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Page:Sketch of Connecticut, Forty Years Since.djvu/43

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CHAPTER III.

            Our kings!—our fathers!—where are they
                        An abject race we roam;
            And where our ancient kingdoms lay,
            Like slaves we crouch—like aliens stray ;
            Like strangers tarry but a day,
                        And find the grave our home."


IN the vicinity of the town which we have described, was the residence of a once powerful tribe of Indians. But diminished in numbers, and oppressed by a sense of degradation, the survivers exhibited the melancholy remnant of a fallen race, like the almost extinguished embers of a flame, once terrible in wildness. The aged remembered the line of their hereditary kings, now become extinct; the younger preserved in tradition faint gleams of the glory which had departed. Yet, in the minds of all, was a consciousness that their ancestors possessed the land, in which they were now as strangers, and from whence their offspring were vanishing, as a "guest that tarrieth but a night." The small territory, on which they resided, was secured to them by government; and its fertile soil would have been more than adequate to their wants, had they been assiduous in its cultivation. But those roving habits, which form their national characteristic, are peculiarly averse from the laborious application, and minute details of agriculture. Here and there, a corn-field without enclosure might be seen, displaying its yellow treas-