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Frontier Hunters

Frontier Hunters




      

Frontier Hunters




Far in the distant West,
By the majestic stream and flowery plain,
Where endless prairies stretch their wide domain,
He sits him down to rest.

Far from the utmost East ---
Far from his childhood’s roof, his early home ---
The wanderer’s foot hath hither come to roam,
Where nature spreads her feast.

The wilderness around
Spreads its dense screen --- its thick primeval shades ---
Where the brown deer thro’ all the green arcades
In countless herds abound.

The winds of autumn shake
The ripen’d nuts from trees, --- a generous hoard;
The wild plums yield their offerings to his board
From every bosky brake.

The mast-fed, growling bear
Falls, to his rifle true, a welcome prey;
He slays the huge elk in the forest way,
And the small timid hare.

Wild berries, rich and red,
Crimson the ground with their delicious store,
Or from the thick bushes their sweet treasures pour,
While grapes hang overhead.

He builds his cabin rude
On some fair knoll that overlooks the stream,
And claims the soil as far as eye may beam,
The valley, plain, and wood.

An empire he doth hold
Vast as the Old-World kings with scepter sway ---
A natural garden, stretching leagues away,
Enchanting to behold.

He loves his noble land,
Its glowing beauty, and its vigorous life,
Its genial skies, its elemental strife,
So lovely, yet so grand!

Its loneliness he loves,
And he sole lord and monarch over all;
He trembles lest the settler’s axe may fall
On his far-spreading groves!

He dreads to see those files
Of earnest men, with hungry looks severe,
Come with their white-topt trains to people here
His quiet forest aisles.

He dreads the emigrant,
Coming with plough, and spade, and toiling team ---
Greedy invaders of his wood and stream ---
Each well-beloved haunt.

But still their armies come!
Then, sat at heart, the red man’s route he takes;
Over fresh plains and solitary lakes
Still Westward he doth roam!

In some unpeopled glen,
Far in the untrod woods or savage waste,
His new-found home, his hut of logs is plac’d,
Remote from haunts of men!


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