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Yet earnestly the pious man bcsought,
That Heaven would deign to shed the Gospel light On the kind pagan's soul, as yet untaught
Save in the dreams of her primordial night; And much he prayed, that to the truth when brought,
Cleansed of his sins in garments pure and white, He might subdue the fierceness of his clan, And gain man refuge from intolerant man.
Williams the task of goodness now essayed,
To win the wanderer to a worship new; The utter darkness that his soul arrayed,
Concealed her workings from our Founder's view, Save when some question, rare and strange, betrayed
His dream-bewildered glimpses of the true.Long was the task ; and Williams back began, At earth's creation and the fall of man.
He told how God from nothing formed the earth,
And gave each creature shape surpassing fair ; How He in Eden, at their happy birth,
Placed with His blessing the first human pair ;
And they, and theirs, consigned to sad despair,
He then told how the blessed martyrs bore
The chains of dungeons, and the fagot's flame, Glad that their sufferings might attest the more
Their perfect faith in their Redeemer's name;
How His disciples past from shore to shore,
Salvation's joyful tidings to proclaim ;
Waban attentive listened to the strain,
And at its close for long in silence sate; His visage did a graver cast attain
And all his heart's deep feelings indicate. At length he uttered thus the mental train:
“Weak is my soul, and dark is her estate! No book has she to tell of Manit high, Except this outstretched earth and starry sky.
“Great news Awanux brings the red men here
News that their legends old doth much excel ; Yet give to Waban the attentive ear,
And the traditions of his sires he'll tell. From days afar, down many a rolling year
Down to thy brothers red - their fathers' tale Comes to inform them, in their mortal state, What powers they should revere - what deprecate."
Here Waban paused, and sitting mused a space,
As pondering gravely on the mighty theme; Deep thought was graven on his earnest face,
And still his groping memory did seem
At length he roused, as from a passing dream,
. far away,
Brother, that time is distant
When Heaven or Earth or living thing was not, Save our great God, Cawtantowit, who lay
Extended through immensity, where naught
-and dead were they ;
“But though he slept, yet, as the human soul
To this small frame, his being did pervade The universal space, and ruled the whole;
E'en as the soul, when in deep slumber laid, Doth her wild dreams and fantasies control,
And give them action, color, shape and shade Just as she wills. But the Great Spirit broke His sleep at last, and all the boundless shook.
“In a vast eagle's form embodied, He
Did o'er the deep on outstretched pinions spring; Fire in his eye lit all immensity,
Whilst his majestically gliding wing
And, through their utmost limit quivering,
“The moutain whale came spouting from below,
The porpoise plunged along the foaming main, The smaller fry in sporting myriads go,
With glancing backs above the liquid plain;
Yet still refused her giant form to show
Ay, sullenly below did yet remain Earth-bearing Tortoise, the Unamis vast, And o'er her still the loftly billows past.
“ Then great Cawtantowit in his anger spoke,
And from his flaming eyes the lightnings past, And from his wings the tenfold thunders broke.
The sullen Tortoise heard his words at last And slowly she her rocky grasp forsook,
And her huge back of woods and mountains vast From the far depths tow'rd upper light began Slowly to heave.—The affrighted waters ran
“Hither and thither, tumultous and far;
But still Unamis, heaving from below The full formed earth, first, through the waves did rear
The fast sky-climbing Alleghany's brow,
The rolling billows fell, and rising now,
“ Shed the salt showers. Far o'er the deep,
Hills after hills still lift their clustered trees, Wild down the rising slopes the waters leap,
Then from the up-surging plain the ocean flees, Till lifted from the flood, in vale and steep
And rock, and forest waving to the breeze, Earth, on the Tortoise borne, frowned ocean o'er, And spurned the billows from her thundering shore.
“But great Cawtantowit, on his pinions still,
O'er the lone earth majestically sprung,
And with new life the teeming regions rung;
Herds upon herds the plain and mountain throng; In the still pools the cunning beavers toil, And the armed seseks* their strong folds uncoil.
“ Yet man was not. —Then great Cawtantowit spoke
To the hard mountain crags and called for man : And sculptured, breathing, from the cleaving rock,
Sprang the armed warrior, and a strife began With living things.—Hard as his native block,
Was his stone heart, and through it ran Blood cold as ice - and the Great Spirit struck This cruel man, and him to atoms broke.
“Then He the oak, of fibre hard and fine,
With the first red man's soul and form endowed, And woman made he of the tapering pine,
Which 'neath that oak in peaceful beauty bowed ; She on the red man's bosom did recline,
Like the bright rainbow on the thunder-cloud.
“He gave them all these forests far and near,
The forms that fly, and those that creeping go, The healthful fountains, and the rivers clear,
And all the broods that sport the waves below;