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THE FIRST DAY OF THE YEAR.

And answers with her warm caresses,
As she were fain to bind

Its soul to her's!-And this is Love-
'Tis prayer on earth; 'tis praise above;
"Tis God within the mind.

And in Love's name I'll drink my cup,
Nor deem it steeped in tears,
While fondly I am garnering up
Rich hopes for future years:
O, I shall hear glad voices say,
'Thy children bless thy care!'
These are my cherished dreams to-day,
And who has dreams more fair?
Dreams will they prove?-I fear it not—
I communed with my secret thought,
Nor selfish wish was there-

One only-and it will endure

‘O, keep my dear ones good and pure!' And Heaven will hear my prayer!

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THE BIRTH OF THUNDER.

THE BIRTH OF THUNDER.

A DAHCOTAH LEGEND.

BY J. SNELLING.

Twenty-eight miles from the Big Stone Lake, near the sources of the St. Peter's River, is a cluster of small lakes, or ponds, lying much below the level of the surrounding prairie, and ornamented with an oak wood. The Dahcotahs call this place THE NEST OF THUNDER, and say that here Thunder was born. As soon as the infant spirit could go alone, he set out to see the world, and at the first step placed his foot upon a hill twenty-five miles distant; a rock on the top of which actually seems to bear the print of a gigantic human foot. The Indians call the hill THUNDER'S TRACKS. The Nest of Thunder is, to this day, visited by the being whose birth it witnessed. He comes clad in a mantle of storms, and lightnings play round his head.

'Look, white man, well on all around,
These hoary oaks, those boundless plains;
Tread lightly; this is holy ground-

Here Thunder, awful spirit! reigns.

Look on those waters far below,

So deep beneath the prairie sleeping,

The summer sun's meridian glow

Scarce warms the sands their waves are heaping;

And scarce the bitter blast can blow

In winter on their icy cover;

The Wind Sprite may not stoop so low,

But bows his head and passes over. Perched on the top of yonder pine, The heron's billow-searching eye Can scarce his finny prey descry,

THE BIRTH OF THUNDER.

Glad leaping where their colors shine.

Those lakes, whose shores but now we trod,
Scars deeply on Earth's bosom dinted,

Are the strong impress of a god,
By Thunder's giant foot imprinted.
Nay, stranger, as I live 't is truth!
The lips of those who never lied
Repeat it daily to our youth.

Famed heroes, erst my nation's pride,
Beheld the wonder; and our sages
Gave down the tale to after ages,
Dost not believe? though blooming fair
The flowrets court the breezes coy,
Though now the sweet-grass scents the air,
And sunny nature basks in joy,

It is not ever so.

Come when the lightning flashes,
Come when the forest crashes,
When shrieks of pain and wo,

Break on thine ear-drum thick and fast,
From ghosts that shiver in the blast ;-
Then shalt thou know, and bend the knee
Before the angry deity.

'But now attend, while I unfold

The lore my brave forefathers taught.— As yet the storm, the heat, the cold,

The changing seasons had not brought.

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* Sweet-grass is found in the prairies, and has an exceedingly fragrant odor.

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THE BIRTH OF THUNDER.

Famine was not; each tree and grot
Grew greener for the rain;
The wanton doe, the buffalo
Blithe bounded on the plain.

In mirth did man the hours employ
Of that eternal spring;

With song and dance and shouts of joy
Did hill and valley ring.

No death shot pealed upon the ear,
No painted warrior poised the spear,
No stake-doomed captive shook for fear;
No arrow left the string,

Save when the wolf to earth was borne;
From foeman's head no scalp was torn ;
Nor did the pangs of hate and scorn
The red man's bosom wring.
Then waving fields of yellow corn
Did our blessed villages adorn.

'Alas! that man will never learn
His good from evil to discern.
At length, by furious passions driven,
The Indian left his babes and wife,
And every blessing God had given,
To mingle in the deadly strife.
Fierce Wrath and haggard Envy soon
Achieved the work that War begun;
He left unsought the beast of chase,
And preyed upon, his kindred race.

THE BIRTH OF THUNDER.

But He who rules the earth and skies,
Who watches every bolt that flies;
From whom all gifts, all blessings flow,
With grief beheld the scene below.
He wept ; and, as the balmy shower
Refreshing to the ground descended,
Each drop gave being to a flower,

And all the hills in homage bended.
'Alas!' the good Great Spirit said,
'Man merits not the climes I gave;
Where'er a hillock rears its head

He digs his brother's timeless grave:
To every crystal rill of water

He gives the crimson stain of slaughter.
No more for him my brow shall wear
A constant, glad, approving smile;
Ah no! my eyes must withering glare

On bloody hands and deeds of guile.
Henceforth shall my lost children know
The piercing wind, the blinding snow;
The storm shall drench, the sun shall burn,
The winter freeze them, each in turn.
Henceforth their feeble frames shall feel
A climate like their hearts of steel.

'The moon that night withheld her light. By fits, instead, a lurid glare

Illumed the skies; while mortal eyes

Were closed, and voices rose in prayer.
While the revolving sun

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