet’s ample oak                                     [1575]
The feast is spread, the welcome spoke;
Attendant priests of solemn mien,
And groups of chiefs and braves are seen
In hunting-shirts, with fringes dressed,
Of skins prepared with practiced care,                           [1580]
And on the head a grinning crest
The panther’s glittering teeth appear;


[page 137]

Or, proudly on the brow displayed,
With the swan’s wing of snowy white,
The eagle’s plume of darker shade,                                 [1585]
And hawk’s long, pointed wings unite;
And claws of black or grizzly bear,
With wampum strings, the warrior’s pride,
Mark the proud chief that knows no fear,
The chief whose hand and counsel guide                         [1590]
The fortunes of the tribe, and shield
Its honor in the battle-field.

"With dignity and quiet grace,
They press the stranger to his place
At the full board, with dainties spread,                             [1595]
From distant plain or stream supplied,
From inland lake or ocean side,
By Nature’s endless bounty bred:
The clam and conch — a savory stew,
The fish of gold or silver hue,                                         [1600]
Game from the swamp or forest near,
The bearded bird, the antlered deer,
And hump or haunch, a nobler cheer,
Of rarer buffalo and bear;
With cakes and bread of yellow maize,                         [1605]
Dressed in a hundred different ways,
Each worthy of the Spaniard’s praise.

"By hunger urged, the strangers share
The ample board in careless mood,
And feasting, look with scornful air                               [1610]
On hunter host and forest food,
While ambushed on their footsteps wait
The terrors of approaching fate,


[page 138]

And from the watchful thicket near
Avenging eyes already glare,                                         [1615]
With glance to freeze the heart with fear.

"The feast is done; a joyous throng
Close the bright day with sport and song;
The younger braves and maidens meet,
And to the drum and rattle beat                                    [1620]
The ground with light, untiring feet;
With hearts of fire, and flashing eyes,
In the war-dance the warriors rise,
The club is hurled, the hatchet flies,
And fiercely round is heard the knell                             [1625]
The Indian warrior loves so well,
When, to the heart the arrow sped,
The knee upon the prostrate dead,
He tears the scalp-lock from the head.

"In the rough game that boasts the charm                       [1630]
Of battle, rival warriors strive,
With dexterous stroke and vigorous arm,
Beyond the adverse stake to drive
The flying ball; from either bound,
With blow on blow, it ceaseless flies,                             [1635]
And falling now, again to rise,
Seems never once to touch the ground.

"In crafty thought, the Spaniards note
The brawny limbs, the spirit bold,
And in their hearts dark visions float                               [1640]
Of kidnapped slaves and gathered gold;
Not poor and puny natures these,
Like the weak tribes of Southern seas,


[page 139]

That, torn from light, and air, and sky,
Like child or squaw, with moan and cry,                         [1645]
In feeble thousands daily die,
But strong and brave in limb and heart,
To do and bear the toiler’s part.

"The shadows deepen through the wood,
Cold fogs from sea at sunset rise,                                     [1650]
And, stealing on by land and flood,
Make one gray mass of earth and skies;
Fast as they glide, on stream and shore,
Point after point is seen no more;
Strange forest noises strike the ear;                                 [1655]
Around the fires of blazing pine,
Through the dark wood that nightly shine
Before the wigwam doors, appear
A thousand flitting hosts, that scorch
Then* rash wings in the dazzling torch;                             [1660]
Wayward and glittering in its flight,
The fire-fly, now its light revealing,
And now the transient glow concealing,
Sparkles amid the shades of night,
And through the trees, in fitful gleams,                             [1665]
Of wandering mood, a spirit seems;
In deep morass, the croaking throats
Of frogs their dreary songs combine;
From dismal swamps, the solemn notes
Of owls in gloomy hootings join,                                     [1670]
And heard around, the hamlet nigh,
Are fox’s bark and panther’s cry.

"But other sounds of awe and fear
Assail at last the listener’s ear;


[page 140]

The ambush from the covert springs;                             [1675]
The war-hoop through the forest rings;
The stifled groan, the crushing blow,
The death-shriek of the hated foe
Burst on the ear; in vain they try,
With terror struck, to fight or fly,                                 [1680]
They only wake to bleed and die;
Relentless in the deadly strife,
The tomahawk and flinty knife
Drink their vile blood; a few in vain
The refuge of the forest gain,                                       [1685]
And idly labor to explore
A pathway to the distant shore;
The hunter’s eye, with morning light,
Tracks in the wood the craven’s flight;
Vainly the foe for shelter creep                                   [1690]
Through tangled swamp and covert deep;
Vainly they shun the warrior’s art,
The shaft-head cleaves the dastard’s heart;
Not one escapes; on branches near
Of pine or oak their scalps are hung,                         [1695]
And scornfully, in places drear,
To vulture flocks their bodies flung.
In honor to the Indian dead,
Now to the happy valley passed,
Their wrongs and griefs avenged at last,                     [1700]
At the lodge door are duly spread,
To give their spirits new delight,
The bloody trophies of the fight,
Torn from the Spaniard’s cloven head.


[page 141]

"With terror struck, to seek the Main                         [1705]
The chiefs of the remaining band
Spread to the winds their wings again,
Flying the fierce avenging land,
And, base and abject, never more
Have dared to seek Chicora’s shore."                       [1710]

VII.

The prophet paused; a solemn awe
Hung on the hearts of young and old,
For in his troubled eye they saw
Some thought of terror yet untold;
He bowed his head in silence long,                           [1715]
In silence sat the listeners round,
While, moved with sorrow deep and strong,
He fixed his glances on the ground.

"Almost forgot in ancient tale,"
The chief resumed," the grief, the fear,                       [1720]
We listen with an idle ear,
And, while the smiles of peace prevail,
Fearless of ill or peril near,
Trust that her joys shall never fail;
But in the dreams of solemn night,                               [1725]
When spirits meet our sharpened sight,
I twice have seen before asleep,
Here, by the great mysterious deep,
And, waking now, I see again,
On the dark wave, where yonder star                         [1730]
Shines brightest on the misty main,
Slow gliding hither from afar


[page 142]

The form of fear that once before
Brought terror to Chicora’s shore;
I see the wings of snowy white,                                 [1735]
The bearded chiefs, the shining knives,
The wreathing smoke, the flashing light;
Before my eyes the scene revives
Distinct and clear; the time is come
When the Great Spirit’s hand no more                       [1740]
Shall keep from harm the Indian’s home
And country as he kept of yore.
A people comes, of hardier frame,
Sedate and calm, but stern and bold,
Not like the Spanish band that came                         [1745]
With eager thirst alone for gold;
These seize the land, the woods, the fields,
With grasping hand, unsated heart,
And onward step, that never yields,
Nor stops, nor rests, while left a part                       [1750]
Of all the hapless Indian race
Has ever held; from every place,
From shore and isle, from hill and plain,
Their hamlets burned, their warriors slain,
Never to see their homes again,                               [1755]
The tribes shall go; a name the trace
Alone that to the careless eye
Shall tell where buried nations lie."

‘Twas morning; heavier billows rolled;
They lift on high a prouder head,                             [1760]
And curling onward, fold on fold,
Dashed on the beach more widely spread;


[page 143]

Fresh from its home, the ocean breeze
Plays in the tall palmetto grove
With driving sand and rustling trees                        [1765]
The breeze that home-bound seamen love;
Assembled on the barren strand
In anxious groups, the Uchees stand;
Moved by the chief’s prophetic strain,
They gaze with terror on the main;                         [1770]
When, far at sea and dimly seen,
Hanging the wave and sky between,
The spectre form of shining white,
Gleaming beneath the rising light,
With horror strikes their straining sight.                 [1775]

"They come! they come!" the cacique cries;
"‘Tis vain to strive or hope away!
A curse awaits the loiterer’s stay;
Happiest the foot that farthest flies!
‘Tis not with men alone you strive;                       [1780]
Yohèwah’s power deserts you now,
To his strong hand submissive bow;
He gives, he takes; no strength can drive
These fierce invaders from their prey;
Stronger their bold, resistless sway                     [1785]
Shall grow with each returning day,
And never shall the tribes regain
Their homes by the resounding main."

Where the swift boats securely lie,
The hearts of all with sorrow sore,                     [1790]
They turn their hurried steps, and fly
Far from the billow-beaten shore;


[page 144]

And never since has Indian trod
The myrtle grove, the beach of sand,
The flowery banks, the grassy sod,                   [1795]
The bright isles of his native land;
And never since has Indian maid
The sea-shells gathered as before,
Nor in the tall palmetto shade                           [1800]
Sat listening to the ocean’s roar;
Nor where the dwarf palmettos grow,
With saw-like leaf to cut and tear,
Has arrow shot from Indian bow
Stretched on the sand the bounding deer;          [1805]
Tossed now amid the curling surge
The nets of other races sweep
The scaly shoals, and others urge
The light canoe along the deep;
And children now, with eyes of blue,                [1810]
With curling locks where sunbeams play,
Of softer smile and fairer hue,
On the broad beach are wont to stray,
And gather all the wondrous things,
The gifts and toys of winds and waves,             [1815]
That, tempest-tossed, the ocean brings
Up from his dark mysterious caves.

Children of that victorious race,
In toil and peril undismayed,
Ever in honor’s foremost place,                      [1820]
Whose red-cross banner is displayed,
Whose strains, of martial music meet,
From burning line to freezing pole,
The morning s purple light, and greet
The circling sun with ceaseless roll;                 [1825]


[page 145]

But stronger than his ocean sires,
With freer arm, with bolder aim,
With energy that never tires,
Untrammeled, in the paths of fame,
By ties of class that ever mar                         [1830]
The noblest cause in peace or war;
That waste upon an empty name
The leader’s place in every field,
And to some noble driveler yield
The part that loftier spirits claim;                   [1835]
Apart, alone, with growing power,
The offspring plumes his eagle wing,
And patiently awaits the hour
That hastening years shall surely bring,
When to his proud unequaled height             [1840]
He speeds his unresisted flight.



[unnumbered blank page 146]
[unnumbered page 147]


THE POET’S REWARD.


"Poetry has been to me its own exceeding great reward; it has soothed my afflictions; it has multiplied and refined my enjoyments; it has endeared solitude; it has given me the habit of wishing to discover the good and the beautiful in all that meets and surrounds me." — COLERIDGE.


O SPIRIT OF SONG! thy voice can soothe and cheer
In every ill that preys on human life;
When Friendship’s altered face grows cold and drear;
When faithless love is lost in doubt and strife;
In sickness and in age, with sorrows rife                                         [5]
When fallen on evil days, as Milton fell,
And evil tongues, in peril, Hind and poor;
As Danté dwelt, in exile forced to dwell;
Wandering, as Homer went, from door to door;
Like Leyden, dying on a foreign shore,                                         [10]
Or Byron; mourning Reason’s partial blight,
Like gentle Cowper to the poet’s heart,
Visions of beauty, and the life and light
Of hope, and love, and joy, thy melodies impart.


[page 148]


THE LAMENT OF FEZZAN FOR HER CHIEF.


Denham and Clapperton, when in Africa, set out from Moorzuk under the protection of Boo Kaloom, a Fezzan chief of great distinction, who had been persuaded to join the Sultan s troops in an incursion into the Fellatah country. Unsupported by his allies, who ran away at the first difficulty, the Arab sword and gun proving to be no match for the spears and poisoned arrows of the Fellatahs, Boo Kaloom was killed with a great number of his Arabs. Denham had a narrow escape. On the return of the survivors to Fezzan, the women lamented their chief with songs of praise and mourning for many days.


TRUST not the sword nor faithless gun,
But let the boldest shrink with fear
When Boo Kaloom, the brave and good,
Falls by the unbeliever’s spear.

Like the broad moon among the stars,                     [5]
The chief of Fezzan matchless shone;
Where now shall Fezzan look for aid,
That rested on his aid alone?

Low lies the shepherd of his flock —
Low lies the pride of Arab lands —                         [10]
Let men with sorrow hang their heads,
Let women wring their helpless hands.

Mourn him with praises and with song,
Yet who can hope his praise to tell,
Whose heart was like the desert large,                     [15]
And bounteous as the desert well,


[page 149]

Or as the camel’s milky stores
From Fezzan s palmy plains, that give
New vigor to the sinking troop,
And bid the fainting traveler live?                             [20]

As droop the flowers when rains are passed,
Droops Moorzuk, mourning for the slain,
Pierced by the heathen’s poisoned shaft,
Stripped on the heathen’s distant plain.

Parched now by burning sands and sun,                   [25]
Swept now by chilling winds of night,
The arm that gave his people strength,
The eye that gave his people light.

Oh trust not sword nor faithless gun,
But let the boldest shrink with fear, [30]
When Boo Kaloom, the brave and good,
Falls by the unbeliever’s spear.


[page 150]


THREESCORE YEARS AND SEVEN.


Life’s voyage, by rock and shoal, is near its close,
The billow buffeted, the gale endured;
Shattered in spars and hull, the vessel goes
Near the safe port from every storm secured.

The road grows short; with frost or torrid skies,                 [5]
By weary steps, hill, plain, and valley pressed,
Footsore and faint with toil the traveler eyes
The rising spire that marks the place of rest.

The night is near at hand; the shadow steals,
With the last sunbeam, farther from the trees;                     [10]
In mist and chill the waning moon reveals
Her light, and hollow sounds the evening breeze.

The year is almost gone; the falling leaf,
Yellow and sere, flies far on every blast;
Spring flower, and summer fruit, and autumn sheaf              [15]
Gathered — its bright and beautiful are past.

Welcome! the port of refuge safe from storms,
Welcome! the silent city of repose,
Welcome! Night’s dreams and visionary forms,
And winter’s waste of purifying snows!                             [20]


[page 151]

Another spring shall bloom; another day,
Brighter than hope, shall rise to set no more;
A fairer region court the traveler’s stay,
And oceans, wreckless, spread without a shore.

Launched on their bosom, to each starry sphere,                 [25]
Beyond the reach of telescopic eye,
Farther than Fancy wings her swift career,
Radiant, like suns, unbodied spirits fly.

Stripped of their fleshly rags — the mortal chain
Of sensual appetite and passions vile —                               [30]
Freed from the cankered earth, the sting, the stain
Of base pursuits that dazzle and beguile,

Companionship with seraphim they hold,
The endless chain of being they explore,
Nature’s deep hidden mysteries unfold,                                 [35]
And, face to face, the Ineffable adore.

Strong with the vigor of immortal youth,
Beyond dim Reason’s ken they speed their flight;
With Intuition’s glance o’ermaster Truth,
And find in knowing ever new delight.                                     [40]

Again, with earnest gaze and outstretched arms,
They meet, oh thought of joy! the lost on earth,
Restored, renewed, arrayed in all the charms
That Love bestows on Heaven’s diviner birth;

Restored to part no more, no more to know                             [45]
The doubt, the fear, the change of mortal love;


[page 152]

To endless ages, hand in hand, they go,
Sharing and doubling all their joys above.

Happiest of hearts on earth! the calm, the pure,
Aloof from vulgar joys and vain pursuits,                                    [50]
That seek through life, unswerving, to secure
Of nobler being these celestial fruits.

I ask no scholar’s lore, no poet’s lyre,
Trophy nor wreath that conquerors display,
Nor wealth, nor wit, nor eloquence desire,                                 [55]
Nor matchless wisdom, nor imperial sway,

But faith — strong faith — that upward to the sky,
In every ill unshaken, undismayed,
Looks, like the eagle, with unblenching eye,
Steadfast and bright in sunlight and in shade.                             [60]

Let this be mine! and if the parting day
Grow dark, the wave seem black with winter’s
gloom,
Fearless, though rough and perilous the way,
I tread the path that leads me to the tomb.                                 [65]



[unnumbered page 153]



______________________________

NOTES

TO THE

HIRELING AND THE SLAVE.
______________________________



[unnumbered blank page 154]
[unnumbered page 155]



NOTES.


Note 1, page 22.

M. G. LEWIS, author of the Monk, writing of the Negroes in Jamaica, says, "After all, slavery, in their case, is but another name for servitude." Lewis is the most competent of witnesses; honest, intelligent, prejudiced against slavery*, he gives the most conclusive testimony that Negro slavery and European servitude are very much the same.

Note 2, page 22.

"Irish whites have been long emancipated, and nobody asks them to work, or permits them to work, on condition of finding them potatoes." CARLYLE.

The late census of England reports thirty thousand persons without habitations. The poor man s labor secures to him neither potatoes nor a home.

Note 3, page 23.

"Oh, sir," said a mother, "it is hard to work from morning until night — little ones and all — and not be able to live by it either." — London Labor and Poor.

Note 4, page 23.

"I attended the garden" (Covent Garden), said one pauper, "for a week, and lived entirely on the offal of the market." "I walked about," said another, "two days and nights without a bit to eat, except what I picked up in the gutter and ate like a dog — orange-peel, old cabbage-stumps, any thing I could get." — Ibid.

Note 5, page 23.

"The change from wire shirt-buttons to mother-of-pearl, from metal coat-buttons to silk, impoverished thousands. Even the abandon-


[page 156]

ment of powder for the hair produced its share of distress, and so of a hundred occupations. — London Labor and Poor.

Note 6, page 24.

The wigwams of Indians are palaces compared to the dwellings of laborers in the mining country. In a room fifteen feet by eighteen were two rows of beds, with no opening for air. The smell to strangers is intolerable. One miner declared the rooms unfit for swine, where fifty men slept in sixteen beds; not a flag or board on the floor, where puddles of water were lying. In Lancastershire, Mr. Wood found forty people sleeping in the same room, all order, delicacy, decency lost in overwhelming squalor. He compares the condition of the monkey-house in the Zoological Gardens to that of the laboring population. In Devonshire, families of six or eight sleep in one bed — father, mother, grown-up sons and daughters. "I have found," he says, "that if a number of empty casks be placed along the street in Whitechapel, in a few days each would have a tenant." — Sanitary Reports.

In a petition from the English miners to Parliament, it is stated that one tenth of their number perish every year. It is there that young children are compelled to work.

Note 7, page 25.

In the Sanitary Report, a witness says of a particular parish, "I believe this parish most fearfully demoralized. It is said that twenty years ago there was not one young female cottager of virtuous character; there was not one man who was not, or had not been, a drunkard, and theft and fighting were universal.

Note 8, page 25.

At an inquest in Leeds, as stated in a Leeds paper, it was asserted by the coroner, and assented to by the surgeon as probable, that three hundred children, in Leeds alone, were put to death yearly, to avoid the consequences of their living, and the murderers are never
discovered.

Note 9, page 25.

The Sanitary Report states that, for three years preceding it, typhus, scarlet fever, and small-pox were never absent from many hamlets and towns the royal town of Windsor being the worst of all.


[page 157]

Note 10, page 25.

During the famine in Ireland dead bodies were found lying about in the fields and in deserted houses, and despair put an end to all moral restraints.

Note 11, page 26.

The Rev. Mr. Osborne, a clergyman of the Established Church, in a letter to the London Times, says, "The exodus of the Irish is caused by the cruelty of the landlords. Their evictions make the starving homeless."

In converting small farms into sheep-walks in Scotland, the house of Sutherland has been conspicuous. This system has had the most pernicious influence on the laboring people of Scotland. It has demoralized the peasantry. It removes the laborers from the restraint of home, collects them in boothies or barracks, and initiates them in every species of vice. Hugh Miller, in his charming autobiography, gives a deplorable account of the demoralization of the Scotch laborers in the last fifty years.


Note 12, page 26.

"They (the Exeter Hall philanthropists) would save the Sarawak cut-throats with their poisoned spears, but they ignore the thirty thousand needle-women, the three million paupers, and the Connaught potential cannibalism." — CARLYLE.

Note 13, page 27.

The Abolition party hire spies or agents to report every thing in accordance with their own wishes and prejudices. They exaggerate facts, receive tales and rumors for truth, describe isolated abuses as the ordinary condition of slavery: this they must do to be deemed trustworthy by their employers, and to earn their living. One of these absurd stories — lately revived by the Westminster Review — asserts that, in Jamaica, on a single plantation, there had been seventy deaths from violence for six from natural causes. See what Lewis says of the same people: "I never saw people look more happy in my life, and I believe their condition to be more comfortable than that of the laborers of Great Britain." See Miss Murray’s evidence to the same effect in her letters lately published.


[page 158]


Note 14, page 27.

The philanthropic labors of England have converted efficient slaves into worthless hirelings, if we can call men hirelings whom no wages can tempt to work. The philanthropists are now devising a sort of slave-trade in Coolies and free African laborers, in a vain effort to obviate the effects of abolition in their colonies. The new slave-trade is attended with enormous mortality. To show how entirely voluntary the Coolie system is, the Coolies have repeatedly seized the vessels in which they were embarked, murdered the crews, and attempted to escape. In Jamaica landed property has become almost worthless, and hundreds of plantations have been abandoned. Nothing
prevents the total ruin of the colony but the power of England. The island is a galvanized corpse.

Note 15, page 31.

See the accounts given by late missionaries of the brutal cruelties common in Ashantee and Dahomey, reviewed in the April number of the Southern Review.

Note 16, page 33.

Why these multitudes should wage war on the products of negro labor, as they sometimes threaten to do, is curious enough. Is the negro as well employed in his own country for his own comfort and happiness? Does he produce there any thing for the world’s advantage? Would it benefit the negro or mankind to restore to African barbarism the millions employed in producing sugar, rice, and cotton? Could they be usefully employed at all in any other way, for the world or for themselves? To buy the product of his labor is to contribute to his comfort.

Note 17, page 34.

That the slave acquires very decent manners from his associations is evident enough from the way in which runaways are received into very respectable society among their Northern friends. He is imitative, and naturally acquires something of his master’s politeness. A short time since, in Charleston, a party of Northern ladies and their friends were overtaken in a walk by a shower of rain. As they passed the door of a gentleman’s house, the servant invited them in. He introduced them into the parlor, handed them refreshments, and expressed his regrets that his master was not at home to entertain


[page 159]

them. "You see," said a Southern lady, "an example of the downtrodden, brutalized Negro slave." "What a pity," replied the other, "that such a man should be a slave!" But what made him such a man? it may be asked, and what becomes of the brutalizing effect of slavery? Would he have acquired these manners in Ashantee or Dahomey, from pagan priest or chief, who cuts off a head when he would send a message to the other world? In what is his condition worse than that of a hireling waiter?

Note 18, page 35.

The transportation of the Negro to America by the older slave-trade was, after all, only a rude mode of emigration the only mode practicable for him. The philanthropists have taken the trade from the merchants of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Liverpool and Bristol, and thrown it into the hands of the cutthroats and scoundrels of all nations. That the trade should continue to exist under these circumstances is the strongest evidence that the labor of the African is necessary to the tropical countries of America. This is so clear that the English statesmen are attempting to contrive some kind of substitute for the slave-trade as it formerly existed. The African emigrant is as much wanted in America as the Irish or German. Their labor belongs to different climates, and is equally required. As the Negro can not come, they have been brought. In the changes of public opinions, it is not improbable that a substitute may be required for the brutal and piratical trade which the Abolitionists have been the means of establishing, and which is the only mode by which Africans are now enabled to reach a better country than their own. This substitute may be called the grand African emigration system, and the change of name will remove all objections. We may see Messrs. Greeley and Seward engaging in it from philanthropic motives, and the solid men of Boston, Salem, and Providence conducting it with all their former enterprise and success.

Note 19, page 36.

The chief revilers of the slaveholder are the people of England and the Eastern States. They are the parties who bought the Negroes in Africa, brought them to America, and left them in exchange for large sums of money. They made the system and enjoy the profits. Now that they can no longer carry on the trade, they slander the slaveholder of their own making.


[page 160]

Note 20, page 37.

Levi, in his supposed anti-slavery character, may be regarded as the type of the clerical anti-slavers, Beecher, Parker, and others. Issachar, the strong ass bowing between two burdens, as typical of the Abolition members of Congress bowing under the double burden of political speeches and Abolition addresses, like Mr. Giddings, Mr. Seward, Mr. Sumner, and Mr. Campbell.

Note 21, page 37.

In Rhode Island and Massachusetts, for example, where the morals of St. Paul are not sufficiently pure, and the Gospel of Luke and Mark is superseded by that of Garrison and Phillips.

Note 22, page 38.

Mr. Giddings has enjoyed the singular honor of being turned out of Congress; where so much is tolerated he became intolerable. He lately hastened to Boston to comfort and abet the rioters and murderers of an officer assassinated while performing his duty, and appears proud of his exploits there in boasting and haranguing the rioters.

Note 23, page 38.

By some political manoeuvre in Massachusetts, the Freesoilers and Democratic party were enabled to place Mr. Sumner in the Senate of the United States. He seems to have a passion for rhetorical display in high places, and, to gratify this little vanity, appears willing to sacrifice the existence of the Confederacy. For a small notoriety he would set fire to the temple of civil and religious liberty, and become a great man by a great mischief. In questions of legal and constitutional obligation, he claims to be governed, not by the constituted authorities of the country, but his own private opinion. This private judgment, or higher law, is only another name for what was formerly called "inward light," of which Dr. Johnson says, "It is utterly incompatible with social or civil security ; how can we tell what such a person may be prompted to do?"

Note 24, page 39.

Mr. Greeley s favorite mode of exhibiting resentment or indignation is by spitting. His last performance of a public nature in this way was spitting on the political platform of his friends, the Whigs.


[page 161]

It is to be hoped that he is not addicted to soothing his cares by chewing one of the slave productions.

Note 25, page 39.

This man was imprisoned in Baltimore for abducting, not stealing, certain Negroes in that neighborhood. He was released by Mr. Tappan, with many lamentations over the money expended in effecting it.

Note 26, page 40.

During the Nebraska debate, Mr. Greeley, in his paper, advised his friends to set fire to the Capitol, burn up the archives, and destroy the government, root and branch. This fashion of redressing a grievance is quite in accordance with his natural temper and character. He is not remarkable for meekness of disposition, or scruples in gaming an end.

Note 27, page 41.

Among her profits for Uncle Tom, Mrs. Stowe received a penny apiece subscription in Scotland from the laboring people, who starve sometimes for the want of potatoes.

Note 28, page 41.

It is very remarkable that Mrs. Stowe, in her minute account of the horrors of slavery, should have overlooked the greatest of them all. She has never alluded to the cannibalism prevailing in the Southern States. The Abolitionists have been silent, without an exception, as to the horrible custom, existing universally at the South, of exposing Negro children in the shambles of every city, town, and village. Yet the fact is as certain as most of Mrs. Stowe’s incidents and characters, and the evidence as easy to be obtained. For a consideration, she can procure witnesses who will swear that they have seen the flesh exposed, like beef and pork, in the public markets, and that it is a favorite dish at great dinners and barbacues.

Indeed, what can be more probable? The slaveholders are man-stealers, why not man-eaters? They are more cruel and ferocious than the Fejee Islanders; the Fejees eat each other — eat their own kin and countrymen; a fortiori, the slaveholders eat Negro slaves

who are not their countrymen or kin. The reasoning is conclusive. It is in the power of the slaveholder to do it, therefore it is done. It is within slavery — possible, and therefore certain. What, in truth, could be more easy? There is nothing to prevent the slaveholder


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from turning cannibal. He has no such difficulty in the way as the old Indian convert in Southey’s history of Brazil, who complained, in her last illness, to the missionary father, because there was nobody who would shoot a little boy of a neighboring tribe for her, and comfort her poor old stomach with the delicate bones of its little hands. The slaveholder may shoot his boy whenever he chooses, or get him without shooting. The topic is recommended to Messrs. Greeley and Garrison, and particularly to Mrs. Stowe in her next story. It will be as authentic as the rest of her facts, and as readily believed by her
Northern and European readers.

Note 29, page 44.

None submit to entering the poor-house except in extreme want. Some are hardly able to walk before they will apply. — London Labor, etc.

Note 30, page 44.

The Westminster Review, in a late number, says: "One half of the people of Great Britain can neither read nor write," and "as regards depravity, brutality, and crime, they are in no way superior to the worst population of any other country." Of the one hundred and forty-one thousand registered marriages of the last year, nearly half of the parties could not write their names. In France," Mr. Alison says, "two thirds of the people can neither read nor write." If Europe, at the end of so many centuries, has done so little for her peasantry, with what decency can her people upbraid the slaveholder for doing so little for his slaves? He has had the savage to civilize. They have their own blood and kindred to improve. He has done more to educate the black, in the large sense of the term, than they to educate the white. But it may be said that the slaveholder prohibits teaching to the slave. Yes, teaching of a certain kind, from certain persons. But it is enough to say, on this subject, that the slave who wishes to learn, and is able, can always learn in the family of his master. Many slaves do read, and many are able to write. It is to be hoped that the state will modify the existing law on this subject; it has no other effect than to furnish occasion for misrepresentation and reproach, where there is no real cause for either. It misleads her friends and encourages her enemies.

Note 31, page 45.

Whenever allusions are made to the use of the whip in the South-


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ern States, by Abolition writers, it is assumed that it is for the gratification only of the master’s passions that the slave is punished. But the whip is the slave’s punishment for offenses which in hireling states would consign the offender to jail or the galleys, to transportation or death. It is the penalty for assaults, thefts, drunkenness, neglect of work this last offense, in Europe, is punished with starvation. "No law stands between the ruined laborer and starvation. He has no right to life unless he can support himself." See BEACH’S Travels in France.

In England, in 1846, the number whipped, fined, and discharged was two thousand four hundred and sixty-eight. In similar cases, the Negro slave would receive the whipping and escape the fine and prison. He is whipped for the same offenses as the white man, and, when his master is the judge, he has, nine times in ten, the most lenient of judges.

Note 32, page 45.

A convent was destroyed by the mob near Boston. Churches, there and elsewhere, have been burned by rioters. Violence and outrage are increasing yearly at the North. In Boston, lately, an officer of the federal government was murdered, while in the discharge of his duty, by a gang of white and black ruffians, instigated by men of wealth and by clergymen.

Note 33, page 54.

In these country churches, where sometimes three or four hundred slaves assemble with a dozen whites, the delight of the Negroes is in their spiritual songs and hymns. The favorite subjects are Jordan’s banks, and the happy land to which the singers are traveling. Their voices are good, and they are never weary of singing. The Sunday service is a source of infinite enjoyment to them, and they conduct themselves with perfect decorum and attention.

Note 34, page 55.

"Come, men," says one, "be lively; let us finish work, and after sundown we will have a possum hunt." "Done," says another, "and if the old coon comes in the way of my dog Pincher, I be bound for it he will shake the life out of him." The Negroes work with increased alacrity, with faces animated by the expected hunt. One hums the old song of "Possum up the Gum-tree," and the whole field is prevented from bursting into full chorus by the driver’s no-


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tions only of decorum and order." AUDUBON AND BACHMAN’S Quadrupeds of America.
The reader will at once advert to the possum hunt of Swallow Barn, which, with other pictures of plantation life, are so exquisitely painted by Kennedy. The passage is too long for a note, nor is it necessary to repeat what every body remembers. Similar scenes might be transcribed from Simms, who is always at home in Southern scenes and scenery — never so strong as when his foot is on his native soil, and facile princeps in Southern song, history, and story.

Note 35, page 57.

The star-shaped dogwood blossom is the herald of the drum-fishing season in the Southern inlets. This is a sort of jubilee for the Negroes, whose enjoyments would astonish and perplex the good people who are lamenting their unhappy condition with so much noisy sorrow and pretended concern.

Note 36, page 58.

Lemon Island, in Port Royal Bay, is one of the places said to be the site of the early French settlements under Laudoniere. It is reported that a stone, with a flower carved upon it, was formerly to be seen on the island, that it stood near the margin of the water,
and that it has been washed into the stream by the gradual encroachment of the tides. Mr. Elliott, in his late visit to Paris, where he discharged the duties of commissioner with distinction to himself and honor to the state, has determined the point of landing to be on a small island at the mouth of Scull Creek, where it enters Broad River.

Note 37, page 61.

It is a great beauty of Mr. Webster’s character that, in the midst of his public avocations, he retained, fresh and unabated, his love for rural occupations and country sports. He was beloved by his neighbors for the heartiness of his simple pursuits and amusements, as well as admired for the grandeur of his intellectual character and acquirements. His two great contemporaries were equally attached to the country and its occupations, if not its amusements.

Note 38, page 69.

A barbarous people perishes always, if placed in contact with a stronger civilized race, except when they occupy to each other the


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relation of master and slave. The destruction is nearly complete in North America. It is in progress in Australia and Southern Africa. Nothing but climate has protected the central part of the African continent from being occupied by Europeans, to the destruction of the natives.

Note 39, page 70.

That the abolition of slavery has ruined the West India colonies is a certain fact, admitting no dispute. Hayti is under the rule of a black despot. It produces nothing. It was formerly the richest of the European colonies. Under American slaveholders, with their slaves, it would soon resume its productiveness and wealth. Jamaica is yearly becoming more desperate in her condition. Her white people are leaving her. Plantations are unsalable. Every thing is hastening to destruction. Cuba, a slave island, is incomparably flourishing. The abolition of slavery would insure her speedy ruin. The conclusion from all this is obvious enough. Every thing serves to show that the labor of the black emigrant is as necessary to the tropical countries of America as that of the European to its temperate climates, and that the black must be in subordination to the white

Note 40, page 70.

The blacks in Hayti have changed masters only. They are the slaves of a black chief, as in Africa. Their pagan mummeries have been resumed. They are engaged in petty wars instead of peaceful labors. The emperor has his standing army, and is anxious always to employ it in the legitimate business of — cutting throats quite as much so as more important potentates.

Note 41, page 70.

Carlyle says that the world will not permit Cuffy to lie on his back and eat pumpkins forever, in a country intended by Providence to produce coffee, sugar, and spices for the use of mankind; that he must, one day or other, resume his work, under Brother Jonathan, or some other master.

Note 42, page 71.

Lord Grey, in his book on the colonial policy of England, expresses the hope that the planting a civilized race at the Cape of Good Hope may not be attended with the destruction of the black races,


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and that black and white will amalgamate. The wish is mere commonplace sentiment. Lord Grey knows that the extermination of the black races is inevitable, and that amalgamation is not possible with races so dissimilar. What would become of these parlor sentimentalities if the border dangers from the savage were to be encountered by his lordship’s sons and daughters, or amalgamation brought about through their instrumentality? This view of the subject has never occurred to Lord Grey. He is thinking of the poor emigrant peasant only, and is willing enough, like other philosophers, to try his experiments "in vili corpora." What will it signify, if, in the course of them, the English emigrant pauper is knocked on the head by the untamable barbarian, or sees his grandchildren debased by the blood of an inferior and savage race? It will in no degree affect the safety and comfort of his lordship’s grandsons and granddaughters, or the purity of their blood. Can he really indulge any such hope as he expresses, in the face of all experience to the contrary? Does he not know, that in Pennsylvania, where the policy pursued was peace and friendship with the Indian, the Indian tribes have disappeared long since? The savage can resist neither war nor peaceable competition with a civilized race. In peace as in war, his tribes perish unavoidably. We may lament this law of nature, but we can not change it.

Note 43, page 74.

If the African ever attains to what may be called an Augustan age for him and his country, it must be in the way suggested. He can not originate a civilization of his own. He can not enjoy the benefit of the white man’s assistance in Africa. From the slave only, civilized and instructed by slavery, can any regeneration be looked for on the African continent. Its Augustan age may be a very humble achievement compared with the intellectual glories of Greece or Rome, of Saxon or Celt. But if Africa can not hope to produce the poets, orators, and historians of higher races, she may acquire the industrial arts, commerce, and wealth, and at least so much learning and literature as will constitute an era compared with her present condition.

Wherever genuine Christianity is established, it carries with it moral and intellectual improvement. We must believe that it will be established in Africa, and carry there also the improvement that always attends its steps. This will not be accomplished suddenly, in a short time, by any convulsive movement, but slowly and grad-


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ually. It seems to be in this way chiefly that Providence effects his great purposes.
Nor is it to be supposed that the slaves of America are to be emptied in mass on the African shores. For centuries the occasionally manumitted slaves will be the reservoir from which Africa will derive her farmers, artisans, teachers, and civilizers. But the African slave will be always required for useful purposes in the tropical countries of America, both North and South, and will always be employed in them. If the free German or Irish emigrant is wanted in the northern, the African slave is equally needed in the southern regions of America.

It may be asked, why should not the Negro be allowed to be free in America, if he is susceptible of so much improvement? The reply seems to be conclusive. There is an obvious and irremovable dissimilarity between the white and black race. They can not amalgamate, and can never, therefore, make one people. The inferior black race would perish if placed, as manumission would place it, in competition with the white. The number of blacks at the North is kept up by constant additions only from manumitted and runaway slaves. If the climate of Africa were healthy, the African tribes, like the Indians of North America, would have been exterminated long since by European emigrants. As climates protect him there, so slavery protects the Negro here. Therefore it is that he can not be made free in America for his own sake, even if it were desirable that he should be for his master s. His manumission would injure both.

Note 44, page 75.

It may be doubted, after all, whether the Abolitionists really wish to abolish slavery. For, is not slavery the very breath of their nostrils? Does it not assist them to obtain all their ends? It enables parsons and senators to instigate mobs to riot and murder with safety and even applause; pious members of Christian churches to calumniate their brethren with point, unction, and self-complacency; crafty demagogues to promote party and personal purposes under humane and patriotic pretenses; and ladies, at fashionable soirees, to remove the evils and regulate the affairs of distant nations in the interval of music and refreshments. Without it, what would all these people do? What would become of Parker and Chapin, Phillips and Folsom, Beecher and Garrison, if there should be no longer any slaves to be stolen or masters to be slandered? They would be shorn of their beams. Their salt would lose its sa-


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vor. What wonders has not slavery done for the Abolitionists? It has made Mr. Hale a candidate for the presidency. It has introduced Mrs. Stowe at Stafford House. It has conferred on Mr. Giddings the honor of being ejected from Congress by his fellow-members. It gives bread to thousands like Mr. Garrison, who could not otherwise earn it, and notoriety to Mr. Tappan, Mr. Jay, and a hundred more, who, without its help, would be hopeless of attracting public attention. Slavery is their goose that lays golden eggs for them every day. Can we suppose that they will imitate the simpleton of ancient times, and seek to destroy it ? The happening of any evil to the master or to the slave from the abolition of slavery would not, it is admitted, be worthy of a moment’s attention; but it would be a very serious calamity indeed if any damage, from that event, should befall the Abolitionists. Will they risk the loss of the honors, distinctions, money, and elevated society that they enjoy by means of slavery? Will they not, on the contrary, carefully preserve it, and with it the golden advantages it now bestows on them?

Note 45, page 75.

"Grant that the Negro is a distinct species, or even a metamorphosed orang, if you will, and what difference does it make to the social effect of the domestic institution the ultimate ground upon which both moralist and legislator must take their stand in arguing either for or against it ? We do not prosecute the drover or the cabman because we believe the poor maltreated ox or horse to be our brother, a child of Adam and Eve, like ourselves, but because this and all other brutality is an evil to society — because it degrades the man who practices it, and increases the proclivity to crimes injurious to society in himself and others. And we are bound to put down the slaveholders for precisely the same reason, and not because of a hypothetical cousinhood with his victim, which may or may not exist, etc. Ethnology had better perish as a science than be swamped by the accession to her ranks of the Legrees of the South." — Westminster Review.

The above extract from the Westminster Review of July, 1854, is a specimen of the fairness and common sense, and of the garniture of slander, self-sufficiency, and arrogant assumption with which the slavery question is commonly treated in England.

It makes no difference, it seems, in considering the subject of slavery, whether Negroes are men or apes. Englishmen are prohibited from cruelty to horses, not because the horse is a cousin, but be-


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cause "this and all other brutality is an evil to society, degrades the man who practices it," etc. It is on this ground that cruelty to the horse is forbidden among cabmen and drovers, and "it is on this ground precisely that moralist and legislator must take their stand in arguing for or against slavery." This is the reviewer’s position.

But Parliament, to prevent cruelty to horses, does not manumit the horse. The law does not prohibit the owning of horses because the horse is sometimes abused. Because there are, and will be, cruel horse-masters among cabmen, drovers, and gentlemen too, Parliament has not turned out all the horses in England to grass and freedom. Yet, to prevent cruelty to slaves, they insist on manumitting the slave. Can the reviewer explain how it is that the good people of England adopt such different measures in these similar cases, as the reviewer himself admits them to be? Cruelty to the horse "is an evil to society," etc., therefore the law prevents or punishes cruelty to the horse. Cruelty to the slave "is an evil to society," etc., therefore Parliament abolishes slavery. Certainly, the most effectual way to prevent the horse from being beaten in harness is to prohibit his being put in harness at all; as the most certain way to prevent the Negro from being flogged for laziness is to release him from labor altogether. Why not adopt the same way with the horse that they pursued with the Negro?

If the reviewer should be at a loss to explain the cause of those different logical conclusions from the same premises, I would offer a suggestion to assist the inquiry. It is because the horses belong to the people who legislate, and the slaves to a people who were legislated for. The English people own the horses, and a few feeble colonists owned the slaves. The absurdity, therefore, of proposing to manumit horses, to prevent cruelty, is very manifest, but the other absurdity was not seen at all. Reverse the case: let horses hard worked and ill treated be in Jamaica only, and no horses in England, and the philanthropists would have applied all their energies to bring about a general manumission of horses. Mr. Clarkson might have been as zealous and successful with the British Parliament in be half of the horse as he has been in behalf of the Negro.



THE END.