Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
73. The Indian’s Welcome to the Pilgrim Fathers
 
By Lydia Huntley Sigourney
 
 
ABOVE them spread a stranger sky;
  Around, the sterile plain;
The rock-bound coast rose frowning nigh;
  Beyond,—the wrathful main:
Chill remnants of the wintry snow        5
  Still choked the encumbered soil,
Yet forth those Pilgrim Fathers go
  To mark their future toil.
 
’Mid yonder vale their corn must rise
  In summer’s ripening pride,        10
And there the church-spire woo the skies
  Its sister-school beside.
Perchance mid England’s velvet green
  Some tender thought reposed,
Though nought upon their stoic mien        15
  Such soft regret disclosed.
 
When sudden from the forest wide
  A red-browed chieftain came,
With towering form, and haughty stride,
  And eye like kindling flame:        20
No wrath he breathed, no conflict sought,
  To no dark ambush drew,
But simply to the Old World brought
  The welcome of the New.
 
That welcome was a blast and ban        25
  Upon thy race unborn;
Was there no seer,—thou fated Man!—
  Thy lavish zeal to warn?
Thou in thy fearless faith didst hail
  A weak, invading band,        30
But who shall heed thy children’s wail
  Swept from their native land?
 
Thou gav’st the riches of thy streams,
  The lordship o’er thy waves,
The region of thine infant dreams        35
  And of thy father’s graves,—
But who to yon proud mansions, piled
  With wealth of earth and sea,
Poor outcast from thy forest wild,
  Say, who shall welcome thee?        40
 

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