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A voice upon the prairies,

A cry of woman's wo,
That mingleth with the autumn blast

All fitfully and low;
It is a mother's wailing;

Hath earth another tone
Like that with which a mother mourns

Her lost, her only one ?

Pale faces gather round her,

They marked the storm swell high That rends and wrecks the tossing soul,

But their cold, blue eyes are dry. Pale faces gaze upon her,

As the wild winds caught her moan, But she was an Indian mother,

So she wept her tears alone.


Long o'er that wasted idol,

She watched and toiled, and prayed, Though every dreary dawn revealed

Some ravage Death had made, Till the fleshless sinews started,

And hope no opiate gave, And hoarse, and hollow grew her voice,

An echo from the grave.

She was a gentle creature,

Of raven eye and tress,
And dovelike were the tones that breathed

Her bosom's tenderness,
Save when some quick emotion,

The warm blood strongly sent,
To revel in her olive-cheek

So richly eloquent

I said Consumption smote her,

And the healer's art was vain, But she was an Indian maiden,

So none deplored her pain;
None, save that widowed mother,

Who now by her open tomb,
Is writhing like the smitten wretch

Whom judgment marks for doom.


Alas! that lowly cabin,

That bed beside the wall,
That seat beneath the mantling vine,

They're lone and empty all.
What hand shall pluck the tall, green corn

That ripeneth on the plain?
Since she for whom the board was spread

Must ne'er return again.

Rest, rest, thou Indian maiden,

Nor let thy murmuring shade
Grieve that those pale-browed ones with scord

Thy burial rite surveyed;
There's many a king whose funeral

A black-robed realm shall see,
For whom no tear of grief is shed

Like that which falls for thee.

Yea, rest thee, forest maiden!

Beneath thy native tree !
The proud may boast their little day,

Then sink to dust like thee:
But there's many a one whose funeral

With nodding plumes may be,
Whom nature nor affection mourn,

As here they mourn for thee.



Written for the laying of the Corner Stone of the Bunker Hill Monument,

June 17th, 1825.

O, is not this a holy spot!

'Tis the high place of Freedom's birth! God of our fathers ! is it not

The holiest spot of all the earth?

Quenched is thy flame on Horeb's side ;

The robber roams o'er Sinai now;
And those old men, thy seers, abide

No more on Zion's mournful brow.

But on this hill thou, Lord, hast dwelt,

Since round its head the war-cloud curled,
And wrapped our fathers, where they knelt

In prayer and battle for a world.


Here sleeps their dust; 'tis holy ground;

And we, the children of the brave,
From the four winds are gathered round,

To lay our offering on their grave.

Free as the winds around us blow,

Free as the waves below us spread, We rear a pile, that long shall throw

Its shadow on their sacred bed.

But on their deeds no shade shall fall,

While o'er their couch thy sun shall flame Thine ear was bowed to hear their call,

And thy right hand shall guard their fame.

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