Our Fathers' Friends

[In Stockbridge, Massachusetts, may be seen a memorial monument, set on a tree-shaded knoll overlooking a beautiful reach of meadow. It bears the inscription: " The ancient burial place of the Stockbridge Indians, the friends of our Fathers.”]

HERE, in this pleasant meadow-place,
By trees o’erhung and with the breath
Of summer fragrant, for a space
I linger, to recall the death
Of the red men of yore, whose worth
Is here recorded; they were friends
Unto our fathers, and their earth
Is honored thus; their memory blends
Benignant with the tales of years
When red and white lived brotherly;
From tokenings of blood and tears
These cool, gray stones seem strangely free.
What word, what deed, made peace prevail ?
Why did they share the ancient good
Of wood and sky and river-dale,
Sealing a pact of brotherhood ?
We have not learned the lesson yet;
The generations still arise
And smite and plunder, and forget
The other teaching of the skies.
The elms, o’erarching, answer naught,
But still the scene compels the gaze:
Beneath this shaft, in kindness wrought,
Rest the red friends of older days.