The Indian Gone!
Josiah D. Canning, Poems (Greenfield, Mass.: Phelps and Ingersoll, 1838): 167-68. Internet Archive
1By night I saw the Hunter's moon
2 Slow gliding in the placid sky;
3Her lustre mocked the sun at noon --
4 I asked myself the reason why?
5And straightway came the sad reply:
6 She shines as she was wont to do
7To aid the Indian's aiming eye,
8 When by her light he strung his bow,
9 But where is he?
10Beside the ancient flood I strayed,
11 Where dark traditions mark the shore;
12With wizzard vision I essayed
13 Into the misty past to pore.
14I heard a mournful voice deplore
15 The perfidy that slew his race;
16'T was in a dialect of yore,
17 And of a long-departed race.
18 It answered me!
19I wrought with ardor at the plough
20 One smoky Indian-summer day;
21The dank locks swept my heated brow,
22 I bade the panting oxen stay.
23Beneath me in the furrow lay
24 A relic of the chase, full low;
25I brushed the crumbling soil away --
26 The Indian fashioned it, I know,
27 But where is he?
28When pheasants drumming in the wood
29 Allured me forth my aim to try,
30Amid the forest lone I stood,
31 And the dead leaves went rustling by.
32The breeze played in the branches high;
33 Slow music filled my listening ear;
34It was a wailing funeral cry,
35 For Nature mourned her children dear.
36 It answered me!
RPO poem Editors:
Ian Lancashire / Sharine Leung