36. But that Old Woman by such wanton wrong Inflamed, went hurrying down; and in the pride Of magic power wherein the crone was strong, Her human form infirm she laid aside. Better the Capiguara's limbs supplied A strength accordant to her fierce intent: These she assumed, and, burrowing deep and wide

Beneath the Tree, with vicious will, she went, To inflict upon mankind a lasting punishment.

37. Downward she wrought her way,

and all around Labouring, the solid earth she undermined And loosen'd all the roots ; then from the ground Emerging, in her hatred of her kind, Resumed her proper form, and breathed a wind Which gather'd like a tempest round its head: Eftsoon the lofty Tree its top inclined

Uptorn with horrible convulsion dread, And over half the world its mighty wreck lay spread.

38. But never scion sprouted from that Tree, Nor seed sprang up; and thus the easy way, Which had till then for young and old been free, Was closed upon the sons of men for aye. The mighty ruin moulder'd where it lay Till not a trace was left; and now in sooth Almost had all remembrance past away.

This from the elders she had heard in youth; Some said it was a tale, and some a very truth.

Nathless departed spirits at their will
Could from the Land of Souls pass to and fro;
They come to us in sleep when all is still,
Sometimes to warn against the impending blow,
Alas! more oft to visit us in woe :
Though in their

presence there was poor relief ! And this had sad experience made her know,

For when Quiara came, his stay was brief,
And waking then, she felt a freshen'd sense of grief.

Yet to behold his face again, and hear
His voice, though painful was a deep delight:
It was a joy to think that he was near,
To see him in the visions of the night, ...
To know that the departed still requite
The love which to their memory still will cling:
And though he might not bless her waking sight

With his dear presence, 't was a blessed thing
That sleep would thus sometimes his actual image


Why comes he not to me? Yeruti cries :
And Mooma echoing with a sigh the thought,
Ask'd why it was that to her longing eyes
No dream the image of her father brought?
Nor Monnema to solve that question sought
In vain, content in ignorance to dwell;
Perhaps it was because they knew him not;

Perhaps ... but sooth she could not answer well;
What the departed did, themselves alone could tell.

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42. What one tribe held another disbelieved, For all concerning this was dark, she said ; Uncertain all, and hard to be received. The dreadful race, from whom their fathers fled,' Boasted that even the Country of the Dead Was theirs, and where their Spirits chose to go, The ghosts of other men retired in dread

Before the face of that victorious foe; No better, then, the world above, than this below!

43. What then, alas ! if this were true, was death? Only a mournful change from ill to ill! And some there were who said the living breath Would ne'er be taken from us by the will Of the Good Father, but continue still To feed with life the mortal frame he gave, Did not mischance or wicked witchcraft kill;...

Evils from which no care avail'd to save, And whereby all were sent to fill the greedy grave.

In vain to counterwork the baleful charm
By spells of rival witchcraft was it sought,
Less potent was that art to help than harm.
No means of safety old experience brought:
Nor better fortune did they find who thought
From Death, as from some living foe, to fly:
For speed or subterfuge availd them nought,

But wheresoe'er they fled they found him nigh: None ever could elude that unseen enemy.

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45. Bootless the boast, and vain the proud intent Of those who hoped, with arrogant display Of arms and force, to scare him from their tent, As if their threatful shouts and fierce array Of war could drive the Invisible away ! Sometimes regardless of the sufferer's groan, They dragg’d the dying out and as a prey

Exposed him, that content with him alone Death might depart, and thus his fate avert their own.

46. Depart he might, ... but only to return In quest of other victims, soon or late; When they who held this fond belief, would learn, Each by his own inevitable fate, That in the course of man's uncertain state Death is the one and only certain thing. Oh folly then to fly or deprecate

That which at last Time, ever on the wing, Certain as day and night, to weary age must bring!

With steady eye

47. While thus the Matron spake, the youthful twain Listen'd in deep attention, wistfully; Whether with more of wonder or of pain Uneath it were to tell. Intent they heard ; and when she paused, a sigh Their sorrowful foreboding seem'd to speak : Questions to which she could not give reply

Yeruti ask'd ; and for that Maiden meek, ... Involuntary tears ran down her quiet cheek.

A different sentiment within them stirr'd,
When Monnema recall'd to mind one day,
Imperfectly, what she had sometimes heard
In childhood, long ago, the Elders say:
Almost from memory had it past away, .
How there appear'd amid the woodlands inen
Whom the Great Spirit sent there to convey

His gracious will; but little heed she then
Had given, and like a dream it now recurr'd again.

49. But these young questioners from time to time Call’d up the long-forgotten theme anew. Strange men they were, from some remotest clime She said, of different speech, uncouth to view, Having hair

upon their face, and white in hue : Across the World of waters wide they came Devotedly the Father's work to do,

And seek the Red-Men out, and in his name His merciful laws, and love, and promises proclaim.

50. They served a Maid more beautiful than tongue Could tell, or heart conceive. Of human race, All heavenly as that Virgin was, she sprung ; But for her beauty and celestial grace, Being one in whose pure elements no trace Had e'er inhered of sin or mortal stain, The highest Heaven was now her dwelling place;

There as a Queen divine she held her reign, And there in endless joy for ever would remain.

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