The Indian Student

Image from Susquehanna Indian Tribe History

THE INDIAN STUDENT.

From Susquehannah’s utmost springs
Where savage tribes persue their game,
His blanket tied with yellow strings
The sheperd of the forest came.

Not long before a wandering Priest,
Expressed his wish with visage sad,
Ah, why he cried in Satan’s waste,
Ah, why retain so fine a lad.

In yankee land there stands a town
Where learning may be purchased low;
Exchange his blanket for a gown —
And let the lad to College go.

From long debate the council rose,
And viewing Shellum’s tricks with joy; —
To Harvard hall, o’er drifts of snow,
They sent the tawny colored boy.

A while he wrote, a while he read,
A while attended grammer rules;
An Indian savage so well bred,
Great credit promised to the schools.

Some thought he would in law excel —
Some thought in physic he would shine,
And some who liked him passing well —
Beheld in him a sound divine.

But those of more deserving eye,
Even then could other prospects show, —
They saw him lay his virgil by
To wander with his dearer bow.

Ah, why he cried did I forsake,
My native woods for gloomy walls,
The silver streams, the limpid lake
For musty books and college halls?

A little could my wants supply,
Can wealth or honor give me more,
Or will the sylvian God deny,
The humble treat he gave before?

When nature’s ancient forests grow,
And mingled laurel never fades, —
My heart is fixed and I must go
To die among my native shades.

He spoke, and to the western springs,
His gown discharged, his money spent,
His blanket tied with yellow strings
The sheperd of the forest went.

Returning to his rural plains,
The Indians welcomed him with joy,
The council took him home again
And blessed the tawny colored boy.

Cambridge City Tribune (Cambridge City, Indiana) Dec 8, 1870

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