Verse > John Greenleaf Whittier > The Poetical Works in Four Volumes
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John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892).  The Poetical Works in Four Volumes.  1892.
 
Narrative and Legendary Poems
The Bridal of Pennacook
VIII. Song of Indian Women
 
        THE DARK eye has left us,
          The Spring-bird has flown;
        On the pathway of spirits
          She wanders alone.
The song of the wood-dove has died on our shore:        5
Mat wonck kunna-monee! 1 We hear it no more!
 
        O dark water Spirit!
          We cast on thy wave
        These furs which may never
          Hang over her grave;        10
Bear down to the lost one the robes that she wore:
Mat wonck kunna-monee! We see her no more!
 
        Of the strange land she walks in
          No Powah has told:
        It may burn with the sunshine,        15
          Or freeze with the cold.
Let us give to our lost one the robes that she wore:
Mat wonck kunna-monee! We see her no more!
 
        The path she is treading
          Shall soon be our own;        20
        Each gliding in shadow
          Unseen and alone!
In vain shall we call on the souls gone before:
Mat wonck kunna-monee! They hear us no more!
 
          O mighty Sowanna! 2        25
        Thy gateways unfold,
          From thy wigwam of sunset
        Lift curtains of gold!
Take home the poor Spirit whose journey is o’er:
Mat wonck kunna-monee! We see her no more!        30
 
So sang the Children of the Leaves beside
The broad, dark river’s coldly flowing tide;
Now low, now harsh, with sob-like pause and swell,
On the high wind their voices rose and fell.
Nature’s wild music,—sounds of wind-swept trees,        35
The scream of birds, the wailing of the breeze,
The roar of waters, steady, deep, and strong,—
Mingled and murmured in that farewell song.

  1844.
 
Note 1. “Mat wonck kunna-monee.” We shall see thee or her no more.—See Roger Williams’s Key. [back]
Note 2. “The Great South West God.”—See Roger Williams’s Observations, etc. [back]
 
 
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