Billeder på siden



(TAE story of MOGG MEGONE has been considered by the author only as a frame-work for sketches of the scenery of New Eng. land, and of its early inhabitants. In portraying the Indian character, he has followed, as closely as his story would admit, the rough but natural delineations of Church, Mayhew, Charlevoix, and Roger Williams; and in so doing he has necessarily discarded much of the romance which poets and novelists have thrown around the ill-fated red man )

Who stands on that clity, like a figure of stone,

Unmoving and tall in the light of the sky,
Where the spray of the cataract sparkles on

Lonely and sternly, save Moga Megone ? 8
Close to the verge of the rock is he,

While beneath him the Saco its work is doing, Hurrying down to its grave, the sea,

And slow through the rock its pathway hewing ! Far down, through the mist of the falling river, Which rises up like an incense ever, The splintered points of the crags are seen, With water howling and vexed between, While the scooping whirl of the pool beneath Seems an open throat, with its granite teeth! But Mogg Megone never trembled yet Wherever his eye or his foot was set. He is watchful: each form in the moonlight dim, Of rock or of tree, is seen of him : He listens; each sound from afar is caught, The faintest shiver of leaf and limb:

But he sees not the waters, which foam and fret,
Whose moonlit spray has his moccasin wet-
And the roar of their rushing, he hears it not.
The moonlight, through the open bough

Of the gnarl'd beech, whose naked root

Coils like a serpent at his foot,
Falls, checkered, on the Indian's brow.
His head is bare, save only where

aves in the wind one lock of hair,

Reserved for him, whoe'er he be,
More mighty than Megone in strife,

When breast to breast and knee to knee,
Above the fallen warrior's life
Gleams, quick and keen, the scalping-knife.
Megone hath his knife and hatchet and gun,
And his gaudy and tasselled blanket on:
His knife hath a handle with gold inlaid,
And magic words on its polished blade-
'Twas the gift of Castine 9 to Mogg Megone,
For a scalp or twain from the Yengees torn :
His gun was the gift of the Tarrantine,

And Modocawando's wives had strung
The brass and the beads, which tinkle and shine
On the polished breech, and broad bright line

Of beaded wampum around it hung.


What seeks Megone? His foes are near

Grey Jocelyn's eye is never sleeping, And the garrison lights are burning clear,

Where Phillips'il men their watch are keeping. Let him hie him away through the dank river

fog, Never rustling the boughs nor displacing the

rocks, For the eyes and the ears which are watching for

Are keener than those of the wolf or the fox.

He starts—there's a rustle among

the leaves :
Another—the click of his gun is heard !
A footstep-is it the step of Cleaves,

With Indian blood on his English sword ?
Steals Harmon 12 down from the sands of York,
With hand of iron and foot of cork ?
llas Scamman, versed in Indian wile,
For vengeance left his vine hung isle ? 13
llark ! at that whistle, soft and low,

How lights the eye of Mogg Megone!
A smile gleams o'er his dusky brow-

“ Boon welcome, Johnny Bonython!”
Out steps, with cautious foot and slow,
And quick, keen glances to and fro,

The hunted outlaw, Bonython ! 14
A low, lean swarthy man is he,
With blanket-garb and buskin'd knee,

And nought of English fashion on;
For he hates the race from whence he

And he couches his words in the Indian tongue.
“ Hush_let the Sachem's voice be weak;
The water-rat shall hear him speak-
The owl shall whoop in the white man's ear,
That Mogg Megone, with his scalps, is here ! ”

pauses-dark, over cheek and brow,
A flush, as of shame, is stealing now:
“ Sachem !” he says, " let me have the land,
Which stretches away upon either hand,
As far about as my feet can stray
In the half of a gentle summer's day,

From the leaping brook 15 to the Saco river
And the fair-haired girl, thou hast sought of me,
Shall sit in the Sachem's wigwam, and be

The wife of Mogg Megone forever.”

[ocr errors]

There's a sudden light in the Indian's glance,
A moments trace of powerful feeling-



Of love or triumph, or both perchance,

Over his proud, calm features stealing.
“ The words of my father are very good ;
He shall have the land, and water, and wood;
And he who harms the Sagamore John,
Şhall feel the knife of Mogg Megone;
But the fawn of the Yengees shall sleep on my

And the bird of the clearing shall sing in my


« But father!”-and the Indian's hand

Falls gently on the white man's arm And with a smile as shrewdly bland

As the deep voice is slow and calm“ Where is my father's singing-bird

The sunny eye, and sunset hair? I know I have my father's word,

And that his word is good and fair; But, will my father tell me where Megone shall go and look for his bride ?For he sees her not by her father's side."

[ocr errors]


The dark, stern eye of Bonython

Flashes over the features of Mogg Megone,

In one of those glances which search within ; But the stolid calm of the Indian alone

Remains where the trace of emotion has been. * Does the Sachem doubt? Let him

with me, And the eyes of the Sachem his bride shall sen."

Cautious and slow, with
And watchful eyes and whispers soft,
The twain are stealing through the wood,
Leaving the downward-rushing flood,
Whose deep and solemn roar behind,
Grows fainter on the evening wind

pauses oft,

Hark !—is that the angry howl
Of the wolf, the hills



« ForrigeFortsæt »