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Synopsis

Softly flowed the current of an ancient river Where it circled wide three beauteous emerald isles, Ceaseless lapped the waves upon the pebbled shore, Fringed with willows silvery, drooping evermore. High upon the beach an Indian village stood, Twelve low wigwams built upon the seasoned wood. Dark-eyed squaws the noonday meal prepared For the lordly hunters who on bounty fared. Winter's chase was over, each hunter smoked in peace (Joy in heart that Spring at length had brought release). In the open doorway, whence his proud glance strayed From the tentyard where the quiet papoose played To the newly bladed corn, the sassafras, Dearer than his life the love of Matoax. Like the morning sunbeam was her smile, and frequent, Like the rippling water was her happy laughter, In her eyes the sparkle of the evening planet, And her lips were red as brightest coral. Day by day she grew in grace of form and beauty, Till to where the river meets the rolling sea, Spread her fame as loveliest of Indian maidens. Born a princess of the forest, born to rule— Rule the hearts of men with chains of love—was she. Springtime into summer passed, with wild rose wreaths Maidens decked the princess' raven locks; But in Autumn played they with the yellow corn; And in Winter oft on snowshoes circled round.

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