Tis well for us to have meanwhile exchanged
Our mutual thoughts, e'en though the despot's grain
He here has sown, is not yet ripe for harvest.
Hence let us wait and watch, ere we proceed
To force and arms; for alway these remain
A last resort, e'en in a righteous cause.—
But see that horseman coming toward us
In anxious haste, with loosened rein; his steed
Is decked with foam and blood on flank and bit.
Who can he be? 'Tis Jack! What may he bring?
[Some colonists go to meet Jack, and to lead him before the men assembled.]
Enters Wm. H. Jack, who is cordially greeted by all present.
Both joy and grief are apt to wing our feet;
Which of the two, friend Jack, has urged thy haste?
Oh! would I were Joy's fleeting messenger!
But as it is, no mission is so sad
As mine, since it announces misery
For every homestead in the land; 'tis—War '
It cannot be! Speak plainly, friend!