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Song Of The American Indian

William Lisle Bowles 1762 (King's Sutton) – 1850



Stranger, stay, nor wish to climb
The heights of yonder hills sublime;
For there strange shapes and spirits dwell,
That oft the murmuring thunders swell,
Of power from the impending steep
To hurl thee headlong to the deep;
But secure with us abide,
By the winding river's side;
Our gladsome toil, our pleasures share,
And think not of a world of care.
The lonely cayman, where he feeds
Among the green high-bending reeds,
Shall yield thee pastime; thy keen dart
Through his bright scales shall pierce his heart.
Home returning from our toils,
Thou shalt bear the tiger's spoils;
And we will sing our loudest strain
O'er the forest-tyrant slain!
Sometimes thou shalt pause to hear
The beauteous cardinal sing clear;
Where hoary oaks, by time decayed,
Nod in the deep wood's pathless glade;
And the sun, with bursting ray,
Quivers on the branches gray.
By the river's craggy banks,
O'erhung with stately cypress-ranks,
Where the bush-bee hums his song,
Thy trim canoe shall glance along.
To-night at least, in this retreat,
Stranger! rest thy wandering feet;
To-morrow, with unerring bow,
To the deep thickets fearless we will go.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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William Lisle Bowles

William Lisle Bowles was an English poet and critic In 1783 he won the chancellors prize for Latin verse In 1789 he published in a small quarto volume Fourteen Sonnets which were received with extraordinary favour not only by the general public but by such men as Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Wordsworth The Sonnets even in form were a revival a return to an older and purer poetic style and by their grace of expression melodious versification tender tone of feeling and vivid appreciation of the life and beauty of nature stood out in strong contrast to the elaborated commonplaces which at that time formed the bulk of English poetry more…

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