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THE INDIAN HUNTER


Oh, why does the white man follow my path,
Like the hound on the tiger's track?
Does the flush of my dark cheek waken his wrath-
Does he covet the bow at my back?

He has rivers and seas where billows and breeze
Bear riches to him alone;
And the sons of the wood never plunge in the flood,
Which the white man calls his own.

Why, then, should he come to the streams where none
But the red man dares to swim?
Why, why should he wrong the hunter-one
Who never did harm to him?

The Father above thought fit to give
The white man corn and wine;
There are golden fields where he may live,
But the forest shades are mine.

The eagle has its place of rest;
The wild horse-where to dwell;
And the spirit that gave the bird its nest
Made me a home as well.

Then back! go back from the red man's track;
For the hunter's eyes grow dim,
To find that the white man wrongs the one
Who never did harm to him.

-Eliza Cook



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