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“If, then, my brother can subdue his foes
By the white pipe, he will be very strong! The offending chiefs once more will bend his bows,
And shout around his fire their battle song ; No more will Pequot harass his repose,
Or Maqua yells resound these hills among. See not my brothers whence all this distrust? The belt between them and the Yengees rust.
“ Hearken a space Deem not the Yengee weak;
Betwixt him and Haup's chief the chain is bright; If thou on him a finger's vengeance wreak,
The conscious chain will vibrate to the White, And, roused from slumber, will the big guns speak,
And flames will flash from every woodland height. Pause, brother, pause - and to the pale-faced train Extend thy friendship, and keep bright the chain.
“But hearken still — Thy brother knows no guile;
His tongue speaks truly what his heart conceives; Against the Pequots do your bosoms boil,
And for the Pequot deeds Awanux grieves ; Their hands are laden with the white man's spoil,
And crimsoned with the stain that murder leaves ; Soon will the big guns to their nation speak, And, in their aid, may'st thou just vengeance wreak.
“Thou would'st compel the Wampanoag's aid
To guard thy borders, and chastise thy foes; Will not my brothers let me them persuade
To get them warriors armed with more than bows?
Even Awanux, in his strength arrayed,
Whose thunder roars and whose red lightning glows ? Make him your friend and victory follows sure, And Narraganset rests in peace secure.”
The old chief downward gazed; the warriors round,
Some in stern silence sate of doubtful mood, Some gave a scornful smile, some fiercely frowned,
And others toiled to sharp their darts for blood ; At length the Sachem, rising from the ground,
With piercing eyes, full in the visage viewed Our anxious Founder. “ Thou dost speak,” he said,
“ The words of wisdom, but these ears are dead;
“Dead to a Yengee's voice. When did the tongue
Of the white stranger fail to speak most fair ? When did his actions not his speeches wrong,
And lay the falsehood of his bosom bare ?
To have their glory down the ages fare ;
“If true he speak that should his actions show;
May not his heart be darker than yon cloud,
Still, if his speech were true, and not a shroud
blood Might all, whilst rivers roll, or rain descends, Live with the Yengee, kind and loving friends."
'Twas for our Founder now in turn to pause
He felt his weakness at rebuff so stern ;)
Whose fangs began to move, and eyes to burn ;
The Sachem's mind into this deep concern?
At this, the Sachem from his girdle took
His snow-white pipe, and snapt the stem in twain :
Said the stern Sachem, and it snapt again ;
And they were sheltered by the stranger's train. This fragment shows the serpent's skin they sent, Filled with round thunders to our royal tent.
“ This shows, they raised their bulwarks high and proud,
And poised their big guns at our distant home. This, when at Sowams* raged our battle loud,
How their round thunders made that battle dumb.
And with its madness have our youth o'ercome.
“ This, with the Maqua how a league they made,
And filled with arms his all-destroying hand. This, how they claim right over quick and dead
Our fathers' buried bones, their children's land.
* See note to stanza XXXIII.
This, how the earth grows pale, as fast they spread
From glade to glade, like snow from Wamponand, When borne o'er ocean on the sounding gales, It crowns the hills and whitens through the vales.
“ Take thou the fragments count their numbers well
Ten times complains our violated right; They'll help thy memory, and perchance will tell,
Ten causes have we to distrust the White; Scarce can the grave our fathers' spirits quell
They come complaining in the dreams of night; Ten times the pipe was by the strangers broke, Ten times the hatchet from its slumbers woke.”
Williams the fragments took, and, counting ten,
He promptly answered with this calm reply:
Who tread upon thy pipe unwittingly.
Hungry and cold, they came thy borders nigh ;
“ And this they found in that deserted strand,
Where slept the dead where living men were not; They knew no wrong in this a rightful hand
Appeared, and welcomed to the vacant spot ;
They took his belt, for t’was a token brought
“ Bound in the skin of the great sachem snake,
My brother sent his barbs - but to his foe,
And let his bullets for an answer go;
Some wise precaution ’gainst a secret blow ;
“No leagues have they with the fierce Maqua made,
Nor with the Pequot hostile is the race ; But if my brothers, for the fight arrayed,
O'er Pokanoket's borders speed their pace,
Of any tribe that would thy battle face;
“To these six fragments of the pipe I've spoke ;
Take them again, if I have answered well;
By the fire-water, and of what befel
Made by those strangers from the nations pale To these broad forests as their own domain These will I ask Awanux to explain.
“ This fragment tells me that his numbers grow,
That they are spreading fast, from glade to glade; If the Great Spirit does increase bestow,
Will the wise Sachem that great Power upbraid ?