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Atalanta, The Indian Maiden

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Daughters and sona of happiness! Ye who have been bred up in the lap of aflucncc, whose years have paseed peacefully away a9 the sunny days of May - ye over whose visage sorrow has ca8t a simde, - sljght as the fleecy cloud that sweeps across the eun, - ye upon whose heart the "worm. the canker, and thegrief have never rested, listen to a recital of cny wrongs. Mine are no romantic sor rows. Mine are no sentimental sufferings. The tears which I have shed are not the emanations of a sickly and fevered imagination. They are not occasioned byslightand momeniary grief. Ah no! Anguish, such as the human heart is sel. dora capable of enduring, has been my portion. The cup of bitteruess, unmingled bitterness has been presented to my lips and I have drained it to the very dregs. Myearly home was situaled in a most delightful valley in Florida. No descriptionof mino can give an adequate repre8entationof the singular beauty of that secluded spot. Lofty trees waved their thick branches over our heads. while their rugged trunks were adorned wiih the delicate tendrils of the delicious vine and graceful parasite. Fair flowers unrolled their tender petals, and cast their sweet fragrance into the air, rendered vocal by the music of mynads ofmerry songsters. Ia that lovely and retired situation was placed the little cot which contained my all, viz: my dear and honored parents. My father was one of the bravest, the most gallant of the whole tribe of SemL noles. My mother was of African origin y et though descended from different nations, more loved more truly than they. - Situated as I was, the only daughter of the renowned Osceola, my slightest wishes were gratified and my most trifling wanta supplied. My time wasspentin a raanner which best accorded with my icleas of happiness. O'ften have I launched my canoe upon the limped water, and impelled it with the swifcness of light as cross the clear blue waves. With. the unerring arrow of my well strung bow, have I delighted to peirce the heart of the fearless eagle and ravinous vullure. Sometimes I accompjvnied my father to the hunting excursions and saw him prostrate the antlered prey. Sometimes i followed him to the grand assembly of on r nation, where stories of the white man'd injustice were repeated unlil the council fires burned dimly on the hearth. YVhen returned to our own homes, my mother would relute to us the bitter wrongs that her own countrymcn endured from the un principled whitesj but as we bowed in worship before the Groat Spirit, we united rn thanksgiving, that we were thus far preserved from their unlawful aggressions But why shoald I now revert to those pleasant, those happy seasons, at every rememberance of which my soul wruhes in agony. One evening as we returned late from the chase, We saw several whites around our hut. We had scarcely entered when they rushed in, seized my mother and loaded her with irons. Father demanded the reason of this outrage. 'She is my slave,' replied a stern voice "and for the future must serve her master." I threw myself at their feet and prayed for her release. She joind her tears to mine and entreated them for tha love of mercy, to spare us the agony of a final separation . But the iroH hearted monster closed thoir ears to our entreaties, and drawing still closer the cords wbich bound their victim. they hurried her from our sight forever! Danng this heart-rending scène, not a muscle oT my fathers brew relaxed, not even a a[Íh revealed the strong passion3 of his soul j but as the last shriek of his departed wife' rung in his ear, he raised his hand and invoked the vengeance of the Great Spirit upon the base robbers. From that awful hour, the kind and forgiving Osceola became the white mans binares" ro N' ñviB wcriei epir'cd to in[flict upon those, who had doomed the wife ! of his youth to perpetual servitude, the most severe punishment. He was the chief of the Seminóles and his influence uabounded. He assembled their councils pointed to the white mon's broken faith, referred tbem to his own wrongs and urged them to make one more struggle for lil erty. His feelings meta response. Hun dreds gathered around his standard, increased his strength, until the very name of Osceola eent terror to the hearts of the whites. The basest trcachery guided the decision8 of the palé faces, until at last they succeeded in captivating the gallant warrior, and cunfining him iö their prison. A8 soon as the intelligence of his capture reached us, I hastened to mingle my sympathies with his, and endeavored to console him, under a trial, which he dreaded more than death. He received me with kindness and nerved his spirit for the bitter task of bidding me a fínai adieu. "My dear daughter," said he, "the cruel whites have placed their fetters upon my body, hut my free spirit is yet untamed. - I leave you without ouefriend or protector to be driven like leaves on autumn's whirlwinds, but the Great Spirit will be your guardián." He, said and his noble spirit burst itsbarthly habilation and hastened to the happy hunting ground of his fathers. I am now alone. None oares for Atalanta. None listene to her complaint. - But will not you fair maidens, shed one tear for her, whose mother has been enslaved by your conntrymen, and whose t'ather your vulers liave sent unbidden to the spirit laad .


Signal of Liberty
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