Verse > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow > Complete Poetical Works
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882).  Complete Poetical Works.  1893.
I. Juvenile Poems.
Ode written for the Commemoration at Fryeburg, Maine, of Lovewell’s Fight
Air—Bruce’s Address.

MANY a day and wasted year
Bright has left its footsteps here,
Since was broke the warrior’s spear,
        And our fathers bled.
Still the tall trees, arching, shake        5
Where the fleet deer by the lake,
As he dash’d through birch and brake.
        From the hunter fled.
In these ancient woods so bright,
That are full of life and light,        10
Many a dark, mysterious rite
        The stern warriors kept.
But their altars are bereft,
Fall’n to earth, and strewn and cleft,
And a holier faith is left        15
        Where their fathers slept.
From their ancient sepulchres,
Where amid the giant firs,
Moaning loud, the high wind stirs,
        Have the red men gone.        20
Tow’rd the setting sun that makes
Bright our western hills and lakes,
Faint and few, the remnant takes
        Its sad journey on.
Where the Indian hamlet stood,
In the interminable wood,
Battle broke the solitude,
        And the war-cry rose;
Sudden came the straggling shot
Where the sun looked on the spot        30
That the trace of war would blot
        Ere the day’s faint close.
Low the smoke of battle hung;
Heavy down the lake it swung,
Till the death wail loud was sung        35
        When the night shades fell;
And the green pine, waving dark,
Held within its shattered bark
Many a lasting scathe and mark,
        That a tale could tell.        40
And the story of that day
Shall not pass from earth away,
Nor the blighting of decay
        Waste our liberty;
But within the river’s sweep        45
Long in peace our vale shall sleep
And free hearts the record keep
        Of this jubilee.

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