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There too came Corbitant, austere of mood,

And Annawan, who saw, in after times, Brave Metacom, and all of kindred blood,

Slain, or enslaved and sold to foreign climes;
And strong Appanow, of Pocasset's wood,

And other chiefs of names unmeet for rhymes;
And round our Father, in the fearful trim
Of savage war, they gathered, wroth and grim.


Each fired his pipe, and seat in silence took ;

Around the room a dreadful ring they made ;
Their eyes stared fiercely through the wreathing smoke,

And luridly their gaudy plumage played,
The while, obscured, they did scarce earthly look,

But seemed like fiends in their infernal shade ;
And still the vapors rose and naught they spoke,
Till Massasoit thus the silence broke :


And is my brother here? What does he seek ?

Tow'rd Wamponand, upon the passing wing,
A singing bird there went; its opening beak

Was by Namasket's wigwam heard to sing
That thou art friendless, homeless, poor and weak,

Seeking protection from an Indian King.
Do the white Sagamores their vengeance wreak,
E’en as the red ones, on their brethren? — Speak.”


Sire Williams answered : 6. 'Twas no idle song

Sung by that bird which passed Namasket near; I am an exile these drear wilds among,

And hope for kindness from the red men here.

Oft had thy friendship to the pale-faced throng,

That first Patuxet* peopled, reached my ear ; And a whisper told me thou wouldst still be kind To those who fly, and leave their all behind.”


Then rose the tawny monarch of the wood

To speak his memory, as became a chief ; And back he cast his crimson robes, and stood

With naked arm outstretched a moment brief; Commanding silence by that attitude,

And to his words attention and belief.
Often he paused, his eyes on Williams fixt,
Whilst rang applause his weighty words betwixt.


"Brother," he said, "full many a rolling year

Has cast its leaves and fruitage on the ground, And many a Keenomp, to his country dear,

Has sate in death beneath his grassy mound, Since first the pale Awanux kindled here

His council blaze, and so began to found His tribes and villages, and far and near, With thundering arms, to wake the red man's fear.


Brother, attend !

When first Awanux came, He was a child, not higher than my knee ; Hunger and cold consumed and pinched his frame;

Houseless on yonder naked shore was he; Waves roared between him and his corn and game,

Snows clad the wilds, and winter vexed the sea ; His big canoe shrunk from the angry flood, And death was on the barren strand he trod.

* Patuxet is the Indian name for Plymouth.


“ Brother, attend ! I gave the infant food ;

My lodge was open and my fire was warm ; He gathered strength, and felt a richer blood Renew the vigor of his wasted arm ; waxed strong

the trees began to bud; He asked for lands a little town to form ; I gave him lands, and taught him how to plant, To fish and hunt, for he was ignorant,

He grew


“ Brother, attend ! Still did Awanux grow;

Still did he ask for land ; I gave him more And more

and more, till now his hatchet's blow Is at Namasket heard, with crash and roar Of falling oaks, and, like the whitning snow,

His growing numbers spread my borders o'er ; Scarce do they leave a scant and narrow place Where we may spread the blanket of our race.'


Here paused the chief, as if to ask reply;

Of thankless guests he spoke, and seemed to say That the white strangers grasped too eagerly,

Nor heeded aught their benefactor's sway. Ne'er to the Indian did our Sire deny

His share of Heaven's free gifts; and, to allay The ominous mistrust, he answered mild The dusky king of Pokanoket's wild :


“ Brother, I know that all these lands are thine,

These rolling rivers, and these waving trees, From the Great Spirit came the gift divine ;

And who would trespass upon boons like these?

I would take nothing, if the power were mine,

Of all thy lands, lest it should Him displease ; But for just meed shouldst thou some part resign, Would the Great Spirit blame the deed benign ?”


«« 'Tis not the peäg,” said the sagamore,

“Nor knives, nor guns, nor garments red as blood, That buy the lands I hold dominion o'er

Lands that were fashioned by the red man's God; But to my friend I give, and take no more

Than to his generous bosom seemeth good; But still we pass the belt, and for the lands, He strengthens mine, and I make strong his hands."


“Weak is my hand, brave chief," our Sire replied ;

“ Aid do I need, but none can I bestow; Yet on the vacant plain, by Seekonk's tide,

I fain would build, and peaceful neighbors know; But if my brother has that plain denied,

Far tow'rds the setting sun will Williams go,
And on the lands of other chiefs abide,
Whose blankets are with ampler room supplied."


As thus our Founder spake, this murmur low

Circled that savage group of warriors round, “ The stranger will to Narraganset go!”

“A hungry wolf shall in his path be found!” Rejoined stern Corbitant, whose eyes did glow

With kindling wrath ; -- then from his belt unbound His hatchet and beneath his blanket hid ; Warrior to warrior glanced, as this he did.


Again Haup's Sachem broke the fearful pause :

“ Brother, be wise; I gave thy brethren lands; They smoked my pipe, and they espoused my cause ;

They made me strong; and all the neighboring bands Forsook the Narraganset Sachem's laws*

And mine obeyed. We weakened hostile hands; All dropt their arms and looked, but looked in vain, For my white friends to measure back the main.


“ This leaf, which budded of their hope, now dies ;

The Narraganset warriors crest their hair ; Their hatchets keen from troubled slumber rise

And through Coweset make their edges glare ;
Chiefs strike the war-post, – blood is in their cries,

And fierce their yells cleave Pokanoket's air;
They count already with revengeful eyes
The future scalps of vanquished enemies ; --


And all for Wampanoag's life-blood crave.

On Seekonk's marge the storm of war will burst; Lands might I give thee there but that the wave

Will there run red with human slaughter first. And yet my brother and his friends are brave;

His bulwarks there with guardian thunders pierced, Might frown on harm ; -- for surely he would fight Both for his own and for the giver's right.


“ And when the Narragansets by our arms

Are from the Seekonk driven far away, No more molested by the wild alarms

Of scalping knife and tomahawk's affray,

* See notes to Canto Fourth.

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