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“The Last of His Tribe,” a Poem
“The Last of His Tribe,” a Poem

“The Last of His Tribe,” a Poem

A sorrowful, melancholy poem with which many can identify, in some way or other.

The Last of His Tribe, author unknown (maybe James B. Marsh)

I am standing alone in the deep forest shade,
And the wind whistles mournful and low:
I am roaming alone, where in childhood I played
With the friends of my youth, in the ever-green glade;
My kindred! oh, where are they now?

The forest is green, as in days long ago,
When my forefathers ruled here alone:
Nor thought of the misery, anguish and woe,
When they welcomed the pale-face, their deadliest foe,
My kindred! oh, where are they gone?

A thousand brave warriors armed at my call,
In their war paint and battle array;
Like pines of the forest: firm, stately and tall,
No hardships could tire them, no danger appall,
My warriors! alas! where are they?

My wigwam that stood by the sycamore tree,
‘Neath the shade of its sheltering bough;
Oh! there I was happy, contented and free,
While blest with the love of my dark O-na-lee,
My loved one, oh! where is she now?

The friends of my manhood and youth are no more;
All gone are my warriors so brave-
In the arms she so loved, in deep sadness I bore,
My dark O-na-lee to the broad river shore,
And laid her to rest in the gravel

I look for my wild native forest in vain,
By the ax of the white man laid low:
In its place stand the fields of tall waving grain,
And their herd are now scattered o’er valley and plain,
Where once roamed the wild buffalo.

“Back, red man, away to the west! to the westl
Back! back!” is forever their cry,
Not a spot for the poor weary Indian to rest,
O’er all the broad lands that my fathers possessed-
I’ll away to the mountains to die.

To the blest hunting grounds of the red man I’ll soar,
When this sad, weary spirit is free;
There in peace and contentment to live as of yore,
And clasp to my fond, yearning bosom once more,
My loved one, my dark O-na-lee.

Poem from Four Years in the Rockies by James B. Marsh.

The book is interesting in its depiction of life in the early American West and in its reporting on the lifestyles of some Native Americans. (But the book reports some views, sometimes, that are racist. Seems to be more at the beginning, if I remember right.)

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