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Their murderous triumph told;
Then kind oblivion came to save
From madness; dark, as is the grave,
Dreamless, and void, and cold.
One bears her senseless in his arms,
Another stills the babe's alarms;
Then through the forest's tangled way,
Swift and straight, toward the bay
Their path the Indians hold.
Each stepping where the first had gone, 'Twas but as the mark of one ;
So noiseless was their cautious tread,
The wakeful squirrel overhead
Knew not that aught beneath him sped.
No bough recoiled as on they broke,
Scarce rustling leaf their impress spoke.
From the first blush who judges man,
Must ill his Maker's image scan:
The trayeller in the boundless lands,
Where the fair west its stores expands,
Oft marks, with cheerful green unblent,
High piled to heaven the bleak ascent,
As scathed and blasted by the fire,
That fell from the Almighty's ire.
But as along the vale he sweeps,
More gently swell the fir-clad steeps,
Till all the sunny mountain rise,
With golden crown amid the skies.
Not the swarth skin, nor rude address
Bespeak the bosom's dreariness;-
Happy, if thus the evil brain
Bore stampt the outward curse of Cain !
Slowly from NORA's wandering soul,
Oblivion's mists of midnight roll,
And, as she woke, to view again
Uncertain horror's spectral train,
Dashing waves were murmuring near,
Rode the bright moon high and clear:
The plunderers crost a shelving glade;
Around, the forest's mass of shade
Rose darkling; and before, the bay
Was quivering with the silver ray.
Dim memory rose; an Indian eye
Watched its first dawning earnestly.
Strange was the face that, frank and bold,
Spoke a heart cast in gentler mould.
He bore the waking lady up
And lingered last of all the group;
Nor e'er at superstition's shrine,
Did votary mark the fire divine,
When wavering in its golden vase,
With feeling more intense,
Than o'er her wan and death-like face,-
Like morning blushing o'er the snow,-
The warrior watched the beaming glow
Of lost intelligence.
He pointed, where his comrade bore
Her infant in his arms, before.
His gaze with melting ruth was fraught,
And that uncertain peril taught
A language to his look:
Of needful silence in that hour,
Of rescue near from saviour power
And faithful aid it spoke.
But still they sped toward the wave,
And he whose glance had sworn to save,
Yet often eyed the circling wood
Where only gloom and mystery brood.
The rippling tides, the insects shrill,
At times the plaining whip-poor-will,
In melancholy concord wake; ...
But other sound was none, to break
The wild suspense of hope and fear;
There was no sign of rescue near.
Fair shone the moon; but there gleamed no ray
Of hope in her calm and pearly way;
Bright rolled the expanding floods below,
But there shone no promise in their flow;
The hues serene of nature's rest
But agonized her anxious breast.
Nearer and nearer to the shore,
Their prize the hurrying party bore;—
The bank is gained; its brake amid,
Their light canoe was closely hid.
While cautious its descent they guide,
To the calm bosom of the tide,
Their comrade, lingering yet above,
Gazed anxiously around to prove
His silent promise true;—
But not a sound is heard, nor sign
Is there of aid; the giant pine
Its gloomy limbs unmoving bears,
And still the silent forest wears
Its sad and solemn hue.
"Tis launched, they beckon him to haste;
One glance he threw, and hope has past :
No more could NORA brook to wait,
In passiveness, uncertain fate.
She shrieked,—far rung the loud alarm,—
And as she struggled from his arm
To break, whose faint resistance made
A moment's brief delay,
An Indian leapt to lend his aid;
But, ere he touched the trembling maid,
Even in his middle way,—
Loud from the wood a gunshot rung,
Straight from earth the NIPNET sprung,
Then, with but one mortal pain,
Dead he sunk upon the plain.
Again, again the volleys pour,
And NORA saw and heard no more.
She woke; the ground was wet with blood,—
Her Indian saviour o'er her stood;
Around her she discovered then,
The faces of her countrymen.
"Where is my child?" they answer not;-
Her dusky guardian's eye she sought;—
O'er his high cheek of rugged mould,
The moon-beam glistened, clear and cold;
A crystal tear was starting bright,
And glittering with the pale, pure light;-
“Where is my child? in mercy, say?”
He pointed to the expanding bay ;—
There was no speck on its azure sheet,
No trace in the waters smooth and fleet,-
As if furrowing keel had ploughed them never,And she knew her child was gone for ever.