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POSEY, Alexander


Ode to Sequoyah


The names of Waitie and Boudinot—

The valiant warrior and gifted sage—

And other Cherokees, may be forgot,

But thy name shall descend to every age;

The mysteries enshrouding Cadmus’ name

Cannot obscure thy claim to fame.


The people’s language cannot perish—nay,

When from the face of this great continent

Inevitable doom hath swept away

The last memorial—the last fragment

Of tribes,—some scholar learned shall pore

Upon thy letters, seeking ancient lore.


Some bard shall lift a voice in praise of thee,

In moving numbers tell the world how men

Scoffed thee, hissed thee, charged with lunacy!

And who could not give ’nough honor when

At length, in spite of jeers, of want and need,

Thy genius shaped a dream into a deed.


By cloud-capped summits in the boundless west,

Or mighty river rolling to the sea,

Where’er thy footsteps led thee on that quest,

Unknown, rest thee, illustrious Cherokee!



Song Of The Oktahutchee


FAR, far, far are my silver waters drawn;

The hills embrace me, loth to let me go;

The maidens think me fair to look upon,

And trees lean over, glad to hear me flow.

Thro' field and valley, green because of me,

I wander, wander to the distant sea.


Thro' lonely places and thro' crowded ways,

Thro' noise of strife and thro' the solitude,

And on thro' cloudy days and sunny days,

I journey till I meet, in sisterhood,

The broad Canadian, red with the sunset,

Now calm, now raging with a mighty fret!


On either hand, in a grand colonnade,

The cottonwoods rise in the azure sky,

And purple mountains cast a purple shade

As I, now grave, now laughing, pass them by;

The birds of air dip bright wings in my tide,

In sunny reaches where I noiseless glide.


O'er sandy reaches with rocks and mussel-shells,

Blue over spacious beds of amber sand,

By hanging cliffs, by glens where echo dwells--

Elusive spirit of the shadow-land--

Forever blest and blessing do I go,

A-wid'ning in the morning's roseate glow.


Tho' I sing my song in a minor key,

Broad lands and fair attest the good I do;

Tho' I carry no white sails to the sea,

Towns nestle in the vales I wander thro';

And quails are whistling in the waving grain,

And herds are scattered o'er the verdant plain.