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Till from the groups another Sachem sprung,
To tell his deeds, and count his foemen slain ;
As if he slew his vanquished foe again ;
And drank with greedy ears the bloody strain,
Amid the tumult of this boisterous rout,
Williams, unmarked, had gained the central glade, When all at once an unaccustomed shout
Startled the groups around the fires arrayed, And staring eyes, and pointing hands about,
Proclaimed the strangers to their view betrayed ; Then died that hum, like the past whirlwind's roar, When the dust rises on the distant shore.
And all were hushed, while round them, man to man
They glanced, and wonder in their faces grew, Till through the camp the sullen rumor ran,
“ Pale-faced Awanux! Wampanoag too!” And warriors, kindling at the words, began
To grasp their weapons all that gathering through ; When, lo! they opened like a parting tide, And once again their murmurs lulled and died.
And Williams paused ; for, from the severed crowd,
A chief advancing trod the breathing plain ; Bold was his port, his bearing high and proud,
A lance of length did his right hand sustain ;
The glittering wampum did his brows enshroud,
His nodding plumage wore a crimson stain ; His armlets gleamed — his belt, with figures traced, Supported skirts with purple pëag laced.
His naked limbs were stained a sable hue,
His naked chest and face a crimson red ; Streamed backward from his brow two ribbons blue,
And with his long black hair wild dalliance made; Suspended from his belt, half sheathed from view,
His scalping knife and tomahawk were stayed ;
With strong majestic stride and lofty gait,
He neared our Founder and his dusky guide, Who, in half tone, could but ejaculate,
“Miantonomi!” when his Indian pride Choked further utterance, though still elate,
Grasping his axe, with nostrils spreading wide, Self-poised he stood ; appearing to await The approaching chief, who glanced disdainful hate.
Our Founder chid his guide, and high displayed
The calumet in one white hand, the while He raised the other, and mild gesture made
Bespeaking peace. Well did the act beguile And soothe the Sachem's passion, and he said,
Turning from Waban, with a scornful smile: 'Has, then, Awanux come to hear the song ? Our darts are thirsty, and our arms are strong!”
Then Williams : Sachem, in the cause of Him,
The great Good Spirit whom we all adore Who smiles not on the contests fierce and grim
Of his red children in the field of gore I have come hither, in unwarlike trim,
To crave thy friendship, and of thee implore That these black clouds portending bloody rain May go, and let the sky shine out again."
So answering, the calumet of peace
He tendered to that warlike Sagamore, Who clenched his hands, and backward stept a pace,
"Nay! Nay, Awanux! Wampanoag gore Will M’antonomi's feet in battle trace
Ere dies another moon. He hears no more ; 'Tis not for him, amid these Keenomps bold, To talk of peace
that suits his uncle old.”
Williams to this : “ Then the gray chief is wise ;
His glance is forward, and around him turns ; But o'er the young chief clouds of anger rise,
He sees but backward, and his vengeance burns ; Show me to him who looks with wisdom's eyes
Upon the nations, and most truly learns, From by-gone toils and dangers of his life, To prize the pipe above the scalping-knife.”
At this his bosom the young Sachem struck,
And braced his frame, and flashed his kindling eye“This breast is generous," he proudly spoke,
"Of like for like abundant its supply;
Of good and bad it hath an ample stock ;
It cheers its friend, it blasts its enemy Ten favors does it for each favor done, And ten darts sends for every hostile one.
“ Follow the war-chief ; -- mid yon heavy cloud
Of warriors grim in arms and martial dyes,
But prouder still in counsels old and wise."
Williams to calmness did his guide advise ;
Not more horrific gleams the glistering snake,
Where coiled on glowing rocks he basking lies, When, at the approaching step his rattles shake,
Flickers his forky tongue, and burn his eyes, Than glared that crowd of warriors round the stake,
Arrayed in murderous arms and martial guise; Their turbulent murmurs kindling through the whole The sympathetic wrath of one inspiring soul.
But when the Sachem, coming, near them trod,
He raised his open hand, and, pausing, spoke : “Keenomps! Awanux, prompted by his God,
Brings back the pipe the Wampanoag broke. . Our fathers ever answered good with good,
And for the bearer of the pipe ne'er woke The storm of vengeance; list ye to his talk ; He brings no message from the tomahawk."
As thus he spake, the sullen murmurs died,
And, hushed and listening, all the warriors stood ; Again he moved — and at his onward stride
The deep mass parted like a severing flood ; And, yielding either way, the living tide
Left clear the space through which our Founder trod : Their breath alone he heard — like the hoarse breeze Foreboding tempests to the shuddering trees.
At last he came where the old Sachems sate,
Who formed the Narraganset senate grave; Renownéd were they once, in fierce debate
Of battle dire, as bravest of the brave; But now, as guardians of their little state,
To younger hands they prudent counsel gave. Their youth was gone, but their experience sage Had thrice its value in a wise old age.
On settles, raised around the mounting blaze,
Sit gray Wauontom, Keenomp, Sagamore;
Is sage Canonicus, whose tresses hoar
The care-worn soul in many a furrowed score;
Beside him lay the calumet of peace
It was his sceptre mid the din of arms; No martial dyes did on his visage trace
The lines of wrath — for him they had no charms ;