Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, POCAHONTAS [JANUARY 5, 1608], by WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

POCAHONTAS [JANUARY 5, 1608], by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Wearied arm and broken sword
Last Line: Saved a captive englishman.
Subject(s): Native Americans; Pocahontas (1595-1617); Indians Of America; American Indians; Indians Of South America

WEARIED arm and broken sword
Wage in vain the desperate fight;
Round him press a countless horde,
He is but a single knight.
Hark! a cry of triumph shrill
Through the wilderness resounds,
As, with twenty bleeding wounds,
Sinks the warrior, fighting still.

Now they heap the funeral pyre,
And the torch of death they light;
Ah! 't is hard to die by fire!
Who will shield the captive knight?
Round the stake with fiendish cry
Wheel and dance the savage crowd,
Cold the victim's mien and proud,
And his breast is bared to die.

Who will shield the fearless heart?
Who avert the murderous blade?
From the throng with sudden start
See, there springs an Indian maid.
Quick she stands before the knight:
"Loose the chain, unbind the ring!
I am daughter of the king,
And I claim the Indian right!"

Dauntlessly aside she flings
Lifted axe and thirsty knife,
Fondly to his heart she clings,
And her bosom guards his life!
In the woods of Powhatan,
Still 't is told by Indian fires
How a daughter of their sires
Saved a captive Englishman.

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