Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 3, September, 1999 Page: 188
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
I was chieftain of the land.
But the Indians' day of glory,
Like the dying s;n, has set,
Though it sheds a softened radiance
O'er the sky of memory yet.
"Dost thou think, thou foolish pale face,
Thou art wiser in thy pride
Than my mighty band of warriors
When we trod these prairies wide?
Then my eagle glance, undaunted,
Scanned the plain,
And our foemen knew our valor
By their hosts of warriors slain.
Then our wampum-belts were heavy
With their scalps all reeking, wet,
And their scattered tribes, diminished,
Tell our tale of glory yet.
But, alas! I could no longer
Wield my weapons as of yore,
And there stood one night a warrior
Just before my wigwam door.
In the dim light, tall and shadowy,
He stood there;
And he waved me on to follow
To the spirit-land most fair.
I was gathered to my fathers
In the happy hunting-ground;
But to thee I'll not discover
This deep mystery profound.
And my form they laid it gently
On my mother earth's soft breast,
While they chanted loud, compelling
Evil spirits from their quest,
And they placed my bow and arrow
In my hand,
For they knew that I would need them
In the happy hunting-land.
But the centuries passed o'er me,
And my dust, resolved once more,
By a fixed decree of nature,
Then became this sycamore.
But 'tis only when the tempests
On the night winds wildly shriek,
That my spirit comes to quicken
This fair tree that it may speak.
Now I swear thee, pale-face woman
With a vow,
That you tell my tale of triumph,
How with spear and bended bow
I have put to flight my foemen
On the war-path's deadly trail;
While within their camp resounded
Woman's agonizing wail.
What is this? The day is breaking,
And the storm has passed away
And the East with rosy blushes
Heralds in the coming day;
And I look to see the chieftain
Of the night.
But behold! his form is vanished
In the clear, revealing light,
And I know that I would deem it
A delusion of the brain,
If his finger were not tapping
Still upon my window-pane.
67. Grandmother s Baby (published in Sam
Houston Dixon, ed., The Poets and Poetry of
Texas (Austin: Sam H. Dixon & Co., 1885))
68. Christmas in Texas (dated Christmas tide,
1885, published in Colorado Citizen, Decem-
ber 31, 1885, with sub-heading "Inscribed
to Mrs. Jas. Converse")
'Tis Christmas, but the sunlight warms
Our Texian land with brightest beams,
With tenderest love, and light caress
To wake each slumberer from their dreams,
For all have dreamt this happy night
That darkness shall give birth to light.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 3, September, 1999, periodical, September 1999; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151407/m1/60/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed January 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.