Indian Names

"How can the Red Men be forgotten, while so many of our states and territories, bays, lakes, and rivers, are indelibly stamped by names of their giving?"

⁠Ye say, they all have passed away,
⁠That noble race and brave,
⁠That their light canoes have vanished
⁠From off the crested wave;
⁠That 'mid the forests where they roamed
⁠There rings no hunter shout;
⁠But their name is on your waters,
⁠Ye may not wash it out.

⁠'Tis where Ontario's billow
⁠Like Ocean's surge is curl'd,
⁠Where strong Niagara's thunders wake
⁠The echo of the world.
⁠Where red Missouri bringeth
⁠Rich tribute from the west,
⁠And Rappahannock sweetly sleeps
⁠On green Virginia's breast.

⁠Ye say, their cone-like cabins,
⁠That clustered o'er the vale,
⁠Have fled away like withered leaves
⁠Before the autumn gale:
⁠But their memory liveth on your hills,
⁠Their baptism on your shore,
⁠Your everlasting rivers speak
⁠Their dialect of yore.

⁠Old Massachusetts wears it
⁠Within her lordly crown,
⁠And broad Ohio bears it
⁠Amid his young renown;
⁠Connecticut hath wreathed it
⁠Where her quiet foliage waves,
⁠And bold Kentucky breathes its hoarse
⁠Through all her ancient caves.

⁠Wachuset hides its lingering voice
⁠Within his rocky heart,
⁠And Alleghany graves its tone
⁠Throughout his lofty chart;
⁠Monadnock on his forehead hoar
⁠Doth seal the sacred trust,
⁠Your mountains build their monument,
⁠Though ye destroy their dust.
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Submitted by Madeleine Quinn on October 29, 2019

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"Indian Names" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 5 Jul 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/51761/indian-names>.

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