The Cherokee

'Twas a cloudless morn and the sun shone bright,
And dewdrops sparkled clear;
And the hills and the vales of this Western land
Were wreathed with garlands rare.
For verdant spring with her emerald robe
Had decked the forest trees;
Whilst e'er and anon the vine-clad boughs
Waved in the playful breeze.

All, all was still, not a sound was heard,
Save the music of each tree,
As gracefully it bent and bowed
Its branches o'er the lea.
But hark! a sound, 'tis the Red man's tread,
Breaks on the silent air;
And a sturdy warrior issues forth,
Robed in his native gear.

And wandering on, he neared the brook;
Then sat him down to rest;
'Twas a noble sight — that warrior free —
That Monarch of the West.
He gazed around, O! a wistful gaze
Saddened his upturned brow,
As he thought of those he'd fondly loved,
Of those now laid so low.

He mused aloud " Great Spirit! " list
To the Indian's earnest plea;
And tell me why, from his own loved home,
Must the Indian driven be.
When the " Pale Face " came to our genial clime,
We wondered and were glad;
Then hied us to our chieftain's lodge,
Our noble " Flying Cloud. "

We told him all, and he calmly said
He'd gladly give them place;
And if friends they proved, perchance, extend
The calumet of peace.
But soon, alas! the dread truth rang
That the Pale Face was our foe;
For he made our warriors bite the dust —
Our children lie so low.

So now, my own, dear, sunny land,
Each woodland and each dell,
Once the Indian's home, now the Indian's grave,
I bid a last farewell.
To the " Great Spirit's " hunting-ground,
To meet my long-lost bride,
My " Raven Wing " I gladly hie —
He said, then calmly died.

Last updated March 22, 2023