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I H iW phone it! MZ V Fail Ddivtry. Nothing Down. Jfc Monthi to tt. As a consequence, every occurrence meant something. The only clue Bradford left us about his own feelings is in a poem he wrote toward the end of his life. Faint not, poor soul, in God still trust, Fear not the things thou suffer must; For, whom he loves he doth chastise, And then all tears wipes from their eyes. Headwinds from the northwest prevented the ship from entering Plymouth Harbor until the following day. Both Plymouth Harbor and Duxbury Bay to the north are contained within two interlocking sickles of sand: the Gurnet, an extension of Duxbury Beach, to the north and Long Beach to the south.
Not until Wednesday, December 20, after three more days of exploration, did they decide where to begin building a permanent settlement. Others thought a river almost directly across from the island was more suitable. That left the area near the Rock. The future site of Plymouth Plantation had much to recommend it. Rising up from shore was a foot hill that provided a spectacular view of the surrounding coastline. On a clear day, it was even possible to see the tip of Cape Cod, almost thirty miles away. A stout, cannonequipped fort on this hill would provide all the security they could ever hope for.
The presence of the Rock as a landing place was yet another plus. The biggest advantage of the area was that it had already been cleared by the Indians. The Pilgrims saw the eerie vacancy of this place as a miraculous gift from God. But if a miracle had indeed occurred at Plymouth, it had taken the form of a holocaust almost beyond human imagining.
Just three years before, even as the Pilgrims had begun preparations to settle in America, there had been between one thousand and two thousand people living along these shores. The lobsters were so numerous that the Indians plucked them from the shallows of the harbor. Then, from to , disease brought this centuries-old community to an end. No witnesses recorded what happened along the shores of Plymouth, but in the following decade the epidemics returned, and Roger Williams told how entire villages became emptied of people.
That night twenty people remained on shore. They planned to begin building houses the next morning. In addition to colds, coughs, and fevers, scurvy tormented the passengers. On Friday morning Mary Allerton gave birth to a stillborn son. With their axes and saws they felled trees and carried the timber to the building site.
The fact that Monday, December 25, was Christmas Day meant little to the Pilgrims, who believed that religious celebrations of this sort were a profanation of the true word of Christ. But toward sunset, the familiar cries of Indians erupted in the surrounding forest. Ahead of them was an unknown wilderness that they could not help but inhabit with all their fears. What would have astounded a modern sensibility transported back to that Christmas Day in was the absolute quiet of the scene. Save for the gurgling of Town Brook, the lap of waves against the shore, and the wind in the bare winter branches, everything was silent as they listened and waited.
That night they were drenched by yet another rainstorm. This was also the day they started to plan the organization of the settlement. In the weeks ahead, the death toll required them to revise radically their initial plans. The houses were built along a street that ran from Fort Hill down to the sea. Around this intersection, the town of Plymouth slowly came into being, even as death reduced the newcomers to half their original number.
The frantic pace of the last two months was beginning to tell on William Bradford. But there was more troubling him than physical discomfort. It pursued them in the form of illness, and it had been waiting for them here on the blighted shores of Plymouth. Now, in the midst of winter, he could only wonder if he would ever see his son again. He collapsed and was carried to the common house.
In the days ahead, so many fell ill that there were barely half a dozen left to tend the sick. Bradford later singled out William Brewster and Miles Standish as sources of indomitable strength: And yet the Lord so upheld these persons as in this general calamity they were not at all infected either with sickness or lameness.
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And I doubt not that their recompense is with the Lord. They had with them the two dogs, a small spaniel and a huge mastiff bitch. English mastiffs were frequently used in bearbaitings—a savage spectator sport popular in London in which the two creatures fought each other to the death.
Mastiffs were also favored by English noblemen, who used them to subdue poachers. That afternoon, Goodman and Brown paused from their labors for a midday snack, then took the two dogs for a short ramble in the woods. Near the banks of a pond they saw a large deer, and the dogs, no doubt led by the mastiff, took off in pursuit. By the time Goodman and Brown had caught up with the dogs, they were all thoroughly lost. It began to rain, and by nightfall it was snowing. They decided that if a lion should come after them, they would scramble into the limbs of a tree and leave the mastiff to do her best to defend them.
All that night they paced back and forth at the foot of a tree, trying to keep warm in the freezing darkness. They still had the sickles they had used to cut thatch, and with each wail of the cougars, they gripped their sickles a little tighter. The mastiff wanted desperately to chase whatever was out there in the woods, so they took turns restraining the huge dog by her collar.
At daybreak, they once again set out in search of the settlement. The terrain surrounding Plymouth was no primeval forest. For centuries, the Indians had been burning the landscape on a seasonal basis, a form of land management that created surprisingly open forests, where a person might easily walk or even ride a horse amid the trees. The constant burning created stands of huge white pine trees that commonly grew to over feet tall, with some trees reaching feet in height and as many as 5 feet in diameter. Black and red oaks were also common, as well as chestnuts, hickories, birches, and hemlocks.
But there were also large portions of southern New England that were completely devoid of trees. After passing several streams and ponds, Goodman and Brown came upon a huge swath of open land that had recently been burned by the Indians. On Sunday, February 4, yet another storm lashed Plymouth Harbor. On Friday, February 16, one of the Pilgrims was hidden in the reeds of a salt creek about a mile and a half from the plantation, hunting ducks.
Throughout the last few weeks, there had been a growing concern about Indians. That afternoon, the duck hunter found himself closer to an Indian than any of them had so far come. He was lying amid the cattails when a group of twelve Indians marched past him on the way to the settlement.
Miles Standish and Francis Cook were working in the woods when they heard the signal. They dropped their tools, ran down the hill, and armed themselves, but once again, the Indians never came. A small man with a broad, powerful physique and reddish hair, Standish also had something of a chip on his shoulder. Billington was sentenced to have his hands and feet tied together in a public display of humiliation.
With two, sometimes three people dying a day throughout the months of February and March, there might not be a plantation left to defend by the arrival of spring. Almost everyone had lost a loved one. Three other families—the Rigsdales, Tinkers, and Turners—were entirely wiped out, with more to follow. Thirteen-yearold Mary Chilton, whose father had died back in Provincetown Harbor, became an orphan when her mother passed away that winter.
Other orphans included seventeen-year-old Joseph Rogers, twelve-yearold Samuel Fuller, eighteen-year-old John Crackston, seventeen-year-old Priscilla Mullins, and thirteen-year-old Elizabeth Tilley, who also lost her aunt and uncle, Edward and Ann. By the middle of March, there were four widowers: Bradford, Standish, Francis Eaton, and Isaac Allerton, who was left with three surviving children between the ages of four and eight. By the spring, 52 of the who had originally arrived at Provincetown were dead.
And yet, amid all this tragedy, there were miraculous exceptions. The future of Plymouth was beginning to look less and less like a Separatist community of saints. Even more pressing than the emotional and physical strain of all this death was the mounting fear of Indian attack. They knew that the Native inhabitants were watching them, but so far the Indians had refused to come forward. It was quite possible that they were simply waiting the Pilgrims out until there were not enough left to put up an effective resistance.
It became imperative, therefore, to make the best possible show of strength. Whenever the alarm was sounded, the sick were pulled from their beds and propped up against trees with muskets in their hands. They would do little good in case of an actual attack, but at least they were out there to be counted. The Pilgrims also tried to conceal the fact that so many of them had died. The meeting was immediately adjourned, and the men hurried to get their muskets.
When the Pilgrims reassembled under the direction of their The Heart of Winter 91 newly designated captain, Miles Standish, the Indians were still standing on the hill. The two groups stared at each other across the valley of Town Brook. The Indians gestured for them to approach. The Pilgrims, however, made it clear that they wanted the Indians to come to them. Finally, Standish and Stephen Hopkins, with only one musket between them, began to make their way across the brook.
And as had happened the last time they had gathered for such a purpose, they were interrupted by the Indians. It was clear that if no one restrained him, the Indian was going to walk right into the entrance of the rendezvous. He was so different from themselves. For one thing, he towered over them. His hair was black, short in front and long in back, and his face was hairless. Interestingly, the Pilgrims made no mention of his skin color.
In any event, they soon began to warm to their impetuous guest and offered him something to eat. He immediately requested beer. He was not, he explained in broken English, from this part of New England. Samoset said that the Nausets controlled the part of Cape Cod where the Pilgrims had stolen the corn. He also said that there was another Indian back in Pokanoket named Squanto, who spoke even better English than he did.
With darkness approaching, the Pilgrims were ready to see their voluble guest on his way. As a practical matter, they had nowhere for him to sleep; in addition, they were not yet sure whether they could trust him. But Samoset made it clear he wanted to spend the night. Samoset cheerfully called their bluff and climbed into the shallop. All that winter, Massasoit had watched and waited. His own warriors had kept him updated as to the progress of their various building projects, and despite their secret burials, he undoubtedly knew that many of the English had died over the winter.
They were also behaving unusually. Instead of attempting to trade with the Indians, they kept to themselves and seemed much more interested in building a settlement. These English people were here to stay. Massasoit was unsure of what to do next. A little over a year before, the sailors aboard an English vessel had killed a large number of his people without provocation. Squanto had been taken prisoner on the Vineyard, but now he was with Massasoit in Pokanoket. But Massasoit was not yet sure whose side Squanto was on.
To the north, at the mouth of the Merrimack River, lived Passaconaway, a sachem who was also a powwow—an unusual combination that endowed him with extraordinary powers. The powwows were not the only ones who weighed in on the issue of what to do with the Pilgrims. There was also Squanto. Not only did they have muskets and cannons; they possessed the seventeenth-century equivalent of a weapon of mass destruction: the plague.
At some point, Squanto began to insist that the Pilgrims had the ability to unleash disease on their enemies. The last three years had been a nightmare of pain and loss; to revisit that experience was inconceivable. But now it was time for Massasoit to visit the English himself. He must turn to Squanto. The Patuxet Native spoke with an easy familiarity about places that now seemed a distant dream to the Pilgrims—besides spending time in Spain and Newfoundland, Squanto had lived in the Corn Hill section of London.
The Indians had brought a few furs to trade, along with some fresh herring. But the real purpose of their visit was to inform the Pilgrims that Massasoit and his brother Quadequina were nearby. Draped around his neck was a wide necklace made of white shell beads and a long knife suspended from a string. But every one of them possessed a stout bow and a quiver of arrows. Clad in armor and with a sword at his side, he went with Squanto to greet the sachem. He also said that Governor Carver wished to speak and trade with him and hoped to establish a formal peace. The sachem ate the biscuits and drank the liquor, then asked if Winslow was willing to sell his sword and armor.
The Pilgrim messenger politely declined. It was decided that Winslow would remain with Quadequina as a hostage while Massasoit went with twenty of his men, minus their bows, to meet the governor. The Pilgrims were men of God, but they also knew their diplomatic protocol. On cue, a drummer and trumpeter began to play as Governor Carver and a small procession of musketeers made their way to the house. It was now time for Massasoit to share in yet another ceremonial drink of liquor. Carver took a swig of aqua vitae and passed the cup to Massasoit, who took a large gulp and broke into a sweat.
The Pilgrims assumed the aqua vitae was what made him perspire, but anxiety may also have been a factor. Squanto later claimed that the English kept the plague in barrels buried beneath In a Dark and Dismal Swamp 99 their storehouse.
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If the interpreter chose to inform Massasoit of the deadly contents of the buried stores during the negotiations on March 22 and what better way to ensure that the sachem came to a swift and satisfactory agreement with the English? Bradford and Winslow recorded the agreement with the Pokanoket sachem as follows: 1. That neither he nor any of his should injure or do hurt to any of our people. And if any of his did hurt to any of ours, he should send the offender, that we might punish him. That if any of our tools were taken away when our people were at work, he should cause them to be restored, and if ours did any harm to any of his, we would do the like to him.
If any did unjustly war against him, we would aid him; if any did war against us, he should aid us. He should send to his neighbor confederates, to certify them of this, that they might not wrong us, but might be likewise comprised in the conditions of peace. That when their men came to us, they should leave their bows and arrows behind them, as we should do our pieces when we came to them.
Once the agreement had been completed, Massasoit was escorted from the settlement, and his brother was given a similar reception. Quadequina quickly noticed a disparity that his higher-ranking brother had not chosen to comment on. Squanto and Samoset spent the night with the Pilgrims while Massasoit and his men, who had brought along their wives and children, slept in the woods, just a half mile away.
Massasoit promised to return in a little more than a week to plant corn on the southern side of Town Brook. Squanto, it was agreed, would remain with the English. Squanto had named himself for the Indian spirit of darkness, who often assumed the form of snakes and eels. It was no accident that he used eels to cement his bond with the Pilgrims. Like the Pilgrims, the sailors had been decimated by disease. Jones had lost In a Dark and Dismal Swamp his boatswain, his gunner, three quartermasters, the cook, and more than a dozen sailors.
He had also lost a cooper, but not to illness. John Alden had decided to stay in Plymouth. The same westerlies that had battered her the previous fall now pushed her along, and she arrived at her home port of Rotherhithe, just down the Thames from London, on May 6, —less than half the time it had taken her to sail to America. Jones learned that his wife, Josian, had given birth to a son named John. The voyage to America was to claim yet another life. Perhaps still suffering the effects of that desperate winter in Plymouth, Jones died after his return from France on March 5, By , just four years after her historic voyage to America, the ship had become a rotting hulk.
The land surrounding Plymouth was so poor that it was necessary to fertilize the soil with dead herring. Once the corn had sprouted, beans and squash were added to the mounds. He returned to his house to lie down and quickly lapsed into a coma. A few days later, he was dead. The new treaty with Massasoit had greatly reduced the threat of Indian attack, but there was still dissent inside the settlement. Billington had recently railed against Standish; there had been angry words from others throughout that terrible winter. There was a desperate and immediate need for strong and steady leadership.
Bradford was the natural choice, but he was still laid low by illness. With Isaac Allerton, a thirty-six-year-old widower and former Leidener, serving as his assistant, he agreed to take on the greatest challenge of his life. More than ever before, Bradford, who had left his son in Holland and lost his wife in Provincetown Harbor, was alone.
Susanna had lost her husband, William, on February 21; Edward had lost his wife, Elizabeth, on March Children needed to be cared for; households needed to be maintained. And besides, these were exceptional times. If all the deaths had failed to inure them to grief, it had certainly alerted them to the wondrous necessity of life. In the decades to come, marriages in Plymouth continued to be secular affairs, one of the few vestiges of their time in Holland to persist in New England.
They also needed to address an unexpected problem. If they continued to entertain and feed all these guests, they would not have enough food to survive the next winter. They proposed an ingenious solution: They would present Massasoit with a copper chain; if the sachem had a messenger or friend he wanted the Pilgrims to entertain, he would give the person the chain, and the Pilgrims would happily provide him with food and fellowship.
All others, however, would be denied. Like the Indians, they must walk the forty or so miles to Pokanoket. They soon came upon a dozen men, women, and children, who were returning to Nemasket after gathering lobsters in Plymouth Harbor—one of countless seasonal rituals that kept the Indians constantly on the move. As they conversed with their new companions, the Englishmen learned that to walk across the land in southern New England was to travel in time.
Everywhere they went, they were stunned by the emptiness and desolation of the place. At Nemasket, they enjoyed a meal of corn bread, herring roe, and boiled acorns. Squanto suggested that they push on another few miles before nightfall to give themselves enough time to reach Pokanoket the next day. Soon after leaving Nemasket, the path joined a narrow, twisting river called the Titicut. In , the Titicut functioned as a kind of Native American highway. Whether by dugout canoe or by foot, the Indians followed the river between Pokanoket and Plymouth, and in the years ahead, the Titicut inexorably led the Pilgrims to several new settlement sites above Narragansett Bay.
They followed the riverbank for about half a dozen miles until they came to a shallow area, where they were told to take off their breeches and wade across the river. They were midstream, with their possessions in their arms, when two Indians appeared on the opposite bank. As the sun reached its height, the traveling became quite hot, and their companions cheerfully offered to carry their guns and extra clothing for them. The sachem gathered his people around him and began to deliver a long and exuberant speech. He spoke of the many villages that paid him tribute and of how those villages would all trade with the Pilgrims.
This went on until thirty or more settlements had been named. He was happy, even ecstatic, to see them, but he had no food to offer. So they asked to go to bed. That night, neither Winslow nor Hopkins slept a wink. The next day, several minor sachems made their way to Sowams to see the two Englishmen. Winslow and Hopkins challenged some of them to a shooting contest. Although the Indians declined, they requested that the English demonstrate the accuracy of their muskets. Squanto, it was decided, would remain at Pokanoket so that he could go from village to village to establish trading relations for the Pilgrims, who had brought necklaces, beads, and other trade goods to exchange with the Indians for furs and corn.
It may have been that Massasoit also wanted the chance to speak with the interpreter alone. Two days later, on the night of Saturday, July 7, after a solid day of rain, Winslow and Hopkins arrived back at Plymouth. It would be left to a boy—and a Billington at that—to do the same for the Indians to the east.
Back in January, fourteen-year-old Francis Billington had climbed into a tree near the top of Fort Hill. Eventually, however, someone agreed to accompany the teenager on an exploratory trip into the woods. Not long after the return of Winslow and Hopkins, the sixteen-year-old lost his way in the woods somewhere south of the settlement. Instead of returning the boy to the English, the Manomet sachem, Canacum, passed him to the Nausets of Cape Cod—the very people who had attacked the Pilgrims during the First Encounter back in December.
The plagues that had decimated the Pokanokets appear to have had less of an impact on the Nausets. By turning the Billington boy over to the Nausets instead of the Pokanokets, Canacum made a conscious effort to defer to a neighbor whose relative strength had increased dramatically since the plagues. The Pilgrims had no choice but to return to the scene of the crime.
Well aware that they were venturing back into potentially hostile territory, Bradford ordered a party of ten men—more than half the adult males in the settlement—to set out in the shallop with both Squanto, who had recently returned from his trading mission in the region, and Tokamahamon as guides. Not long after departing from Plymouth, they were socked by a tremendous thunderstorm that forced them to put in at Cummaquid, a shallow harbor near the base of Cape Cod known today as Barnstable.
They could see several Indians collecting lobsters, and Squanto and Tokamahamon went to speak with them. Unlike the winter before, when the shores of Cape Cod had been empty of people, the Pilgrims found Indians almost everywhere they looked. Given their past history in this place, the Pilgrims ordered the crowd to back away from the boat.
They could only hope that their alliance with Massasoit ensured their safety. Keeping their muskets ready, they insisted that only two Indians approach at a time. The Pilgrims arranged to have him visit their settlement, where they promised to reimburse him for his loss. It was growing dark by the time the Nauset sachem, Aspinet, arrived with more than a hundred men, many of whom had undoubtedly participated in the First Encounter back in December.
Half the warriors remained on shore with their bows and arrows while the others waded out to the boat unarmed. Looking none the worse for his time in captivity, the teenager wore a string of shell beads around his neck. The Pilgrims Thanksgiving presented Aspinet with a knife, and peace was declared between the two peoples. But Aspinet had some disturbing news. If the Narragansetts should decide to attack their settlement, it would be a catastrophe: there were only about half a dozen men back at Plymouth. They must return as quickly as possible. If Massasoit had indeed been captured, they were, according to the terms of the treaty they had recently signed, at war with the most powerful tribe in the region.
Massasoit had indeed been taken, temporarily it turned out, by the Narragansetts. Squanto, he feared, was dead. For more than a millennium and a half, Christians had looked to the Scriptures to sanction just about every conceivable act of violence. This was their chance to show the Indians the consequences of challenging the English—either directly or indirectly through one of their emissaries.
Standish volunteered to lead ten men on a mission to Nemasket. If Squanto had in fact been killed, they were to seize Corbitant. Standish was to cut off his head and bring it back to Plymouth for public display. They left the next morning, Tuesday, August 14, with Hobbamock as their guide.
Hobbamock was named for the same mysterious spirit of darkness as Squanto was. But unlike Squanto, Hobbamock was a pniese—a warrior of special abilities and stamina it was said a pniese could not be killed in battle who was responsible for collecting tribute for his sachem. From the start, Standish and Hobbamock had much in common, and the two warriors quickly became good friends.
Soon after they left Plymouth, it began to rain. About three miles from Nemasket, they ventured off the trail and waited for dark. In the summer rain, Standish briefed his men on his plan. Once Standish had positioned them around the dwelling, he and Hobbamock would charge inside and take Corbitant. The men were instructed to shoot any Indians who attempted to escape. In the starless dark, Hobbamock directed them to the wigwam. The dwelling was probably larger than most, with a considerable number of men, women, and children inside, sleeping on the low platforms built along the interior walls.
It was very dark inside, and with Hobbamock acting as his interpreter, the Pilgrim captain demanded to know where the petty sachem was. But the people inside the wigwam were too terror stricken to speak. Some leaped off their sleeping platforms and attempted to force their way through the matted walls of the wigwam. Soon the guards outside were shooting off their muskets as the people inside screamed and wept. Several women clung to Hobbamock, calling him friend.
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What had been intended as a bold lightning strike against the enemy was threatening to become a chaotic exercise in futility. Gradually they learned that Corbitant had been at Nemasket, but no one was sure where he was now. They also learned that Squanto was still alive. Tokamahamon, it turned out, was also alive and well. Even Corbitant let it be known that he now wanted to make peace. About this time, Bradford determined that an exploratory expedition should be sent north to the land of the Massachusetts.
They soon discovered where they should have settled. Instead of the shallow reaches of Plymouth Harbor, here was a place where ships of any size could venture right up to land. Instead of little Town Brook, there were three navigable rivers converging at an easily defensible neck of high ground known as Shawmet. This was a place where an English settlement might blossom into a major port, with rivers providing access to the fur-rich interior of New England. Not surprisingly, the Indians in the region, who had been devastated by both disease and war with the rival tribes to the north, possessed many more furs than the Pilgrims had so far found among the Pokanokets.
They decided to stay put. They were quite content Thanksgiving with a village by a brook. We do not know the exact date of the celebration we now call the First Thanksgiving, but it was probably in late September or early October, soon after their crop of corn, squash, beans, barley, and peas had been harvested. For the Pilgrims a thanksgiving was a time of spiritual devotion. Since just about everything the Pilgrims did had religious overtones, there was certainly much about the gathering in the fall of that would have made it a proper Puritan thanksgiving.
Turkeys were by no means a novelty to the Pilgrims. When the conquistadors arrived in Mexico in the sixteenth century, they discovered that the Indians of Central America possessed domesticated turkeys as well as gold. The birds were imported to Spain as early as the s, and by the s they had reached England. The wild turkeys of New England were bigger and much faster than the birds the Pilgrims had known in Europe and were often pursued in winter when they could be tracked in the snow.
Perhaps most important to the Pilgrims was that with a recently harvested barley crop, it was now possible to brew beer. Alas, the Pilgrims were without pumpkin pies or cranberry sauce. There were also no forks, which did not appear at Plymouth until the last decades of the seventeenth century. Neither Bradford nor Winslow mention it, but the First Thanksgiving coincided with what was, for the Pilgrims, a new and startling phenomenon: the turning of the green leaves of summer to the incandescent yellows, reds, and purples of a New England autumn. With the shortening of the days comes a diminshment in the amount of green chlorophyll in the tree leaves, which allows the other pigments contained within the leaves to emerge.
In Britain, the cloudy fall days and warm nights cause the autumn colors to be muted and lackluster. In New England, on the other hand, the profusion of sunny fall days and cool but not freezing nights unleashes the colors latent within the tree leaves, with oaks turning red, brown, and russet; hickories golden brown; birches yellow; red maples scarlet; sugar maples orange; and black maples glowing yellow. It was a display that must have contributed to the enthusiasm with which the Pilgrims later wrote of the festivities that fall.
Thanksgiving The First Thanksgiving marked the conclusion of a remarkable year.
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Eleven months earlier the Pilgrims had arrived at the tip of Cape Cod, fearful and uninformed. They had spent the next month alienating and angering every Native American they happened to come across. Like the French sailors before them, they all might have been either killed or taken captive by the Indians. During the winter of , the survival of the English settlement had been in the balance. Placing their faith in God, the Pilgrims might have insisted on a policy of arrogant isolationism.
In , New England was far from being a paradise of abundance and peace. Indeed the New World was, in many ways, much like the Old—a place where the fertility of the soil was a constant concern, a place where disease and war were omnipresent threats. There were profound differences between the Pilgrims and Pokanokets to be sure—especially when it came to technology, culture, and spiritual beliefs—but in these early years, when the mutual challenge of survival dominated all other concerns, the two peoples had more in common than is generally appreciated today.
Scorned and humiliated by the Narragansetts, he had found a way to give his people, who were now just a fraction of the Narragansetts in terms of population, a kind of parity with the rival tribe. Amid all the bounty and goodwill of the First Thanksgiving, there was yet another person to consider. The Pilgrims had begun their voyage to the New World by refusing to trust John Smith; no Stranger, they decided, was going to tell them what to do.
But instead of being led by an English soldier of fortune, they were now being controlled— whether they realized it or not—by a Native American named Squanto. For, unknown to both Bradford and Massasoit, the interpreter from Patuxet had already launched a plan to become the most powerful Indian leader in New England. It was immediately feared that the ship was from France, a country that had already exhibited a jealous hostility toward earlier English attempts to colonize the New World.
The vessel might be part of a French expeditionary force come from Canada to snuff out the rival settlement in its infancy. For more than a week, the ship lingered inexplicably at the tip of Cape Cod. Many of the men were out working in the surrounding countryside. They must be called back immediately. In an instant, the size of the colony had almost doubled. The Pilgrims learned that while they had been gripped by fear of the French, those aboard the Fortune had been paralyzed by fears of their own. But what the passengers aboard the Fortune saw gave them reason to think otherwise.
It was a tremendous relief for passengers and Pilgrims alike to discover that, for now at least, all seemed well. Everyone aboard the Fortune was in good health, and almost immediately after coming ashore, Martha Ford gave birth to a son, John. There were a large number of Strangers among the passengers, many of them single men who undoubtedly looked with distress at the noticeable lack of young women among the Pilgrims.
With the arrival of the Fortune, there would be a total of sixty-six men in the colony and just sixteen women. This poem was significantly altered before it was published in The Golden-Gated West It is not known if these alterations were done by Simpson himself for a later publication of this poem, or if was altered by W. Then up from that one gleam of life Where men, inured to toil and strife, Made merry on the gracious eve, When all of cark and care take leave, A pale and silent man was seen.
He drank, drank deep, and sat him down His solitary hearth beside, And then upon his pallid face You could with slight discernment trace The purpose of the suicide Who drank his lingering fears to drown. Ah, well, sometimes we hardly blame The actors in the deed of shame, And thus his story soon is told; He loved, as only such men love, One whom he prized his soul above; But poverty, with iron arm, Thrust back affection overwarm, And so at last, a hero bold, He sought the West for needed gold.
Alack, it was all for the worse— That magic flask became his curse. It was his savior, so he thought, And unto him the angel brought, And so he worshipped it too well And into hopeless ruin fell. Hard drink has done it and his lands Long since have gone to other hands; But he has filled the flask once more And has a dreary hope somehow The angel of the shining brow Will come as on the time before.
Published in the Daily Journal Salem, Ore. This poem was evidently published several years earlier, but the original source is unknown. Here wheels the thunder-breathing steed, As if in dread to stay and heed …. A grander pageant than his own, Wild waters whirl in cresting spray, Fair as the fragrant wreaths of May, ….
And loud with laughter, song and moan. Yonder embattled firs around, Chant high above, in martial sound, …. Echoes and answers, leans and hears. And lo! Within the surge and roar, Scarfed with a rainbow evermore, …. The pallid priestess of the flood, Swinging her censer to and fro, As swift suns wheel and soft moons glow ….
Aloof, through lapsing time has stood. The tented and the tawny bands Whose camp-smoke curled along these sands, …. And climbed and crowned the rocky shore, To murmurless deep seas and pale Have passed, with gray and slanting sail, …. Forgetful of the spear and oar. So now beside this stormy gate, Pilgrims of brighter visage wait, ….
To rest in turn beneath the sod:— Yet shall this melody be rolled For aye, these voices manifold …. The echo of a changeless God! With its blue seas afoam and its islands aglow …. And the continents loud with the clamor of life, O, whither, O, whither, as dim cycles flow, …. Careereth the earth with its passion and strife? As if lost in the night, to each other we call, With lips moist with kisses or pallid with fear; But out of the dark comes no answer at all, ….
No solace from oracle, prophet or seer. We are far from the highway; our landmarks are lost, …. And the stars reel above us in glimmering dance, While our bacchanal torches, in high revel tossed, …. Portray that in darkness and doubt we advance; Half God and half beast, we achieve what we dare, …. Defy every law in a rapture of sin— Then away to our fanes with our hot bosoms bare, …. As if scourging and shrieking nepenthe might win! Alas, it was yesterday only I saw …. How surely that people are drifting astray, From dreams that were cherished, from loves that were law, ….
Of the great river sweeps to the hoarse-calling sea, Low singing, its murmur of anguish to hide, …. Are the red, reeking shambles the strange times decree. A herd of wild horses, with streaming, tossed manes, …. In a grass field anear were disporting at will, For the blood of Arabia throbbed in their veins, …. As they swept like a storm round the slope of the hill. They were exiles from uplands beyond the Cascades, ….
The pampas of sagebrush and bunchgrass their home, Where only the stealthy coyote invades …. And the juniper scents the wild pastures they roam. How glad were their gambols along the rich fields …. In the glory of sunlight that thrilled the grass seas, For the beauty and ardor that sweet freedom yields …. Were theirs, as they raced with the sun and the breeze; For the strain of the racers had moulded their limbs ….
And arched their proud necks with a thunderous might Which flamed in their nostrils, whose tremulous rims …. Expanded and quivered with royal delight. O, that life of the plains! Of the unbitted steeds on the deep-rooted turf, Like the mad waves careering when storms wake the hush …. Of the slumbering ocean in billow and surf; How they leaped in their pride, how their black banners streamed; ….
For the world was still young in the original waste— The dim mountain vistas with glamour bedreamed, …. And the wind and the waters exultant and chaste. Is the glowing romance that preludes after-deeds. But hark! On the bland morning breezes, the rumble and roar Of the steam-car and trolley—ah! And hearken! And now in this pasture at Linnton behold …. On their handsome coats playing and kindling each eye. They dreamed not of fate, how the cannibal man …. With hardly the grace of reptilian tears. Are we smitten with madness, incurable blight?
Arise, Rozinante, bring Quixote again, …. Bold champion of maidens and scourger of wrong, Let him ride down the crazy delusions of men …. And deliver the weak from the tyrannous strong. O valor and beauty, and battle and love, …. Shall the ghouls have the horse and no hades have them, Whom the stars, as they clash their gold lances above, …. And the winds and the waves in their anger condemn? Drive hideous nightmares to rend their repose Till their very hair stiffens in, struggles to scream, ….
As the pale horse shall bear them to Stygian woes. And now the last good-bye is said— Good-bye! And now the cracking lashes send A thrill of action down the train, Their brawny necks the oxen bend And slowly move each covered wain; And horsemen gallop down the line, And wheel around the loosened kine That straggle, lowing, on the plain, And lift glad hands to babes that laugh, And dash the buttercups like chaff. In plumes of green and braid of gold; The Earth is wondrous to behold. And hopes are light and hearts are true! Along the scorched and scorching plain, All slowly drags the wasted train.
There is no longer any care. To round the speech and speak men fair, Or any staying sense of shame. The hearts of all are sifted through, The chaff is windowed from the grain, And every where the false and true Are stamped with signets deep and plain. For some are silent, some are loud, And urge like traits among the crowd. And some are mild, and some are sharp In word and deed, and snarl and carp, And fret the camp with family broils. And some with tempers sweet and bland. Do seem to bear a magic wand, That lightens all the daily toils, As sandal wood in burning breaths, Sweet odor in its curling wreathes.
And some go howling to their God, And feign to kiss the heavy rod; And some, maybe, with silent prayers, Bend not in any griefs or cares, But clench their teeth to do or die, Without a whine, or curse, or cry. And so the dust and grit and stain Of travel wears into the grain; And so the hearts and souls of men Were darkly tried and tested then; And so in happy after years, When smiles have long outlived the tears, If any friend should ask of you, If such or such an one you knew? And lo, a lurid phantom stands To greet you in the lonely lands, Among all lesser phantoms dight.
With spoils of death his meagre hands Salute you as you pass and claim The sacred fee that feeds his flame. There are no birds to sing you joy; You have no joy for birds to sing; A hundred pangs of care annoy— A thousand troubles fret and sting. The desert mocks you all the while With that dry shimmer of a smile.
Montcalm and Wolfe
That dazzles on a bleeding skull. The bloom is withered on your cheek. You slowly move and slowly speak, And every eye is dim and dull. Alas, it is a lonesome land Of bitter sage and barren sand. A weary land, alas! The shadows of the vultures pass A spectral sign along your path; The hungry wolf, with head askance, Throws back at you a scowling glance Of malice, hate and coward wrath; A desert stretch, a reach of sand, That crumbles at your lifted hand; A dead, drear land, accursed, unknown, In withered shroud asleep—alone— Only the glimmering ghosts of seas In broidery of flowers and trees And rivers blue and cool, that seem To ripple as in fevered dream.
Only to taunt your thirst and fly The plains that glisten bleak and dry. A hundred days, a hundred nights— The goal is further than before, And all the changing shades and light Enwreath your souls with dreams no more. A weary sun is overhead. And fadded pampas round you spread, A sere and sad eternity.
And if some grisly mountains rise Like riven temples in the skies, You turn in fear and pass them by. And all are overworn and all Unmask their hidden frailties then; And some upon their Maker call In fear that they have missed His ken. And all are overworn; the flesh Becomes a frail translucent mesh, That will not mask the spirit now.
And oh, so dark on this bleak page Of drifting sand and dreary sage! Fidler, from a first draft manuscript left by Simpson. The improved version of this poem went with the volume he had hoped to have published. But that volume, in keeping with the run of bad luck that seemed to keep the author in continuous companionship, failed to get into print…As has already been intimated, the copy from which these fragments are taken was incomplete: it was written with pencil on both sides of the paper and no care taken to number the pages.
In many places the lines are obscure and difficult to decipher. Where such was the case I have been forced to take some liberties with the verse, but always to the detriment of the poem. It would be bold assumption to pretend to improve on the finished versification of such a painstaking writer. Hence I have tried to follow copy in all instances where it was legible.
The attempt to arrange the pages in their intended order of natural sequence has not been devoid of embarrassing difficulties, and complete success is far from being claimed. But the reader, I am sure, will pardon a few mistakes in this respect, in view of the wholesome feast of song herewith submitted. The sun has set, and all alone …. The steamer battles with the sea; Her plume of smoke is backward blown, Beneath her prow, with bodeful moan, ….
The conquering wave bends sullenly. And, chill and drear, a shadow creeps Along the wild and misty deeps …. That roll to windward and a-lee. With maniac laughter, deep and low, …. The hungry caverns mock her way; A pallid sea-bird, wheeling slow, Shrieks to his mother-sea, below ….
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Bereft of all save bleak dismay. A sudden blenching strikes the sea …. Far where the breakers boom and clang: Like flying shrouds from rifled graves, The pallid foam drifts on the waves, …. Into the jeweled arms of night …. Night and the storm hold empire there! The stricken billows leap away …. With trampling thunders in the gale, And straggering blindly to the fray, The strong ship starts each bolt and stay; …. Her cordage shrieks, and with a wail She plunges downward in the gloom Of roaring gorges, hoarse with doom, …. And none alive may tell the tale. What thoughts there came of home and friends, ….
What prayers were said, what kisses thrown, Were lost upon the wind, that lends Its borrowed wealth no more, yet blends ….
Where richer things than pearls are strewn. They sailed one day, and came—no more! And still above the northern sea, A pensive spirit, pale and slow, The gray gull, wheeling to and for, …. Keeps watch and ward eternally. The steamer George S. Wright disappeared while sailing from Alaska to Portland, Oregon in January The mystery of what happened to the Wright has never been solved, although the steamer was presumed wrecked at sea, with no known survivors. Biographical sources: John B. Horner, Oregon Literature Portland, Ore. Gill Co. Lippincott Co. The two young fledgling writers were both contributors to the Oregon Democrat of Albany in the early s.
After a year long correspondence, he rode by horseback from Eugene City to her home near Cape Blanco on the southern Oregon coast, and after a five day courtship they were married. They lived as husband and wife for almost seven years before they were separated. Their divorce was finalized in April Joaquin Miller sailed to Europe and published his collection Songs of the Sierras in , to international renown.
Several volumes of poetry followed, and today many of his writings are still widely accessible via the internet. Meanwhile, Minnie Myrtle struggled financially after the divorce, and her efforts to provide for her children took precedence over her writing. The majority of her poems, never collected for publication, have been lost.
The few extant poems of Minnie Myrtle Miller, for the most part, are personal in nature, and help shed light on the relationship between herself and her husband, then known by his given name, Cincinnatus Hiner Miller. One newly discovered poem is significant for another reason: it offers evidence that Joaquin Miller may have, in fact, plagiarized from his wife, as critics in Oregon alleged at the height of his fame. This poem was published in the Morning Oregonian on February 16, , and reads as follows:.
My love is strong, and pure, and true, …. Deem not it fickle, weak or vain, It scorns itself; it lives for you, …. And when its fetters bring thee pain …. It does not die, but breaks the chain. It would not check thy upward flight, …. Will see the brightness of thy name …. And ever still be thine the same. And gaily fill thy spreading sail, …. But my strong heart—it cannot fail. I still will think of thee away— The shining, listless earth will mock …. My lonesome heart day after day; …. The brooks will talk of thy delay. And scented flowers their wreaths entwine, And whispering winds will breathe their vows, ….
Reminding me of thine and mine …. The love-thrills of the old lang syne. And when the trump of fame shall tell That thou art with the favored few …. That on the dizzy summit dwell …. Deem not but I will know it well. The laurel with thy deeds entwine …. In reality, his poem had been written at least three months prior to the divorce, and was first published anonymously in the State Rights Democrat at Albany, Oregon. What recks it now whose was the shame? But call it mine, for better used Am I to wrong and cold disdain— Can better bear to be accused Of all that bears the shape of shame Than have you bear one touch of blame.
I know yours is the lighter heart And yours the hope of grander need; Yet did I falter in my part? My face is set for power and place— My soul is toned to sullenness— My heart holds not one sign or trace Of love, or trust, or tenderness; But you—your years of happiness— God knows I would not make them less. Thus sooner than you would suppose Some weary feet will find repose.
I wished his patient love had less Of worship and of tenderness. And when the trump of fame shall tell ……. That thou art with the favored few ……………… …. That on the dizzy summit dwell ………………. Deem not but I will know it well …………….. The laurel with thy deeds entwine …………. If Miller intentionally borrowed her words, he altered them enough that they appeared almost original. Perhaps this was meant merely as a personal message to his ex-wife; one he knew she would recognize.
And he , through books and bays, Delveth for pretty words …. To weave in his languid lays, Of women, and streams, and birds. What was my troth to him? A stepping-stone, at best; My face was proud and my smiles were sweet, …. And his gold could do the rest. Decked with my love, for a time; …. But the day and the hour came When he pushed the face you loved in the dust, …. And stepped to his niche of fame. Upon further investigation, he discovered this poet was actually his former schoolmate and rival newspaper editor from Oregon, Cincinnatus Hiner Miller.
It was published over his signature on the 11th of June, a few days after his departure he carrying away an advance proof-sheet , in the Oregon State Journal , which, although Republican, was the paper he selected as the medium of most of his publications, as his father, brothers, and nearly all his warmest personal friends were of that school of politics.
To this production his wife published a reply in verse, soon after his departure, in which she criticised him in severe terms. This letter, written on July 5, , began with coverage of the the ratification and formal proclamation of the Treaty of Washington, which had taken place a day earlier, before Kincaid turned his attention to Miller. Miller, a resident of Lane county from boyhood. This was his last production before leaving the shores of the Pacific to try his fortune in a foreign land.
It was published, over his signature, in the Journal of June 11th, , and was considered by the author the finest thing he had ever written up to that time. The lady to whom it was addressed afterwards replied in verse through some other paper, I believe it was the Daily Herald. The following scathing indictment of Miller appeared in the August 4, issue:. Miller, ex-editor of the Eugene Register and ex-County Judge of Grant county, has published a book of poems and become a man of fame in London.
The fact makes us think no more of Miller, but much less of the Londoners. During the time that he was connected with the Register , he published one or more serial stories under his own name and called them original. They were, however, stolen bodily from some of the flash publications of that day. The plagiarism was palpable and audacious. Delveth for pretty words ………… To weave in his languid lays ……………. Of women and streams and birds. Up to the date of his marriage Miller had published no poetry, if indeed he had written any. But up to that time and for a long time prior thereto, the people of this State had been charmed by the verses of Mrs.
Miller, published more than ten years ago, will readily detect her poetic genius upon the best pages of the book. In some of them they will recognize the woman, as for instance in the Sierra Nevadas, which makes them look. It is much more likely that the simile of a line hung with linen and which employs the idea of washing garments in liquid moonlight, should occur to a woman of strong poetic imagination, the routine of whose life was the wash-tub and the kitchen, than to a languid and dyspeptic man.
The quotation has the credit of being the best in the book. The italics are used by us. None of these claims made by the editor of the State Rights Democrat can be verified, however. Unfortunately, these poems are now lost. Thomas H. Brents was working as county clerk of Grant County when Joaquin Miller was practicing law in Canyon City, and was well-acquainted with both Joaquin and Minnie. However, as he continued to turn out poetry after his wife left him we came to the conclusion that the work was probably his own.
In an article on Miller written for the American Mercury , Sterling stated:. He was not a maker of great lines, and his perhaps most magical ones were not his own creation at all, but written and given to him by his first wife, Minnie Myrtle:. I doubt if Joaquin ever admitted his obligation in the matter.
Charges of plagiarism continued to follow Miller throughout his life. Colonel W. Miller, who know a good thing when he sees it, got hold of young Simpson and—well, you know the rest. Parkhurst claimed that in New York City in the winter of he showed Miller a manuscript of poems he was preparing for publication, and that several of these poems were afterwards appropriated by Miller.
Parkhurst did not name the other poems he alleged were cribbed from his manuscript by Miller, so it is impossible at this time to make any further comparisons. So was Joaquin Miller really a plagiarist? There may not be a definitive answer to this question. One of the most colorful figures in nineteenth-century American literature, Joaquin Miller was known for his eccentric personality and flamboyant western dress.
Memorable though this may be, in reality it is merely one of the many fabrications Miller told about his life in order to fit a carefully crafted public image of himself. This tendency to exaggerate and make up stories has proved problematic for biographers. Unfortunately, the absence of primary documents leaves Miller as the only source of information in many instances, and therefore sorting fact from fiction in his life story can be a difficult task.
The date of his birth is a matter of dispute, and Miller himself has claimed not to know his own birth date. For when I was first in Europe and some began to ask when I was born, papa gave the former year, according to his recollection of the trivial event, while mother insisted on the latter, both giving the same day of the month. This has become the accepted birth date among scholars, but biographers who cite this date fail to explain how Miller could have been born in , the same year his older brother John Daniel Miller was born. The diary entry in question reads:.
Cincinnatus Hiner Miller who was born in Union County Ind in the Year of our Lord on the 8th day of September Crossed the briny plains in the year and landed in Oregon on the 26th of September the same year left Oregon for California in on the 23d of Oct and is now a resident of Squawtown. This the 19th of June Rosenus, A curious entry for a private diary; this paragraph was written as if intended for someone else to read.
Perhaps Miller wanted his peers to think him older than he really was. Census records for the years and suggest a birth date closer to Through some oversight the birth of my brother, Cincinnatus Hiner, who later took the name of Joaquin, was not set down, but mother said he was about 20 months older than I. Hulings Miller, the father of Joaquin Miller, was born in Pennsylania in , but moved to Ohio at early age. He removed to Indiana in , where he earned a living teaching in the district schools of Indiana.
Although a United States patent for the land was issued to Hulings Miller on March 23,, he shortly afterward sold the land: sixty acres were deeded to John McKee on June 5, , and the remaining to Joseph Bechtel on November 1, We stopped for a while near Rochester.
It was three years before we finally started for Oregon. In March the Miller family finally began their long journey across the Oregon Trail, and after seven months of travel arrived in Oregon. They spent the winter at Santiam City in Marion county near present day Jefferson , and in the spring traveled to Lane county, near the town of Coburg, where Hulings Miller obtained acres of land through the Donation Land Claim Act. In October , at the age of fifteen, he ran away from home with companion Will Willoughby to the Shasta Cascade region of northern California and spent several years mining in that vicinity.
During the years and he lived on the McCloud River with a group of Wintu Indians and married an Indian woman with whom he had at least one child, a daughter named Calla Shasta. He returned to Oregon in late and enrolled at Columbia College in Eugene. Upon completion of his studies he taught school for one term in Clarke County, Washington Territory, and then returned to California. He again enrolled at Columbia College in late , graduating the following spring. Afterward he returned to the Shasta region of California and was jailed for stealing a horse some accounts say mule , but he escaped from prison and returned to Oregon.
Miller gave up his interest in the express the following spring and went into the newspaper business in partnership with Anthony Noltner, as co-owner and editor of the Democrat Register , published at Eugene City, Oregon. Miller had for many years been filled with literary ambitions and had written poems as early as Little is known of his earliest published pieces, as he nearly always used pseudonyms in his early works, but some have speculated he wrote for the Shasta Courier and other newspapers.
Eventually Miller traveled to meet Dyer at her home on the southern Oregon coast four miles north of Port Orford. In the spring of the Millers sailed for San Francisco, seeking literary fame and fortune. They resided in a small garret at the corner of Folsom and First Streets, but stayed less than a year, returning to Oregon in November Miller left Minnie, then pregnant with their first child, with her family at Port Orford and traveled east to the mines of Idaho.
He ended up in the small mining town of Canyon City, Oregon, and there led a company of men in an unsuccessful pursuit of a band of Indians who had stolen their horses. Miller returned to his wife shortly after the March 31, birth of his daughter Maud, and a few months later he returned with his family to Canyon City, where he intended to practice law. Miller was elected to a four year term as County Judge in He continued to write poetry, and published two volumes of poems, Specimens and Joaquin, Et Al.
His first son, George Brick Miller, was born circa Marital problems soon followed, and in the spring of he sent Minnie back to Port Orford with her family. Minnie filed a petition for divorce and it was finalized in April In England he made acquaintance with the Rossettis and Robert Browning, among others, and published at his own expense a small volume of poems, Pacific Poems Between and Miller traveled extensively between the United States and Europe and published several more volumes of poetry.
A daughter Juanita was born less than four months later, on January 2, Miller separated from his third wife shortly thereafter. Three years later Miller bought a cabin in Washington, D. After he lost a fortune in the stock market, Miller returned to San Francisco and became editor of the Golden Era.
In he built a home on several acres of land in Oakland on the hills above Fruitvale overlooking San Francisco Bay, which he named The Hights. He traveled to Alaska in , where spent six months as a correspondent for the Hearst newspapers, and in traveled to China in a similar capacity for the San Francisco Examiner during the Boxer Rebellion. Among those who resided at The Hights with Miller in his later years included Japanese poet Yone Noguchi and sixteen year old Araba Miller Oliver also known as Alice Oliver , with whom Miller fathered two children, one of which died in childbirth His later abandonment of Oliver, alone and pregnant in Hawaii, created a scandal.
His widowed mother Margaret Witt Miller also came to live with him after two successive failed marriages with much younger men in the s. Later his daughter Maud, with whom he had been long estranged, returned to live with him a few years before her death in Miller died at his home at The Hights on February 7, , at the age of seventy-three. His body was cremated at the Oakland Crematory and his ashes were scattered at the funeral pyre he had built behind his home. In recent years a renewed interest in Miller has shed new light on his works and a re-evaluation of their merits.
Most modern critics agree, however, that Miller was merely a mediocre poet. His most highly regarded work is in prose: his semi-autobiographical Life Amongst the Modocs Behold the Ocean on the beach Kneel lowly down as if in prayer. I hear a moan as of despair, While far at sea do toss, and reach Some things so like white pleading hands.
Joaquin, Et Al. Dared I but say a prophecy, As sang the holy men of old, Of rock-built cities yet to be Along these rolling sands of gold, Crowding athirst into the sea, What wondrous marvels might be told. Afar the gleaming Sierras lie Against a ground of bluest sky. I look along each gaping gorge— I hear a thousand sounding strokes Like brawny Vulcan at his forge, Or giants rending giant oaks. I see pick-axes flash and shine And great wheels whirling in a mine.
Here winds a thick and yellow thread, A mossed and silver stream instead; And trout that leaped its rippled tide Have turned upon their sides and died. A tale half told and hardly understood; The talk of bearded men that chanced to meet; That leaned on long quaint rifles in the wood, That looked in fellow-faces, spoke discreet And low, as half in doubt and in defeat Of hope; a tale it was of lands of gold That lay toward the sun.
The long chained lines of yoked and patient steers; The long white trains that pointed to the west, Beyond the savage west; the hopes and fears Of blunt untutored men who hardly guessed Their course; the brave and silent women, dressed In homely-spun attire, the boys in bands, The cheery babes that laughed at all, and blessed The doubting hearts with shouts and lifted hands, Proclaim an exodus for far untraversed lands.
The plains! The shouting drivers at the wheel; The crash of leather whips; the crush and roll Of wheels; the groan of yokes and grinding steel And iron chain, and lo! The way lay wide, and green, and fresh as seas, And far away as any reach of wave; The sunny streams went by in belt of trees; And here and there the tasselled, tawny brave Swept by on horse, looked back, stretched forth and gave A yell of hell, and then did wheel and rein A time, and point away, dark-browed and grave, Into the far, and dim, and distant plain, With signs and prophecies, and then plunged on again.
Some hills at last began to lift and break; Some streams began to fail of wood and tide, The sombre plain began betime to take A hue of weary brown, and wild and wide It stretched its naked breast on every side….