William Ross Wallace, "Daniel Boone," FAVORITE POEMS OLD AND NEW, SELECTED FOR BOYS AND GIRLS BY HELEN FERRIS (New York: Doubleday, 1957): 428-30
|Ha! how the woods give way before the step Of these new-comers! What a sickening smell Cling round my cabin wafted from their town Ten miles away! But yesterday I heard A stranger's gun sound in the loneliest glen That yet remains to me; and when I climbed The mountain there, and stood alone, alone! Upon its top amid the sounding clouds And proudly thought that I was first to crown That mighty mountain with a human soul, Another's foot-print in the airy sand Smote my unwilling eyes, and I at once Was scepterless, unthroned, there beaten back To restless thought again. This can not last; For I am of the mould that loathes to breathe The air of multitudes. I must respire The universe alone, and hear, alone, Its Lord walking the ancient wilderness; And this, because He made me so -- no more.|
I must away: for action is my life; And it is base to triumph in a Past, However big with mighty circumstance, Danger ful-faced and large heroic deed, If yet a Future calls. It calls to me. What if some seventy years have thinned this hair, And dimmed this sight, and made the blood roll on Less riotous between the banks of life? This heart hath vigor yet, and still the woods Have voices for my ear; and still the stream Makes music im my thought; and every hour Can show some awful miracle performed Within the wilderness; and Danger still Leans proudly o'er the mountain's dizzy crag, Bathing his forehead in the passing cloud, And calls to me with a most taunting voice To join him there. He shall not call in vain. Yes! Surely I must go, and drink anew The splendor that is in the pathless woods, And wear the blue sky as a coronal, And bid the torrent sound my conquering march, And ponder far away from all that mars The everlasting wonder of the world, And with each dewy morning wake and feel As though that world, so fresh, so beautiful With sunrise and the mist, had just been made.
Farewell, O dweller of the towns! One State Have I made eminent within the wild, And men from me have that which they call "Peace!" Still do the generations press for room, And surely they shall have it. Tell them this: Say "Boone, the old State-Builder, hath gone forth Again, close on the sunset; and that there He gives due challenge to that Indian race Whose lease to this majestic land, misused, It hath pleased God to cancel. There he works -- Away from all his kind, but for his kind -- Unseen, as Ocean's current works unseen, Piling huge deltas up, where men may rear Their cities pilared fair, with many a mart And stately dome o'ershadowing" -- should they ask "What guerdon Boone would have?" -- then answer thus: "A little wilderness left sacred there For him to die in; else the poor old man Must seek that lonely sea whose billows turn To mournful music on the Oregon, And in its desloate waters find a grave." So -- but I was not made for talk -- Farewell!
Created: 8/9/2017 12:07:44 AM
Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
Creator: Faragher, John Mack
Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20546-26775