Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
Death Song
By Alonzo Lewis (1794–1861)
GREAT 1 Sassacus fled from the eastern shores,
Where the sun first shines, and the great sea roars,
For the white men came from the world afar,
And their fury burnt like the bison star.
His sannaps were slain by their thunder’s power,        5
And his children fell like the star-eyed flower;
His wigwams are burnt by the white man’s flame,
And the home of his youth has a stranger’s name—
His ancestor once was our countryman’s foe,
And the arrow was placed in the new-strung bow,        10
The wild deer ranged through the forest free,
While we fought with his tribe by the distant sea.
But the foe never came to the Mohawk’s tent,
With his hair untied, and his bow unbent,
And found not the blood of the wild deer shed,        15
And the calumet lit, and the bear-skin bed.
But sing ye the Death Song, and kindle the pine,
And bid its broad light like his valor to shine;
Then raise high his pile by our warriors’ heaps,
And tell to his tribe that his murderer sleeps.        20
Note 1. Mr Lewis is a native of Lynn, Massachusetts, where he is now employed as an instructer. A volume of his poems was published in 1823, and he has since contributed others for the newspapers. [back]

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