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[the story of Moao Mecone has been considered by the author oniy ns a frame-work for sketches of the scenery of New England, and of its early inhabitants. In portraying the Indian character, ho has followed, as closely as his story would admit, the rough but natund delineations of Church, Mnyhew, Charlevoix, and Roger Williams; and in so doing he has necessarily discarded much of the romance which poets and novelists have thrown around the ill-fated red man.] —Ed.
Who stands on that cliff, like a figure of stone,
Lonely and sternly, save Mogg Megone ? *
Close to the verge of the rock is he,
Hurrying down to its grave, the sea,
And slow through the rock its pathway hewing!
Far down, through the mist of flie falling river,
Which rises up like an incense ever,
The splintered points of the crags are seen,
With water howling and vexed between,
While the scooping whirl of the pool beneath
Seems an open throat, with its granite teeth!
* Mooo Meoone, or Hegone, was a leader among the Saco Indians, in the bloody war of 1677. He attacked and captured the garrison at Black Point, October 12th of that year; and cut off, at the same time, a party of Englishmen near Saco river. Prom a deed signed by this Indian in 1664, and from other circumstances, it seems that, previous to the war, he had mingled much with the colonists. On this account, he was probably selected by the principal sachems as their agent, in the treaty signed in November, 1676.
But Mogg Megone never trembled yet
Wherever his eye or his foot was set .
He is watchful: each form, in the moonlight dim,
Of rock or of tree, is seen of him:
He listens ; each sound from afar is caught,
The faintest shiver of leaf and limb:
But he sees not the waters, which foam and fret,
"Whose moonlit spray has his moccasin wet —
And the roar of their rushing, he hears it not.
The moonlight, through the open bough
Of the gnarl'd beech, whose naked root
Coils like a serpent at his foot,
Reserved for him, whoe'er he be,
When breast to breast and knee to knee,
Megone hath his knife and hatchet and gun,
And Modocawando's wives had strung
Of beaded wampum around it hung.
* Baron de St . Castine came to Canada in 1644. Leaving his civilized companions, he plunged into the great'wilderness, and settled among the Penobscot Indians, near the mouth of their noble river. He here took for his wives the daughters of the great Modocawando — the most powerful sachem of the cast. His castle was plundered by Governor Andros, during his reckless administration; and the enraged Baron is supposed to have excited the Indians into open hostility to the English.
"Wliat seeks Megone? His foes are near —
Grey Jocelyn's* eye is never sleeping,
Where Phillips' f men their watch are keeping.
Never rustling the boughs nor displacing the rocks,
Are keener than those of the wolf or the fox.
He starts — there's a rustle among the leaves:
A footstep — is it the step of Cleaves,
Steals Harmon J down from the sands of York,
With hand of iron and foot of cork?
Has Scammon, versed in Indian wile,
For vengeance left his vine hung isle ? §
Hark ! at that whistle, soft and low,
* The owner and commander of the garrison at Black Point, which Mogg attacked and plundered. He was an old man at the period to which the tale relates.
t Major Phillips, one of the principle men of the Colony. His garrison sustained a long and terrible siege by the savages. As a magistrate and a gentleman, he exacted of his plebeian neighbors a remarkable degree of deference. The Conn Records of the settlement inform ns that an individual was fined for the heinous offence of saying that "Major Phillips' mare was as lean as an Indian dog."
| Captain Harmon, of Georgcana, now York, was, for many years, the terror of the Eastern Indians. In one of his expeditions np the Kennebec river, at the head of a party of rangers, he discovered twenty of the savages asleep by a large fire. Cautiously creeping towards them, until he was certain of his aim, he ordered his men to single out their objects. The first discharge killed or mortally wounded the whole number of the unconscious sleepers.
} Wood Island, near the mouth of the Saco. It was visited by the Sieur De Monts and Champlain, in 1603. The following extract, from the journal of the latter, relates to it . "Having left the Kennebec, we ran along the coast to the westward, and cast anchor under a small island, near the main-land, where we saw twenty or more natives. I here visited an island, beautifully clothed with a fine growth of forest trees, particularly of the oak and walnut; and overspread with vines, that, in their season, produce excellent grapes. We named it the island of Bacchus." — Les voyages de Sieur Champlain. Iav. 2, c. 3.
A smile gleams o'er his dusky brow —
Out steps, with cautious foot and slow,
The hunted outlaw, Bonython ! *
And nought of English fashion on;
"Hush — let the Sachem's voice be weak;
The water-rat shall hear him speak —
The owl shall whoop in the white man's ear,
That Mogg Megone, with his scalps, is here!"
He pauses — dark, over cheek and brow,
A flush, as of shame, is stealing now:
"Sachem !" he says, "let me have the land,
Which stretches away upon either hand,
* John Bonython was the son of Richard Bonython, Gent, one of the most efficient and able magistrates of the Colony. John proved to be "a degenerate plant." In 1635, we find, by the Court Records, that, for somo offence, lie was fined 40s. In 1640, he was fined for abuse toward B. Gibson, the minister, and Mary, his wife. Soon after, he was fined for disorderly conduct in the house of his father. In 1645, the "Great and General Court" adjudged "John Bonython outlawed, and incapable of any of his majesty's laws, and proclaimed him a rebel." [Conrt Records of the Province, 1645.] In 1651, he bade defiance to the laws of Massachusetts, and was again outlawed. He acted independently of all law and authority; and hence, doubtless, his burlesque title of " The Sagamore of Saco," which has come down to the present generation in tho following epitaph:
"Here lies Bonython; tho Sagamore of Saco,
By some means or other, he obtained a large estate. In this poem, I have taken some liberties with him, not strictly warranted by historical facts, although the conduct imputed to him is in keeping with his general character. Over the last years of his life lingers a deep obscurity. Even tho manner of his death is uncertain. He was supposed to have been killed by tho Indians; but this is doubted by the able and indefatigable author of the history of Saco and Biddeford. — Part I. p. 115.
As far about as my feet can stray
From the leaping brook* to the Saco river —
The wife of Mogg Megone forever."
There's a sudden light in the Indian's glance,
Of love or triumph, or both perchance,
"The words of my father are very good;
lie shall have the land, and water, and wood;
And he who harms the Sagamore John,
Shall feel the knife of Mogg Megone;
But the fawn of the Yengees shall sleep on my breast,
And the bird of the clearing shall sing in my nest."
"But father !" — and the Indian's hand
Falls gently on the white man's arm,
As the deep voice is slow and calm —
The sunny eye, and sunset hair?
And that his word is good and fair;
But, will my father tell me where
The dark, stem eye of Bonython
But the stolid calm of the Indian alone
"Does the Sachem doubt? Let him go with me,
And the eyes of the Sachem his bride shall see."
* Foxwell's Brook flows from a marsh or bog, called the "Heath," in Saco, containing thirteen hundred acres. On this brook, and surrounded by wild and romantic scenery, is a beautiful waterfall, of more than sixty feet .