Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE OLD CHICKASAH TO HIS GRANDSON, by ROBERT SOUTHEY



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THE OLD CHICKASAH TO HIS GRANDSON, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Now go to the battle, my boy
Last Line: Till the steps of thy coming I see.
Subject(s): Duty; Grandchildren; Grandparents; Native Americans; War; Grandsons; Granddaughters; Grandmothers; Grandfathers; Great Grandfathers; Great Grandmothers; Indians Of America; American Indians; Indians Of South America


Now go to the battle, my boy!
Dear child of my son,
There is strength in thine arm, there is hope in thy heart,
Thou art ripe for the labours of war.
Thy sire was a stripling like thee
When he went to the first of his fields.
He return'd, in the glory of conquest return'd,
Before him his trophies were borne;
These scalps that have hung till the sun and the rain
Have rusted their raven locks.
Here he stood when the morn of rejoicing arrived,
The day of the warrior's reward,
When the banners sun-beaming were spread,
And all hearts were dancing in joy
To the sound of the victory drum.
The heroes were met to receive their reward,
But distinguish'd among the young heroes that day,
The pride of his nation thy father was seen:
The swan-feathers hung from his neck,
His face like the rainbow was tinged,
And his eye—how it sparkled in pride!
The elders approach'd, and they placed on his brow
The crown that his valour had won,
And they gave him the old honour'd name.
They reported the deeds he had done in the war,
And the youth of the nation were told
To respect him, and tread in his path.

My boy! I have seen, and with hope,
The courage that rose in thine eye
When I told thee the tale of his death.
His war-pole now is grey with moss,
His tomahawk red with rust,
His bow-string whose twang was death
Now sings as it cuts the wind,
But his memory is fresh in the land,
And his name with the names that we love.
Go now and revenge him, my boy!
That his spirit no longer may hover by day
O'er the hut where his bones are at rest,
Nor trouble our dreams in the night.
My boy, I shall watch for the warrior's return,
And my soul will be sad
Till the steps of thy coming I see.





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