Wednesday, 2 May 2018

The Indian’s Grave - George Jehoshaphat Mountain

Bright are the heavens, the narrow bay serene;
  No sound is heard within the shelter’d place,
Save some sweet whisper of the pines—nor seen
  Of restless man, nor of his works, a trace;
  I stray, through bushes low, a little space;
Unlook’d-for sight their parted leaves disclose:
  Restless no more, lo! one of Indian race,
His bones beneath that roof of bark repose.

Poor savage! in such bark through deepening snows
  Once didst thou dwell; in this through rivers move.
Frail house, frail skiff, frail man! Of him who knows
  His master’s will, not thine the doom shall prove.
What will be yours, ye powerful, wealthy, wise,
By whom the heathen unregarded dies?

George Jehoshaphat Mountain (1789–1863) Canada (born England but moved to Canada aged 14)
Source: The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse, ed. by William Wilfred Campbell. Toronto, New York: Oxford University Press, 1913

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