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We call them far through the silent night,
And they speak not from cave or bill; We know, thou bird ! that their land is bright, But
say, do they love there still ?
THE STRANGER IN LOUISIANA.
An early traveller mentions a people on the banks of the Mississippi who burst into tears at the sight of a stranger. The reason of this is, that they fancy their deceased friends and relations to be only gone on a journey, and being in constant expectation of their return, look for them vainly amongst these foreign travellers.
Picart's Ceremonies and Religious Customs. “ J'ai passé moi-même,” says Chateaubriand in his Souvenirs d'Amérique, "chez une peuplade indienne qui se prenait à pleurer à la vue d'un voyageur, parce qu'il lui rappelait des amis partis pour la Contrée des Ames, et depuis long-tems en voyage."
We saw thee, O stranger, and wept ! We look'd for the youth of the sunny glance, Whose step was the fleetest in chase or dance! The light of his eye was a joy to see, The path of his arrows a storm to flee! But there came a voice from a distant shore: He was call'd-he is found 'midst his tribe no more! He is not in his place when the night-fires burn, But we look for him still he will yet return!
-His brother sat with a drooping brow
We saw thee, O stranger, and wept ! We look'd for the maid of the mournful song, Mournful, though sweet-she hath left us long ! We told her the youth of her love was gone, And she went forth to seek him-she pass'd alone; We hear not her voice when the woods are still, From the bower where it sang, like a silvery rill. The joy of her sire with her smile is fled, The winter is white on his lonely head, He hath none by his side when the wilds we track, He hath none when we rest-yet she comes not
back! We look'd for her eye on the feast to shine, For her breezy step-but the step was thine !
We saw thee, O stranger, and wept ! We look'd for the chief who hath left the spear And the bow of his battles forgotten here! We look'd for the hunter, whose bride's lament On the wind of the forest at eve is sent: We look'd for the first-born, whose mother's cry Sounds wild and shrill through the midnight sky ! -Where are they ?-thou 'rt seeking some distant
coastOh, ask of them, stranger !--send back the lost!
Tell them we mourn by the dark blue streams,
THE ISLE OF FOUNTS.
AN INDIAN TRADITION.
" The River St. Mary has its source from a vast lake or marsh, which lies between Flint and Oakmulge rivers, and og cupies a space of near three hundred miles in circuit. This vast accumulation of waters, in the wet season, appears as a lake, and contains some large islands or knolls of rich high land; one of which the present generation of the Creek Indians represent to be a most blissful spot of earth; they say it is inhabited by a peculiar race of Indians, whose women are incomparably beautiful. They also tell you that this terrestrial paradise has been seen by some of their enterprising hunters, when in pursuit of game ; but that in their endeavours to approach it, they were involved in perpetual labyrinths, and, like enchanted land, still as they imagined they had just gained it, it seemed to fly before them, alternately appearing and disappearing. They resolved, at length, to leave the delusive pursuit, and to return, which, after a number of difficulties, they effected. When they reported their adventures to their countrymen, the young warriors were inflamed with an irresistible desire to invade, and make a conquest of, so charming a country ; but all their attempts have hitherto proved abortive, never having been able again to find that enchanting spol.”
Bartram's Travels through North and South Carolina, &c. The additional circumstances in the Isle of Founts are merely imaginary.
Son of the stranger! wouldst thou take
blue hills thy lonely way,