[Page 79]

THE DEATH SONG,

WRITTEN FOR, AND ADAPTED TO, AN ORIGINAL INDIAN AIR.

1 THE sun sets in night, and the stars shun the day,
2 But glory remains when their lights fade away:
3 Begin, you tormentors! your threats are in vain,
4 For the son of Alknomook will never complain.
5 Remember the arrows he shot from his bow,
6 Remember your chiefs, by his hatchet laid low:
7 Why so slow? do you wait till I shrink from the pain?
8 No; the son of Alknomook shall never complain.
9 Remember the wood, where in ambush we lay,
10 And the scalps which we bore from your nation away:
[Page 80]
11 Now the flame rises fast; you exult in my pain;
12 But the son of Alknomook can never complain.
13 I go to the land where my father is gone,
14 His ghost shall rejoice in the fame of his son:
15 Death comes like a friend to relieve me from pain;
16 And thy son, O Alknomook, has scorn'd to complain.
THE idea of this ballad was suggested several years ago by hearing a gentleman, who had resided several years in America amongst the tribe or nation called the Cherokees, sing a wild air, which he assured me it was customary for those people to chaunt with a barbarous jargon, implying contempt for their enemies in the moments of torture and death. I have endeavoured to give something of the characteristic spirit and sentiment of those brave savages. We look upon the fierce and stubborn courage of the dying indian with a mixture of respect, pity, and horror; and it is to those sensations excited in the mind of the reader, that the Death Song must owe its effect. It has already been published with the notes to which it was adapted.

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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): THE DEATH SONG, WRITTEN FOR, AND ADAPTED TO, AN ORIGINAL INDIAN AIR.
Themes:
Genres: song

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Source edition

Poems, by Mrs. John Hunter. London: Printed for T. Payne, Mews Gate, by T. Bensley, Bolt Court, Fleet Street, 1802, pp. 79-80. 

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.

Other works by Anne Hunter (née Home)