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Sank the red axe in woman's brain,
And childhood's cry arose in vain —
Bursting through roof and window came,
Red, fast and fierce, the kindled flame;
And blended fire and moonlight glared
On still dead men and weapons bared.

The morning sun looked brightly through
The river willows, wet with dew.
No sound of combat fill'd the air,—
No shout was heard, — nor gun-shot there:
Yet still the thick and sullen smoke
From smouldering ruins slowly broke;
And on the green sward many a stain,
And, here and there, the mangled slain,
Told how that midnight bolt had sped,
Pentucket, on thy fated head!

Even now, the villager can tell
Where Rolfe beside his hearth-stone fell,
Still show the door of wasting oak
Through which the fatal death-shot broke,
And point the curious stranger where
De Rouville's corse lay grim and bare —
Whose hideous head, in death still fear'd,
Bore not a trace of hair or beard —
And still, within the churchyard ground,
Heaves darkly up the ancient mound,
Whose grass-grown surface overlies
The victims of that sacrifice.


[The "Pilgrims" of New England, even in their wilderness home, were not exempted from the sectarian contentions which agitated the mother country after the downfall of Charles the First, and of the established Episcopacy. The Quakers, Baptists, and Catholics were banished, on pain of death, from the Massachusetts Colony. One Samuel Gorton, a bold and eloquent declaimer, after preaching for a time in Boston, against the doctrines of the Puritans, and declaring that their churches were mere human devices, and their sacrament and baptism an abomination, was driven out of the State's jurisdiction, and compelled to seek a residence among the savages. He gathered round him a considerable number of converts, who, like the primitive Christians, shared all things in common. His opinions, however, were so troublesome to the leading clergy of the Colony, that they instigated an attack upon his "Family" by an armed force, which seized upon the principal men in it, and brought them into Massachusetts, where they were sentenced to be kept at hard labor in several towns (one only in each town), during the pleasure of the General Court, they being forbidden, under severe penalties, to utter any of their religious sentiments, except to such ministers as might labor for their conversion. They were unquestionably sincere in their opinions, and, whatever may have been their errors, deserve to be ranked among those who have in all ages suffered for the freedom of conscience.]

Father! to thy suffering poor

Strength and grace and faith impart,
And with Thy own love restore

Comfort to the broken heart!
Oh, the failing ones confirm

With a holier strength of zeal ! —
Give Thou not the feeble worm

Helpless to the spoiler's heel!

Father! for Thy holy sake

We are spoiled and hunted thus;
Joyful, for Thy truth we take

Bonds and burthens unto us:

Poor, and weak, and robbed of all,

Weary with our daily task, That Thy truth may never fall

Through our weakness, Lord, we ask.

Round our fired and wasted homes

Flits the forest-bird unscared, And at noon the wild beast comes

Where our frugal meal was shared; For the song of praises there

Shrieks the crow the livelong day, For the sound of evening prayer

Howls the evil beast of prey!

Sweet the songs we loved to sing

Underneath Thy holy sky — Words and tones that used to bring

Tears of joy in every eye,— Dear the wrestling hours of prayer,

When we gathered knee to knee, Blameless youth and hoary hair,

Bow'd, O God, alone to Thee.

As Thine early children, Lord,

Shared their wealth and daily bread, Even so, with one accord,

We, in love, each other fed. Not with us the miser's hoard,

Not with us his grasping hand; Equal round a common board,

Drew our meek and brother band!

Safe our quiet Eden lay

When the war-whoop stired the land, And the Indian turn'd away

From our hoir^ his bloody hand. Well that forest-ranger saw,

That the burthen and the curse Of the white man's cruel law

Rested also upon us.

Torn apart, and driven forth

To our toiling bard and long, Father! from the dust of earth

Lift -we still our grateful soDg! Grateful — that in bonds we share

In Thy love which maketh free; Joyful — that the wrongs we bear,

Draw us nearer, Lord, to Thee!

Grateful !— that where'er we toil —

By Wachuset's wooded side, On Nantucket's sea-worn isle,

Or by wild Neponset's tide — Still, in spirit, we are near,

And our evening hymns which rise Separate and discordant here,

Meet and mingle in the skies!

Let the scoffer scorn and mock,

Let the proud and evil priest Rob the needy of his flock,

For his wine-cup and his feast, — Redden not Thy bolts in store

Through the blackness of Thy skies? For the sighing of the poor

Wilt Thou not, at length, arise?

"Worn and wasted, oh, how long

Shall Thy trodden poor complain? In Thy name they bear the wrong,

In Thy cause the bonds of pain! Melt oppression's heart of steel,

Let the haughty priesthood see, And their blinded followers feel,

That in us they mock at Thee!

In Thy time, O Lord of hosts,
Stretch abroad that hand to save

Which of old, on Egypt's coasts,
Smote apart the Red Sea's wave!

Lead us from this evil land,
From the spoiler set us free,

And once more our gather'd band,
Heart to heart, shall worship Thee!

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