Some thought, he would in law excel,
Some said, in physic he would shine;
And one, that knew him passing well,
Beheld in him a sound divine.
But those of more discerning eye,
E’en then could other prospects show,
And saw him lay his Virgil by,
To wander with his dearer bow.
The tedious hours of study spent,
The heavy-moulded lecture done,
He to the woods a hunting went,
But sigh’d to see the setting sun.
No mystic wonders fir’d his mind;
He sought to gain no learn’d degree,
But only sense enough to find
The squirrel in the hollow tree.
The shady bank, the purling stream,
The woody wild his heart possess’d;
The dewy lawn his morning dream
In fancy’s gayest colours dress’d.
‘And why,’ he cried, ’did I forsake
My native wood for gloomy walls?
The silver stream, the limpid lake,
For musty books and college halls?
’A little could my wants supply—
Can wealth and honour give me more?
Or, will the sylvan god deny
The humble treat he gave before?
’Let seraphs reach the bright abode,
And Heav’n’s sublimest mansions see:—
I only bow to Nature’s God—
The land of shades, will do for me.
’These dreadful secrets of the sky
’Alarm my soul with chilling fear:—
’Do planets in their orbits fly?
’And is the Earth, indeed, a sphere?
’Let planets still their aim pursue,
’And comets round creation run—
’In Him my faithful friend I view,
’The image of my God—the Sun.
’Where Nature’s ancient forests grow,
’And mingled laurel never fades,
’My heart is fix’d; and I must go
‘To die among my native shades.’
He spoke,—and to the western springs
(His gown discharged, his money spent)
His blanket tied with yellow strings,
The shepherd of the forest went.
Returning to the rural reign,
The Indians welcom’d him with joy;
The council took him home again,
And bless’d the copper-coloured boy.
Our author, brings his hero again upon the stage, under the title of
THE SPLENETIC INDIAN.
“To the best of my recollection, it was about the middle of the month of August; we were sitting on a green bank by the brook side; the fox grapes were not yet come to maturity; but we were anticipating the pleasure we should soon experience in eating some fine clusters, that at this instant hung over our heads in the tall shade of a beech tree; when, upon a sudden clamour raised by some young fellows, who were advancing rapidly towards us, the learned Indian sachem Tomo-cheeki, who at this time happened to be my friend and companion, seized me by the hand, and intimated a strong desire, that I should accompany him to his wigwam, situate at many miles distance in the wilderness.