Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Nor could he add a word to what was said,
But drew the winged arrow to the head:
And aiming right, discharg'd it; whereupon
Its fury made the piercing air to groan.

But wary Mason, with his active spear,
Glanced the prince's arrow in the air:
Whereat the Pequots, quite discouraged,
Threw down the gauntlet, and from battle fled.

Mason, swift as the chased roe on foot,
Outstrips the rest in making the pursuit.
Entering the palace, in a hall he found
A multitude of foes, who gather'd round
This mighty man, on every side engag'd
Like bears bereaved of their whelps enrag'd.

One finding such resistance where * **
His mind, his weapons and his eyes
Their boldness much his martial sprite provokes,
And round he lays his deep inveterate strokes.
Making his sword at each enforced blow
Send great soul'd heroes to the shades below.

But as when Hercules did undertake
A doubtful combat with the Lernian snake,
Fondly propos’d, if he cut off her head,
The monster might with ease be vanquished.

But when he the experiment did make,
Soon to his hazard found his dear mistake,
And that as often as he cut off one,
Another instantly sprang in its room.

* * *

*

*

After so many deaths and dangers past,
Mason was thoroughly enflam'd at last:
He snatch'd a blazing bavin with his hand,
And fir'd the stately palace with the brand.
And soon the towering and rapacious flame
All hope of opposition overcame.
Eurus and Notus readily subjoin
Their best assistance to this great design;
Drive pitchy flames in vast enfoldings down,
And dreadful globes of fire along the town.

And now the English army marched out,
To hem this flaming city round about;
That such as strived to escape the fire,
Might by the fury of their arms expire.

But Ở what language or what tongue can tell, This dreadful emblem of the flames of hell! No fantasy sufficient is to dream, A faint idea of their woes extreme.

Some like unlucky comets do appear,
Rushing along the streets with flagrant hair :
Some seeking safety clamber up the wall,
Then down again with blazing fingers fall.
In this last hour of extremity,
Friends and relations met in company ;
But all in vain, their tender sympathy
Cannot allay, but makes their misery.
The paramour here met his amorous dame,
Whose eye had often set his heart in flame:
Urg'd with the motives of her love and fear,
She runs and clasps her arms about her dear:
Where weeping on his bosom as she lies,
And languisheth, on him she sets her eyes;
Till those bright lamps do with her life expire,
And leave him weltering in a double fire.

The fair and beauteous bride, with all her charms,
This night lay melting in her bridegroom's arms.
This morning in his bosom yields her life,
While he dies sympathizing with his wife.
In love, relation, and in life the same,
The same in death, both die in the same flame.
Their souls united, both at once repair
Unto their place appointed through the air.

The gracious father here stood looking on His little brood with deep affection; They round about him at each quarter stands, With piteous looks, each lifts his little hands To him for shelter, and then nearer throng, Whilst piercing cries for help flow from each tongue. Fain would he give their miseries relief, Though with the forfeiture of his own life: But finds his power too short to shield off harms, The torturing flame arrests them in his arms. The tender mother with like woes opprest, Beholds her infant frying at her breast; Crying and looking on her, as it fries; Till death shuts up its heart affecting eyes.

The conquering flame long sorrows doth prevent, And vanquish'd life soon breaks imprisonment. Souls leave their tenements, gone to decay, And fly untouched through the flames away. Now all with speed to final ruin haste, And soon this tragic scene is overpast. The town, its wealth, high battlements and spires, Now sinketh, weltering in conjoining fires.

The general commands the officers with speed,

To see his men drawn up and martialed :
Which being done, they wheel the ranks,
And kneeling down, to Heaven all gave thanks.

By this Aurora doth with gold adorn
The ever beauteous eyelids of the morn;
And burning Titan his exhaustless rays,
Bright in the eastern horizon displays;
Then soon appearing in majestic awe,
Makes all the starry deities withdraw;
Veiling their faces in deep reverence,
Before the throne of his magnificence.

And now the English their red cross display,
And under it march bravely toward the sea;
There hoping in this needful hour to meet
Ample provisions coming with the feet.

Meantime came tidings to Sasacus' ears,
That Mistick town was taken unawares.
Three hundred of his able men he sent,
With utmost haste its ruin to prevent:
But if for that they chance to come too late,
Like harms on us they should retaliate.

These, with loud outcries, met us coming down
The hill, about three furlongs from the town;
Gave us a skirmish, and then turn’d to gaze
Upon the ruin'd city yet on blaze.

But when they saw this doleful tragedy,
The sorrow of their hearts did close their eye:
Silent and mute they stand, yet breathe out groans ;
Nor Gorgon's head like this transforms to stones.
Here lay the numerous bodies of the dead;
Some frying, others almost calcined:
All dolefully imprison’d underneath
The dark and adamantine bars of death.

But mighty sorrows never are content, Long to be kept in close imprisonment; When once grew desperate, will not keep under, But break all bands of their restraint asunder. And now with shrieks the echoing air they wound, And stamp'd and tore and curst the suffering ground. Some with their hands tore off their guiltless hair, And throw up dust and cinders in the air. Thus with strange actions and horrendous cries, They celebrate these doleful obsequies. At length revenge so vehemently doth burn, As caused all other passions to adjourn. Alecto raves and rates them in the ear, .O sensless cowards, to stand blubbering here!

Will tears revive these bodies of the slain,
Or bring their ashes back to life again?
Will tears appease their mighty ghosts, that are
Hoping to be revenged, hovering here?
Surely expecting you will sacritice
To them the lives of those their enemies:
And will you baffle them thus by delay,
Until the enemy be gone away?
O cursed negligence! And then she strips,
And jirks and stings them with her scorpion whips;
Until with anger and revenge they yell,
As if the very fiends had broke up hell.
That we shall die, they all outrageous swear,
And vomit imprecations in the air:
Then, full speed! with ejulations loud,
They follow us like an impetuous cloud.

Mason, to stop their violent career,
Rallies his company anew to war;
Who finding them within a little space,
Let fly his blunderbusses in their face.
Thick sulphurous smoke makes the sky look black,
And heaven's high galleries thunder with the crack.
Earth groans and trembles, and from underneath,
Deep vaulted caverns horrid echoes breathe.

The volley that our men first made,
Struck down their stout file leaders dead.
To see them fall, a stupifying fear
Surpris'd and stop'd their soldiers in the rear:
The numerous natives stop'd, and fac'd about;
Whereat the conquering English gave a shout.
At which they start, and through the forest scour,
Like trembling hinds that hear the lions roar.

Back to great Sasacus they now return again;
And of their loss they thus aloud complain,
“Sir, 'tis in vain to fight: The fates engage
Themselves for those with whom this war we wage.
We Mistick burning saw, and 'twas an awful sight;
As dreadful are our enemies in fight:
And the loud thunderings that their arms did make,
Made us, the earth, yea heaven itself, to shake.'

Very unwelcome to Sasacus' ears
Were these misfortunes, and his subject's fears:
Yet to his men, the English he contemns,
And threats to ruin us with stratagems.
And now his thoughts ten thousand ways divide,
And swift through all imaginations glide.
Endless projections in his head he lays,
Deep policies and stratagems he weighs.

Sometimes he thinks, he'll thus the war maintain,
Reviews the scheme, and throws it by again:
Now thus, or thus, concludes ’tis best to do;
But neither thus, nor thus, on the review.
And thus his mind on endless projects wanders,
Till he is lost in intricate meanders.
At last gives up the case as desperate,
And sinks, bewailing his forlorn estate.

He and his people quite discouraged,
Now leave their seats, and towards Monhattons fled.
But in his way the English sword o'ertakes
His camp, and in it sad massacres makes.
Yet he escap'd, and to the Mohawks goes,
Where he to them keeps reckoning up his woes:
And they to cure the passions of his breast,
Cut off his head, and all his cares released.

MICHAEL WIGGLESWORTH.

[ocr errors]

MR WIGGLESWORTH was educated at Harvard College, from which institution he received his degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1651, soon after entering upon the twentieth year of his age. Having completed his theological studies, he was ordained minister of the church in Malden, Massachusetts. Respected in the pulpit for his modest, though lucid and energetic exposition of the scriptures; esteemed in the social circle for the suavity of his manners, and beloved by very many to whom, in their youth, he had been the faithful friend and counsellor, it was with deep regret that he yielded to the necessity which demanded his temporary separation from the people who had committed themselves to his spiritual guidance and direction, and with whom he was linked by ties of the most tender affection. The hand of disease was upon him, and its blighting influence could be successfully resisted only under a milder sky than that of his own New England. A partial restoration to health enabled him to resume his station at Malden, though, ever after, he was frequently obliged to desist, for weeks in succession, from the active duties of his profession. But these intervals were not mispent. He devo

« AnteriorContinuar »