|Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:|
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. III: Colonial Literature, 16071764
|Of a Vision and a Battle|
|By Thomas Morton (15751646)|
[From New English Canaan. 1632.]
THE PLANTERS of Plymouth, at their last being in those parts, having defaced the monument of the dead at Pasonayessit (by taking away the hearse cloth, which was two great bears skins sewed together at full length, and propped up over the grave of Chuatawbacks mother), the sachem of those territories, being enraged at the same, stirred up his men in his behalf to take revenge; and having gathered his men together he begins to make an oration in this manner: When last the glorious light of all the sky was underneath this globe and birds grew silent, I began to settle (as my custom is) to take repose; before mine eyes were fast closed methought I saw a vision, at which my spirit was much troubled, and trembling at that doleful sight, a spirit cried aloud, Behold, my son whom I have cherished, see the paps that gave thee suck, the hands that lapped thee warm and fed thee oft; canst thou forget to take revenge of those wild people, that hath my monument defaced in despiteful manner, disdaining our ancient antiquities and honorable customs? See now the sachems grave lies like unto the common people, of ignoble race, defaced; thy mother doth complain, implores thy aid against this thievish people new come hither; if this be suffered, I shall not rest in quiet within my everlasting habitation. This said, the spirit vanished, and I all in a sweat, not able scarce to speak, began to get some strength and recollect my spirits that were fled, all which I thought to let you understand, to have your counsel, and your aid likewise. This being spoken, straightway arose the grand captain, and cried aloud, Come, let us to arms; it doth concern us all; let us bid them battle. So to arms they went, and laid wait for the Plymouth boat, and forcing them to forsake their landing place, they seek another best for their convenience. Thither the savages repair in hope to have the like success, but all in vain, for the English captain warily foresaw, and, perceiving their plot, knew the better how to order his men fit for battle in that place. He, boldly leading his men on, ranged about the field to and fro, and, taking his best advantage, lets fly and makes the savages give ground. The English followed them fiercely on and made them take trees for their shelter (as their custom is), from whence their captain let fly amain, yet no man was hurt. At last lifting up his right arm to draw a fatal shaft (as he then thought) to end this difference, received a shot upon his elbow, and straightway fled, by whose example all the army followed the same way and yielded up the honor of the day, to the English party; who were such a terror to them after, that the savages durst never make to a head against them any more.