The Re-Interment of Red Jacket

So still the tranquil air,
One scarcely notes the falling of a leaf;
But deeper quiet wraps the dusky Chief
Whose ashes slumber there.

Sweet Indian Summer sleeps,
Trusting a foreign and a paler race
To give her gifted son an honoured place
Where Death his vigil keeps.

Before that slumber fell,
Those ashes in their eloquence had stirred
The stubborn hearts, whose heirs to-day conferred
A Christian burial.

Through war's o'er-clouded skies
His higher flush of oratory 'woke,
And factious schemes succumbed whene'er he spoke
To bid his people rise.

The keenest flint or stone
That barbed the warrior's arrow in its flight,
Could not outreach the limit of his might
That he attained alone.

Early he learned to speak,
With thought so vast, and liberal, and strong,
He blessed the little good and passed the wrong
Embodied in the weak.

So great his mental sight,
That had his form been growing with his mind,
The fir had been within his hand a wand
With superhuman might.

The world has often seen
A master mind pulse with the waning day
That sends his waning nation to decay
Where none can intervene.

And few to-day remain;
But copper-tinted face and smoldering fire
Of wilder life, were left me by my sire
To be my proudest claim.

And so ere Indian Summer sweetly sleeps,
She beckons me where old Niagara leaps;
Superbly she extends her greeting hand,
And smiling speaks to her adopted land;

Saying, ‘O, rising nation of the West,
That occupies my land, so richly blest;
O, free, unfettered people that have come
To make America your rightful home,

Forgive the wrongs my children did to you,
And we, the red skins, will forgive you too;
To-day has seen your noblest action done,
The honoured re-entombment of my son.’
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