Poems (Eliza Gabriella Lewis)/The "Bloody Run"

4532927Poems — The "Bloody Run"Eliza Gabriella Lewis

A party of soldiers were attacked by Indians at a stream called, from the circumstances of the fight, "The Bloody Run."

In the bosom of the mountain,
Where the ling'ring moonbeams lay,
Calm in their placid beauty,
Like an infant tired of play,
Just where the last shade parted
When the sun had sunk to sleep,
A torrent wildly darted
From a high and rocky steep.

Around, in ambush crouching,
Were hid an Indian foe,
With their deadly hatchets gleaming
'Neath the furze and brushwood low;
Like the lurking panther stealing
O'er the forest to its prey,
Well hidden by the cedar,
The treacherous Indians lay.

What sound hath broke the silence
Of this wild and savage lair?
The merry notes of drum and fife,
With banners floating fair.
And martial steps all treading
The steep and rugged way;
Their bayonets glitter brightly
In the moonbeams glancing ray.

O'er the mountain's lofty bosom
With wearied steps and slow
They come—now thread the valley,
Now reach the water's flow.
They dip their way-worn bonnets
In the wave, to cool their thirst,
When, with whoop and yell, the Indians
From their ambush madly burst.

Now circles high the hatchet,
Now gleams the sharpen'd knife;
Like deer at gaze, each victim
Gives up his panting life.
They sink, they bleed, they struggle,
The stream is tinged with gore,
And those who stooped to drink it
The waters have passed o'er.

One moment, and they rally,
On the treach'rous foeman turn,
And to revenge their comrades,
With stern resolve they burn;
For days the foe are hunted
Through the forest and the dell,
And for their murder'd brethren
Full five score Indians fell.

The peasant, when he wanders
Past that scene of blood and strife,
Half trembles in the moonlight,
Lest he see the gleaming knife;
Though the Indians long have perish'd
On the mountains wooded breast,
Yet he deems their spirits linger
Where their mould'ring bones have rest.
And he trembles, as the shadows
From the fast-receding sun
Are gathering—and, in terror,
He leaves the Bloody Run.