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That night, returnlng from the accustomed pool,
Came Waban laden with the beavers' spoils, And joy seemed dancing in his very soul
As he displayed the produce of his toils; Much he rejoiced, and Williams heard the whole, —
How long he watched, how many were his foils ; Then how the cunning beasts were captured all, As through the fractured ice they sought to crawl.
“ Bravely,” said Williams, “has my brother done,
No more the cunning wights will mock his skill. Waban is rich ; will he not hie him soon
To the pale wigwams, and his girdle fill With the bright wampum ?
Ere to-morrow's sun Shall hide behind the crest of yonder hill, Waban may gain the pale-faced stranger's town, And in his brother's wigwam sit him down.”
66 The hunter goes,
” said Waban in reply ; Then fired his calumet and curled its smoke, And silent sate in all the dignity
Which conscious worth can give the human look. But when the fragrant clouds to mount on high
Had ceased, he from the bowl the embers shook, And spread on earth the brown deer's rustling hide, Expanding to the eye its naked side.
Then thus he spake : “My brother doth require
Waban to show where neighboring Sachems reign ; Doubtless he seeks to light his council fire
Within some good and valiant chief's domain,
That he may shun the persecutor's ire,
And pray his God without the fear of men. On Waban's words my brother may repose, Whilst these far feet imprint the distant snows."
Then from the hearth a quenchéd brand he took,
And on the skin traced many a curving line; Here rolled the river, there the winding brook,
Here rose the hills, and there the vales decline, Here spreads the bay, and there the ocean broke,
Along red Waban's map of rude design. The work now finished, he to Williams spoke, “ Here, brother, on the red man's country look.
“Here's Waban's lodge, thou seest it smokes between
Dark rolling Seekonk and Cohannet's wave; Both floods on-flowing through their borders green,
In Narraganset's basin find their grave. O'er all the country 'twixt those waters sheen
Reigns Massasoit, Sachem good and brave; Yet he has subject Keenomps far and near, Who bring him tribute of the slaughtered deer,
“ And bend his battle bow, Strong is he now,
But has been stronger. Ere dark pestilence Devoured his warriors - laid his hundreds low,
That Sachem's war-whoop roused to his defence Three thousand bow-men; and he still can show
A mighty force, whene'er the kindling sense Of common wrong does in the bosom glow, And prompts to battle with the offending foe. * Cohannet, the Indian name for Taunton, is here applied to the river.
“His highest chief is Corbitant the stern;
He bears a fox's head and panther's heart, He 'gainst Awanux does in secret turn,
Sharps his keen knife, and points his thirsty dart;
Of Pokanoket's woods his licensed part.
Here, tow'rd the winter, where the fountains feed
These rolling rivers, do the Nipnets dwell ; They Massasoit bring the skin and bead,
And rush to war when rings his battle yell ;
When the far West sends down her Maquas fell ;
“ Here lies Namasket tow'rd the rising sun;
There Massasoit spends his seasons cold ;
Of open hand and of a bosom bold;
Spreads broad Pocasset, strong Apannow's hold;
“ Still tow’rd the rising sun might Waban show
And count each tribe, and each brave Keenomp name; But then his brother does not wish to go
Nearer the pale-face and the fagot's flame; * Mattapoiset, now Swansey.
But rather tow'rd the tomahawk and bow,
And would the friendship of the red man claim : Therefore will Waban, on the western shores, Count Narraganset's men and sagamores.
“Two mighty chiefs - one cautious, wise and old,
One young and strong, and terrible in fightAll Narraganset and Coweset hold;
One lodge they build, one council fire they light;
Five thousand warriors give their arrows flight ;
“Dark rolling Seekonk does their realm divide
From Pokanoket, Massasoit's reign;
Spread their dark foliage to the billowy main ;
Stretches their realm to where the rebel train, Ruled by grim Uncas, with their hatchets dyed In brother's blood, on Pequot stream abide.f
“ Canonicus is as the beaver wise,
Miantonomi as the panther bold;
Are oft in awful thinking silence rolled ;
Thoughts that to none but Keenomps they have told; They seem two buffaloes the herds that lead, Scenting the hunters gathering round their mead.
* See note. † See note.
" When first his fire Awanux kindled here,
Haup's* chief was weak, and broken was his heart; Disease had swept his warriors far and near,
And at his breast looked Narraganset's dart;
Did M’antonomi at the big guns start;
“He sees the strangers spreading far around,
And earth turn pale as fast their numbers grow, And fiercely would he to the battle bound,
And for his country strike the deadly blow,
And on his left the Nipnet bends the bow;
“But, brother, still Miantonomi is
A valiant Sachem -yea, and generous too,
His hands are ever to his tongue most true;
Whate'er those Sachems promise, they will do ;
“ Brother, attend and hear the reasons why ;
There at Mooshausick dwells a dark pawaw, Who hates Awanux, doth his God defy,
And Chepian worships with the deepest awe;
* Haup, or Mount Hope, the summer residence of Massasoit.