Poems (Eliza Gabriella Lewis)/Death of Opechancanough

by Eliza Gabriella Lewis
Death of Opechancanough
4532890Poems — Death of OpechancanoughEliza Gabriella Lewis
[Indian Biography.]

A monarch in captivity was dying—
And sad attendants round his death-bed stood;
He—the sole ruler o'er a numerous tribe,
A savage empire, won 'mid wilds and wood—
Like a spent lion in the strong snare lying;
Worn with long age and many a bloody strife,
Hopeless, o'erpower'd—the noble captive hailed
The dying close of a famed warrior's life.
Gone was the power to move each shrunken limb;
His heavy eyelids drooped—all powerless now;
Yet the fierce fire of those stern eyes still lay
Unquenched by age—beneath his lofty brow.
Wild murmurs broke from his attendants; him—
Their Chieftain loved,—was he not almost free;
In the dim passage to that dreamy land—
Wandering? Why call him back so frantically
The monarch bade them raise each heavy lid;
And, gazing sternly on a pale-faced crowd,
"Call the white chieftain of this hostile band,"
He said. Then came his victor; when aloud
The fierce old warrior—with stern sorrow chid
The heartless man, and said: "Had'st thou been led
Captive unto the red man's wigwam—he
Had saved from curious eyes thy dying bed."