T. W. (Thomas W.) Kelly.

Menana; a romance of the Red Indians, in ten cantos, with notes; to which are added, The death robe, and two other poems of the American woods; online

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Online LibraryT. W. (Thomas W.) KellyMenana; a romance of the Red Indians, in ten cantos, with notes; to which are added, The death robe, and two other poems of the American woods; → online text (page 1 of 11)
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)ry critiqu

THE following are some of the commendatory critiques on
two volumes from the pen of Mr. Kelly, published some years
ago : ^


under the
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" Mr. Kelly, in some respects, is a second Thomas Little, though it is
due to him to observe, that his poetry is far too chaste and decorous to be
mistaken for the offspring of the translator of Anacreon." Monthly Critical

" Although ' Myrtle Leaves' is a juvenile production, it is not only
a promising one, but possesses sufficient merit to rank the author as- a
j,oet." Literary ( 'hronicle.

' Morning

comes too
nt to claim

" These Poems are extremely playful and pretty, and worthy of being
placed in the library of our highly accomplished readers ; and, therefore, we
unhesitatingly direct their attention to the work." The World of Fashion.

" This is a little volume that will repay the perusal ; but for reasons we
need not particularize, though the sagacious reader may possibly divine
them, we shall be very brief in speaking of its merits. As we profess to
notice every thing bearing a relation to the Drama, the following extracts
come within the scope of our design. They purport to be from ' an unpub-
lished Drama." We shall leave our readers to form their own opinions of
the talents of Mr. Kelly, from the subjoined effusions ; but it is only justice
to him to add, that there are many other passages in his work that would
convey a more favourable idea of the ability of the author. We cannot,
however, extract them, as they are not of a dramatic character." Dramatic

" These little pieces are evidently the production of an enthusiastic and
poetical mind, and display much warmth of sentiment and delicacy of
humour, couched in elegant and chaste language. They are principally on
amatory subjects, and if our author's muse sometimes becomes luxuriant,
she does not degenerate into grossness ; and considering them as specimens
of youthful talent, we hail them as calculated to excite a brilliant expectancy
of the author's more finished and matured efforts." Literary Magnet.

" In our number for April we noticed this little collection of Poems in
our editorial notice, but from the briefness of the space there allotted to us,
we could make no extract, and therefore we recommended the work on our
own authority ; but as we ourselves seldom trust to the authority of others,
without knowing the grounds on which it rests, we shall now give a specimen
of the work itself, and have no doubt but our readers will afterwards agree
with us in the opinion, which we have already given of it. It is light,
versatile, and airy, and bedewed with all the freshness and gaiety of youth ;
but its lightness* is not flippancy ; its versatility is not catachrestical ; its
airiness is not -levity ; nor its gaiety wantonness. The author has very
nicely watched the boundaries that separate sentimental love from physical
desire, and it is only he who wanders along these boundaries, or reclines
amid their inspiring and luxuriant shades, that can ever delight us in the
amatory muse." European Magazine.

ST. AGNES' FOUNTAIN, and other POEMS. By T. W. Kelly, Author of
" Myrtle Leaves,"

"This exceedingly pleasing collection bears the impress of mind and
fancy throughout, and being sufficiently compact to be carried in the hand,
will often form a charming companion to many a young lady in her lonely
walks, or domestic fire-side hours. The author equally avoids the faults of
tameness and inflation ; the pure current of poetry meanders through his
pages, and every here and there indulges in some rapid turn or startling
fall that exalts the soul and rouses it to those emotions which it is alone the
province of genius to excite. We had intended to have made copious ex-

tracts, but must be chary of giving much more poetry in our present
number. We cannot, however, forbear quoting the ensuing piece, and in
future shall again borrow from Mr. Kelly's pages." The Ladies' News-

" We have an agreeable recollection of Mr. Kelly's volume of Poems,
entitled ' Myrtle Leaves,' and published some dozen years since. They were
much admired for their chaste fancy, and true poetic feeling, whilst they had
the freshness of a young mind richly stored with promises of future excellence,
of which the little volume now before is a realization. It contains a legendary
ballad, entitled ' St. Agnes' Fountain, or the Enshrined Heart,' being a
romance of old London, the scene lying on the south side of Old-street road,
where ' the bold Sir John Fynes' castle stood,' in the reign of Henry III.
The tale is prettily told, and its metrical merits are very considerable.
Appended to the ballad are some stanzas, which we are induced to quote for
the attractive simplicity of their subject, and the smoothness of the versifica-
tion : The remainder of Mr. Kelly's volume is occupied with minor pieces,
most of which have already appeared in the Annuals." The Mirror.

'* Narrative, whether in prose or verse, is ever the more pleasing style
of writing. The Didactic Poem will find ' small audience, though meet ;'
but the Ballad and the Tale appeal to a more extensive circle of persons,
and can amuse and instruct thos* of every age and character. Hence by
far the greater portion of readers prefer * Marmion' to the ' Essay on Man ;
and in the little volume before us, the first poem will probably meet with
more admirers than the sonnets and smaller poems that make up the re-
mainder of the work ; though, to our taste, the latter are equally pleasing.
The sonnet, ' School Days,' and several of those inserted in the Annuals, are
highly creditable to Mr. Kelly's poetical talents. We can recommend the
volume to our readers as one far better deserving patronage than very many
that have obtained extensive popularity. The London Magazine and
Journal of Educational Institutions. Edited by Fox.

" Some of the old subscribers to the ' World of Fashion' may recollect
the name of the author of this little volume at the foot of some charming
poems with which our Magazine was then enriched ; and we feel persuaded
that the recollection of the pleasure which those contributions afforded them,
will induce them to become possessed of this equally worthy collection.
There are some beautiful things in it. Mr. Kelly, in style and spirit re-
minds us very forcibly of Thomas Moore, to whom* alone, of modern poets,
do we consider him inferior." World of Fashion.















"xivages wo call them, because their manners differ from ours, which we
think the perfection of civility; they think the same of theirs." !",>(
/.'( murks concerning the North American Indians.

" Here will we spin
Legends for them that have love-martyrs been." Hall's Pocm, 1648.







Ml 9.1 442

THE subject selected for the poem of MUNANA
may, at least, claim the merit of novelty. The last
two poems in this volume, on similar topics, appeared
many years ago in a small privately-printed collection
by the present Author, and were the only ones, he
believes, of their length, then published, the materials
for which were drawn from the same sources, namely,
the Country of the Red or North American Indians.
MENANA, written also a considerable time since, con-
tains a more ample description of the habits and
customs of those interesting tribes than either of its



Ah, me ! what sudden fit has seiz'd thee now,
That thou would' st fain go wander forth abroad,

Where men thy faults shall scan, nor aught allow
To be deserving of the slightest laud ?


Beneath thy parent's roof thou long hast dwelt
In calm contentment and unbroken ease ;

Then why forsake it now, when he has felt
So long thy presence in his leisure please ?


Ah ! is it wise, with high ambitious aim,
To challenge pedants dull, or critics sour,

And roam in search of what ? some partial fame,
To last, perchance, a year, or scarce an hour ?


Dost thou in gaudy binding wish to shine,

The livery of each literary hack ?
Better far keep within a homely shrine,

Than strut about with gold upon thy back.

T. W. K.



So daring in love, and so dauntless in war."


WILDS of the West ! skirting whose virgin shore,
Huge forests rise and mighty torrents roar ;
Where Mississippi rolls its stream along,
Rocks, mountains, woods, and sedgy banks among ;
Where fruitful Florida's fair plains extend,
And Nature proves an ever-bounteous friend ;
Where flowers and shrubs of every pleasing hue
By towering trees are shelter 'd from the view ;
Where the Magnolia in pure beauty blows,
And the bright yellow water-lily a glows,
Fresh from the waking languors of the night,
When it has drank the sun's first draught of light.

" a Nymph aea lutea.

* - , . < .

,.;. , .

. , .... , , ,


While the convolvulus sheds forth its bells,
In which the humming-bird securely dwells :
Vast scenes ! where all is wild, gigantic, grand,
And countless charms bedeck a savage land ;
Deep solitudes ! where footsteps seldom roam,
The red man's Eden, or a hermit's home.

Here vernal islets viewless sails unfurl'd,
Each gently gliding, like a fairy world ;
Where elfin-spirits might have held their court,
And gaily wanton' d in their mystic sport ;
Islets that often floated on their way
In twin-like pairs, as seeking some bright bay,
There to unlade their blooming freight of flow'rs,
And fragrance lend to unknown blissful bow'rs.
In this rich clime, by nature boldly stamp'd,
Unspoilt by art, were native tribes encamp'd ;
Amidst a host of warriors, on his throne,
A rudely elevated pile of stone,
Simaghan sat, a broad elm o'er his head,
Festoon'd with cluster'd vines its branches spread,
Gracefully forming, in luxuriant leaf,
A canopy above the nation's chief.
A solemn dignity the Sachem wore,
And marks of honor on his figure bore ;
His dress, his rank and office well bespoke ;
Reaching his feet, hung down his ample cloak,


Emblazon'd with each battle he had fought, a
And of the hide of a young bison wrought ;
His coronal, a snow-like ermine wreath,
Contrasting with the scalping-lock beneath,
Bore the proud Canieu's b rare and raven wing :
His neck was circled with a massive ring
Of burnish'd gold, with coral studs inlaid ;
His ears the rarest pendent pearls display 'd ;
And on his painted breast, depending low,
A chain of bear-claws hung in double row ;
A beaded buck-skin belt confin'd his waist,
To which a splendid tomahawk was brac'd ;
Girt were his giant limbs with leggings blue,
Seen when apart his outer robe he drew ;
The jaguar's hide supplied his arrow's sheath,
And grisly hung the sever' d head beneath ;
At ankle height his mocassins were bound
With quills of porcupine and shells edg'd round ;
While on his war-club leaning, thus attir'd,
His dark eye's glance a silent awe inspir'd ;

" This robe, with its tracings on it, is the chart of his military
life." Catliris Notes of the North American Indians.

b The feathers of this bird, the Falco-fulvus of Linnceus, and
Ring-tail Eagle of Wilson, are highly esteemed by the Indians. No
person is permitted to wear them who has not been engaged with
an enemy : a horse is sometimes given for a feather of this bird.
Halkett's Historical Notes respecting the Indians of North America, $c.

< Mocassins are a sort of Indian buskins.

B 2


Nor less expressive in his manly face
Beam'd the peculiar features of his race.

Near to the Sachem, a 'neath the same green tree,
Menana b sat, a maid of high degree,
His only daughter, or believed to be ;
Hiding her graces, as sweet violets do
Their meek and modest petals, from the view ;
Her beauteous hair magnolia 6 flowerets crown'd,
Which, as she mov'd, breath'd redolence around ;
Bracelets of gold d adorned her wrists ; her zone
With colour'd beads of sparkling brightness shone ;
And, wrought of mulberry-bark, a white robe 6 grac'd
Her lovely shoulders, loose, below her waist ;

a Sachem ; one to whom all the others owe some kind of fealty
or subjection.- Hutchinson's History of Massachusetts Bay.

b " Menana" a North American Indian name, which means the
Daughter of the Flood. Tales of an Indian Camp.

c The smaller flowers of these chaste and odoriferous blossoms
are sometimes selected and formed into wreaths for the hair, to
deck the wife of some heroic chieftain.

d Golden ornaments were worn by persons in authority as a
mark of distinction. " They had among them, besides their king, a
degree of nobility who were more elegant in their dresses, particu-
larly their hair, which they formed in various shapes, and adorned
with the finest feathers they could procure ; from their ears hung
large pearls, round their necks they wore chains, and armlets of
pearl." Pinkerton. " They wore bracelets and ear-rings of fin e
pearls." Hennepin's New Discovery, page 177.

" Her white robe of mulberry-bark floated loosely behind her."
The Natchez, vol. i


In feathery woof a and quaintly fashioned gear,

She seem'd a being of a radiant sphere ;

Whose light aerial figure one might deem

Some sweet creation of a lover's dream ;

Still brighter seeming from the contrast round

Of those swarth warriors, wrapt in mood profound,

Assembled on that spot, to guard or wait

Upon their Chieftain in his wonted state :

They, a wild, cunning, rude, and daring band ;

She, simple, lovely, graceful, meek and bland,

Tender in heart as elegant in form,

With woman's feelings, gentle, pure and warm :

Slender she was, symmetrical in growth ;

Like to the palm, or reed, or blending both ;

The palm in stately dignity of frame,

The reed in all that gentleness should claim.

Behold, around, what earnest crowds repair,
With shouts tumultuous echoing through the air ;
So loud the din, it seem'd as 'twould have rent
The azure curtains of the firmament ;
And where the distant hills seem in the skies
To melt away, more multitudes arise ;
In long canoes some steer towards the land,
And thronging numbers line the pebbled strand ;

a " Our women wrought feathery blankets for the winter, and
mulberry mantles for the summer." History of Louisiana, page 44.
See also Pinkertoris Voyages.


Till, raarshall'd in one mighty host, they reach
From plains afar down to the billowy beach :
Some tribes the tomahawk and hatchet wield;
Others, the massive club and ponderous shield ;
Some, bear-skin mantles o'er their shoulders fling ;
And their long maple-bows behind them sling ;
Some, wicker-armour a wear ; some, ample vests
Of broad fur bound upon their painted breasts ;
And some have sheaves of arrows, form'd for speed,
Of the elastic, light Virginian reed,
Grown on the banks of the Ohio river,
And crystal-pointed 5 in each thong-bound quiver.
Brightly their weapons glitter in the sun,
Foreboding deeds of import to be done ;
Some feats of triumph meet for battle-day,
While yells and antics rude their zeal display.
Meanwhile, high whirl'd in air, their spears keep time
To the wild war-dance and discordant chime.

But who is he whose feathers backward stream,
Wave in the wind and brighten in the beam ?

a " Some, for defence, bore shields made of the bark of trees, and a
kind of wicker-armour, which they made use of in time of war."
Pinkerton's Voyages. Also JRaynal's History of the Hast and West

b Some of the arrows used by the North American Indians are
made of reeds; they are pointed with wood and headed with
splinters of crystal, or something sharp. Pinkerton's Voyages.


Tekarrah ! a he whose name has often spread

Throughout the camp of foes a sudden dread ;

Who feigns all forms, 5 the wariest to surprise,

As brave in arms as cunning in disguise,

Who needs but few to put a host to flight,

As the sun's dawn dispels the clouds of night.

In the lone wigwam, o'er the watch-fire's flame,

The stoutest hearts would startle at his name ;

And many fearful tales his foes recite,

Of deeds that baffled all their craft and might,

Struggles in which his arm terrific fell,

And only left the slain its weight to tell ;

Or if a leaf but rustled from a tree,

Women would start and half exclaim, " 'Tis he ! "

Or let a stranger's mocassin but sound

Its tinkling bell c on the adjacent ground,

Instantly rous'd, some straight would to the grass

Apply their ear, to list what steps might pass ; cl

a Tekarrah i. e. ayyeXo^, Messenger of the Great Spirit. Note to
Tales of an Indian Camp.

t> Many remarkable anecdotes are recorded of their cunning and
artifice to surprise and ensnare their enemies. One of their common
tricks was to envelope themselves in the skins of different animals,
the bison, the hog, &c.

c They sew hawk-bells and small pieces of tin to their mocassins.
Long's Voyage, page 36.

d The acuteness of hearing which characterizes the North
American Indians is truly wonderful. Many of them can hear
footsteps at the distance of four or five hours' journey, and tell, by


Then seek, with vengeance kindled in their eyes,

Fire-bark a to give the signal of surprise.

Some from their belts would grasp, with eager haste,

The gleaming knife, or hatchet firmly brac'd ;

Or, only half withdrawn, the steel retain

Till summon'd forth to bear a crimson stain ;

Others would madly whirl the ready blade,

And shout the war-whoop through the forest-glade.

Onward he comes ! a long-continued shout
Dispell'd the cautious Sachem's secret doubt.
He wears a silver gorget, deck'd with beads,
The badge and proof of many valiant deeds ;
And which in fight had oft repell'd the force
Of poison' d arrows in their deadly course.
A tuft of hair, b of scarlet colour dyed,
With pearl-shells clasp'd, above each wrist is tied,
And in his wampum-girdle, c which confines
His robes of fur, a polish'd hatchet shines.

murmurs inaudible to an European ear, at what distance the enemy
is, by clapping their ears to the ground. See Chateaubriand's Travels
in America.

a Fire-bark Scotus Wigwas. See Long's Travels,
* " They adorn themselves with little locks of fine red hair."
De la Sale's Second Voyage in North America. " It is usually taken
from the knee of the buffalo (bison) ; no person wears it that has
not distinguished hi r.self in the field. Weld's Travels.

c Wampum, small beads manufactured from shells strung upon
sinews, and united for this purpose. Service of Indians in Civilized


With eye commanding and with gesture proud,
He steps undaunted 'midst the exulting crowd ;
Untaught to purchase safety with disgrace,
His mien is worthy of the Natchez race ;
His jetty locks hang o'er his manly cheek,
And through his eyes his soul appears to speak ;
Athletic are his limbs ; his fearless brow
Attests a spirit nought can break or bow.
He comes ! the captive born to add one more
To triumphs Simaghan had gain'd before ;
And Simaghan was eager to behold
An enemy so wary and so bold ;
To feast his sight upon the daring youth,
And steel his heart to gentleness and ruth ;
For now the Council, after long debate,
Had fix'd by solemn doom Tekarrah's fate ;
Though yet two intervening days must pass,
While in slow progress moves the dingy mass,
Ere it can reach the place of sacrifice,
And bid the death-flame on the altar rise.

The Sachem rose, with him Menana too,
And both with stately dignity withdrew ;

Warfare, 1827. On formal occasions, or in acts of ceremony, the
Indians accompany every important speech with an appropriate
belt, consisting of different coloured beads, strung together. These
belts constitute, in fact, the records of each tribe, and the speeches
delivered by the chiefs in connexion with the wampum. Belts are
handed down by tradition.


But first, with graceful air he wav'd his hand,
Well understood, a signal of command ;
And bade the multitude that throng' d in sight,
Encamp within the forest for the night ;
Recruit their strength, their vengeful ire renew,
And with the morning's light their course pursue ;
To them his patriarchal word was law,
And all the tribes obey'd with reverent awe.

Now keenly turn'd he, as to recognize
The youthful warrior in his noble prize.
Few were his guards ; for many, worn and weak,
Were fain some brief and needful rest to seek.
And now it was, till then with pain conceal'd,
Menana's wretchedness was first reveal'd,
First struck the aged Sachem's piercing eye,
Who little dream'd the cause, and wondered why
Her eyes, her cheeks, her inmost grief betray'd,
As he her downcast looks awhile survey'd.
So pale and quivering, she was chang'd as much
As flowerets blighted by the hot wind's touch.
He gaz'd, but spake not, yet to speak inclin'd,
While varying thoughts were passing in his mind.
It could not sudden illness be; ah, no !
Her weeping bade him that surmise forego.
Doubtful, perplex' d, her youthful handmaids nigh,
He beckon' d forth, and left her with a sigh ;
Back to her wattled-hut her virgin train


In mute attendance led the maid again.
But soon their painful presence she forbade,
And wander 'd forth alone, and careless stray 'd,
She knew not whither ; all her aim to flee
From her own thoughts, replete with misery,
Where her young spirit first to love had wak'd,
That gentle spirit now with anguish ach'd.
How alter'd seena'd the aspect of each scene
Where'er Tekarrah by her side had been !
For memory over each its shadow threw,
And chang'd to darkness every brilliant hue.
Either by secret sympathy, or chance,
The maid, absorb'd in deep bewildering trance,
Her steps directed to the guarded ground,
Where lay her prostrate lover strongly bound.
" Menana! 'tis herself!" the chieftain cried,
" Oh, turn not from me, nor thy pity hide ;
'i Think not at ills like this I feel dismay,
" Or envy now my foes their prosperous day ;
" But when I undertook this last emprize,
" The sun forewarn'd me and forsook the skies a ;
" The white bird flew before me on my road, b
" With fluttering wing my danger to forebode.

The Indians never perform any business except the sky be
clear. Latrobes Rambles in North America.

* If the white bird flies with frightened wing before the traveller,
it forebodes danger to him. See Chateaubriand's Travels.


" Look up, Menana ! do not weep for nie ;

" E'en yet kind Destiny may set me free.

" Against the rapids I will steer my course,

" Or a sure path through trackless forests force.

" Too well thou know'st I was before betray'd

" Into a deep-laid, wily ambuscade.

" Regardless of the Manitou of dreams a ,

" Who governs all as fit to him beseems.

" Yet, though my foes were fierce, and fell their hate,

" They deem'd it prudent not revenge to sate,

" But held my life in pledge, until restor'd,

" By us the chief detain'd, by them deplor'd ;

" 'Twas then I saw thee first, and first ador'd ;

" Nor can I e'er forget what new delight

" Enwrapt my soul, entranc'd my ardent sight !

" As, from the root the stem becomes a tree,

" So has my love increas'd in growth for thee ;

" As rivers swell to torrents in their course,

" So has my love augmented all its force ;

" As on a moss-bed sparks ignite to flame,

" So quick my passion kindled at thy name ;

" And when my fitful fancy, duly taught,

" Has conjur'd up thy vision' d form to thought,

" What charms and sweetness have in thee appear 'd,

" And, oh ! thy presence made each scene endear'd !

a Among the numerous tribes of North American Indians, the
Supreme Being is designated by many names ; but all having the
same signification.


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Online LibraryT. W. (Thomas W.) KellyMenana; a romance of the Red Indians, in ten cantos, with notes; to which are added, The death robe, and two other poems of the American woods; → online text (page 1 of 11)