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by William Cullen Bryant


Gather him to his grave again

And solemnly and softly lay

Beneath the verdure of the plain

The warrior's scattered bones away.

Pay the deep reverencetaught of old

The homage of man's heart to death;

Nor dare to trifle with the mould

Once hallowed by the Almighty's breath. -

The soul hath quickened every part-

That remnant of a martial brow

Those ribs that held the mighty heart

That strong arm- strong no longer now.

Spare themeach mouldering relic spare

Of God's own image; let them rest

Till not a trace shall speak of where

The awful likeness was impressed. -

For he was fresher from the hand

That formed of earth the human face

And to the elements did stand

In nearer kindred than our race.

In many a flood to madness tossed

In many a storm has been his path;

He hid him not from heat or frost

But met themand defied their wrath. -

Then they were kind- the forests here

Riversand stiller waterspaid

A tribute to the net and spear

Of the red ruler of the shade.

Fruits on the woodland branches lay

Roots in the shaded soil below;

The stars looked forth to teach his way;

The still earth warned him of the foe. -

A noble race! but they are gone

With their old forests wide and deep

And we have built our homes upon

Fields where their generations sleep.

Their fountains slake our thirst at noon

Upon their fields our harvest waves

Our lovers woo beneath their moon-

Then let us spareat leasttheir graves. - -