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To show him parting, to the light she rears

His child, yet ignorant of human woe;
And soon its guileless silver voice she hears,

“O! where is father going in the snow ?The tender accents start the mother's tears,

“He does, my child, to barbarous red men go, To seek protection from hard brethren here For thee and me, and all to him that's dear.”


So forth he ventured ; even like the dove

That earliest from the window of the ark, Went forth on venturous wings, to soar above

The world of waters heaving wild and dark O’er sunken realms of death, the while she strove

Some high emergent mountain peak to mark, Where she might rest, beyond the billow's sweep, And build herself a home amid the deep.


The boundless forests now our Founder trod,

And due southwestwardly his course he took ; The lofty pines and cedars round him nod,

Loud roars the tempest through the leafless oak;
The snow lies deep upon the frozen sod,

And still the storm's descending torrents choke
The heavens above; and only fancy could,
So dim the view, conceive the solitude


Of the wide forests that before him lay :

His ever steady onward pace alone
Told that from home he lengthened yet his way,

While the same forms — the same drear hollow moan,

Seemed ever round him lingering to stay,

And every step of progress to disown;
As with all sail the bark may breast the tide,
Nor yet advance, but rather backward glide.


Above his head the branches writhe and bend,

Or in the mingled wreck their ruin flies;
The storm redoubles, and the whirlwinds blend

The rising snow-drist with descending skies :
And oft the crags a friendly shelter lend

His breathless bosom, and his sightless eyes ; But, when the transient gust its fury spends, Amid the storm again his way he wends.


Still truly does his course the magnet keep —

No toils fatigue him, and no fears appal;
Oft turns he at the glimpse of swampy deep,

Or thicket dense, or crag abrupt and tall,
Or backward treads to shun the headlong steep,

Or pass above the tumbling waterfall ;
Yet still rejoices when the torrent's leap,
Or crag abrupt, or thicket dense, or swamp's far sweep


Assures him progress. — From gray morn till noon

Hour after hour — from that drear noon until The evening's gathering darkness had begun

To clothe with deeper glooms the vale and hill, Sire Williams journeyed in the forest lone ;

And then night's thickening shades began to fill His soul with doubt - for shelter he had none And all the outstretched waste was clad with one


Vast mantle hoar. And he began to hear,

At times, the fox's bark, and the fierce howl Of wolf, sometimes afar — sometimes so near,

That in the very glen they seemed to prowl Where now he, wearied, paused -- and then his ear

Started to note some shaggy monster's growl, That from his snow-clad rocky den did peer, Shrunk with gaunt famine in that tempest drear,


And scenting human blood: yea, and so nigh,

Thrice did our northern tiger seem to come, He thought he heard the fagots crackling by,

And saw, through driven snow and twilight gloom, Peer from the thickets his fierce burning eye,

Scanning his destined prey, and through the broom, Thrice stealing on his ears, the whining cry Swelled by degrees above the tempest high,


Wayworn he stood — and fast that stormy night

Was gathering round him over hill and dale ; He looked around and by the lingering light,

Found he had paused within a narrow vale ; On either hand a snow-clad rocky height

Ascended high, a shelter from the gale, Whilst deep between them, in thick glooms bedight, A swampy dingle lay before his sight.


Through the white billows thither did he wade,

And deep within its solemn bosom trod; Then on the snow with oft repeated tread

Hardened a flooring for his night's abode ;

All there was calm, for the thick branches made

A screen above, and round him closely stood
The trunks of cedars and of pines arrayed, -
To the rude tempest a firm barricade.


And now his hatchet, with resounding stroke,

Hewed down the boscage that around him rose, And of dry pine the brittle branches broke,

To yield him fuel for the night's repose : The gathered heap an ample store bespoke ;

He smites the steel—the tinder brightly glows; Fired by the match forth burst the kindling flame, And light upon night's seated darkness came.


High branched the pines, and far the colonnade

Of tapering trunks stood glimmering through the glen; And then rejoiced he in that lonely glade

So far away from persecuting men,
That he might break of honesty the bread,

And blessing crave in his own way again ;
Of up-piled brush a seat and board he made,
Spread his plain fare, and piously he prayed.


“ Father of mercies ! thou the wanderer's guide

In this dire storm along the howling waste, Thanks for the shelter thou dost here provide,

Thanks for the mercies of the day that's past;
Thanks for the frugal fare thou hast supplied ;

And O! may still thy tender mercies last;
And may thy light on every falsehood shine,
Till man's freed spirit owns no law but thine ! ”


Our father ceased, and with keen relish he

Refreshed his wearied frame in that lone dell; Ah ! little can his far posterity

Conceive the pleasures of that frugal meal ; For naught he knew of lavish luxury,

And toil and fast had done their office well; No costliest viands culled from land and sea Could half so sweet to pampered palates be.


His hunger sated with his simple fare,

He would, in weariness, have sought repose ; But at the kindling blaze, heard wide and far,

The howlings drear of forest monsters rose ; And, lured around him by the vivid glare,

Came darkling with light foot along the snows Whole packs of wolves, from their far mountain lair, And the fierce cat, which scarce the blaze might scare.


Growling they come, and in dark groups they stand,

Show the white fang, and roll the brightening eye; Till urged by famine’s rage, the shaggy band

Seemed even the flame's bright terrors to defy ; Then mid the group he hurled the blazing brand ;

Swift they disperse, and raise the scattered cry; But, rallying soon, back to the siege they came, And in their rage scarce faltered at the flame.


Yet Williams deemed that persecution took

A form in them less odious than in men ; He on their proper solitude had broke,

Ay, and had trespassed on their native glen;

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