Poems (Eliza Gabriella Lewis)/The last errand of the Indian Chief "Bald Eagle"

by Eliza Gabriella Lewis
The last errand of the Indian Chief "Bald Eagle"
4532933Poems — The last errand of the Indian Chief "Bald Eagle"Eliza Gabriella Lewis
Speed on, speed on, no sound is borne
Upon the troubled wave;
The balk hath sped—its steersman wan,
No cheering answer gave.

On, on it sped—I trow the dead
Fear not the current strong,
No oar propell'd, and yet it fled,
A fearful thing along.

And high above the ravens scream
In eddying circle round,
The wild deer, starting from the stream,
Springs with a startled sound.

The "Bashkwa" wheels above the wood,
The gloom is deep'ning now,
The doomed bark, safe o'er the flood,
Hath passed with steady prow:

Step out, step out, brave mariner,
Thy wonted goal is won.
And soft thy couch of yielding fur,
Come, rest—thy toils are done.

He spoke not, looked not once around,
His fearful errand 's sped;
The death-bark touched upon the land,
They gazed upon the dead.

Revenge! revenge! the war-whoop sound!
The mystic wampum weave,
Tear the red hatchet from the ground,
Thus, shall thy warriors grieve.

Let burning brand and bloody blade
Avenge our chieftain's wrong;
The light turf on his corse they laid.
Then raised their battle song.


Years have passed on, yet in the gloom,
The lonely settler fears
To meet that bark of death and doom,
As on its shadow steers.

  1. C. Hoffman's "Winter in the West."