This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
The next, he hurls the blade away,
And kneels at his altar's foot to pray;
Over his beads his fingers stray,
And he kisses the cross, and calls aloud
On the Virgin and her Son;
For terrible thoughts his memory crowd
Of evil seen and done,
Of scalps brought home by his savage flock
From Casco and Sawga and Sagadahock
In the Church's service won.
No shrift the gloomy savage brooks,
As scowling on the priest he looks:
“Cowesass—cowesass—tawhich wessa seen?1
Let my father look upon Bomazeen,—
My father's heart is the heart of a squaw,
But mine is so hard that it does not thaw;
Let my father ask his God to make
A dance and a feast for a great sagamore,
When he paddles across the western lake,
With his dogs and his squaws to the spirit's shore.
Cowesass—cowesass—tawhich wessa seen?
Let my father die like Bomazeen!”
Through the chapel's narrow doors,
And through each window in the walls,
Round the priest and warrior pours
The deadly shower of English balls.
Low on his cross the Jesuit falls;
While at his side the Norridgewock,
With failing breath, essays to mock
And menace yet the hated foe,
Shakes his scalp-trophies to and fro
Exultingly before their eyes,
Till, cleft and torn by shot and blow,
Defiant still, he dies.
“So fare all eaters of the frog!
Death to the Babylonish dog!
Down with the beast of Rome!”
With shouts like these, around the dead,
Unconscious on his bloody bed,
The rangers crowding come.
Brave men! the dead priest cannot hear
The unfeeling taunt,—the brutal jeer;
Spurn—for he sees ye not—in wrath,
The symbol of your Saviour's death;
Tear from his death-grasp, in your zeal
And trample, as a thing accursed,
The cross he cherished in the dust:
The dead man cannot feel!
1 Cowesass?—tawhich wessaseen Are you afraid?—why fear you?
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.