Wearied arm and broken sword
Wage in vain the desperate fight:
Round him press a countless horde,
He is but a single knight.
Hark! a cry of triumph shrill
Through the wilderness resounds,
As, with twenty bleeding wounds,
Sinks the warrior, fighting still.
Now they heap the fatal pyre,
And the torch of death they light:
Ah! 'tis hard to die of fire!
Who will shield the captive knight?
Round the stake with fiendish cry
Wheel and dance the savage crowd,
Cold the victim's mien, and proud.
And his breast is bared to die.
Who will shield the fearless heart?
Who avert the murderous blade?
From the throng, with sudden start,
See there springs an Indian maid.
Quick she stands before the knight,
'Loose the chain, unbind the ring,
I am daughter of the king,
And I claim the Indian right!'
Dauntlessly aside she flings
Lifted axe and thirsty knife;
Fondly to his heart she clings,
And her bosom guards his life!
In the woods of Powhattan,
Still 'tis told by Indian fires,
How a daughter of their sires
Saved the captive Englishman.
More verses by William Makepeace Thackeray
- The Three Christmas Waits
- When Moonlike Ore The Hazure Seas
- My Nora
- The Mayfair Love-Song
- The Pimlico Pavilion