Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
The Warrior’s Death Song
By Josias Lyndon Arnold (1768–1796)
 
DEEP in the west the sun is gone,
And darkness rapidly comes on;
But soon his beams again shall rise,
And radiant light o’erspread the skies.
 
Thus, though the raging flame destroy        5
This mortal flame, to scenes of joy
The soul shall fly, where Podar reigns
O’er pleasant woods and fertile plains.
 
There nations shall no more be foes,
Nor warriors tribe to tribe oppose;        10
No hideous war-song shall be heard,
But peace inspire the ravish’d bard.
 
No arrows tipt with polish’d bone,
Nor tomahawk shall there be known;
But all, till time itself shall cease,        15
Shall live in harmony and peace.
 
Urge then the torments, haughty foes;
Thus death the sooner shall disclose
The land where every torment flies,
Where endless joys and pleasures rise.        20
 
Bid fiercer flames around him roll,
And try to bend his stubborn soul;
Yet vain the hope, the trial vain,
To make great Ellac’s son complain.
 
No sting of wo, nor pain severe,        25
Shall from his eyelids draw a tear;
But e’en his foes themselves shall say,
A noble chief has fall’n today.
 
Tell then your sons, ye warriors, tell
Without complaint how Kallack fell;        30
How his firm breast no fear appall’d,
To die whene’er his nation call’d.
 
Thus shall their manly bosoms glow,
With souls invincible by wo,
Exult like Ellac’s son to die,        35
And to the realms of Podar fly.
 
Thus spake the hero of the shore,
Where broad Kanhawa’s waters roar;
Then closed his eyes, untaught to weep,
And sunk in glory’s arms to sleep.        40
 
 
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