The Yemassee

By William Gilmore Simms; Alexander Cowie | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXIII

"Battle-god Manneyto —
Here's a scalp, 'tis a scull,
This is blood, 'tis a heart,
Scalp, scull, blood, heart,
'Tis for thee, Manneyto — 'tis for thee, Manneyto —
They shall make a feast for thee,
Battle-god Manneyto."

YEMASSEE WAR-HYMN

THE preparatory rites of battle were about to take place around the tumulus. The warriors were about to propitiate the Yemassee God of War — the Battle-Manneyto — and the scene was now, if possible, more imposing than ever. It was with a due solemnity that they approached the awful rites with which they invoked this stern principle — doubly solemn, as they could not but feel that the existence of their nation was the stake at issue. They were prostrate — the thousand warriors of Yemassee — their wives, their children — their faces to the ground, but their eyes upward, bent upon the cone of the tumulus, where a faint flame, dimly flickering under the breath of the capricious winds, was struggling doubtfully into existence. Enoree-Mattee, the prophet, stood in anxious attendance — the only person in the neighbourhood of the fire — for the spot upon which he stood was holy. He moved around it, in attitudes now lofty, now grotesque — now impassioned, and now humbled — feeding the flame at intervals as he did so with fragments of wood, which had been consecrated by other rites, and sprinkling it, at the same time, with the dried leaves of the native and finely odorous vanella, which diffused a grateful perfume upon the gale. All this time he muttered a low, monotonous chant, which seemed an incantation — now and then, at pauses in his song, turning to the gathered multitude, over whose heads, as they lay in thick groups around the tumulus, he extended his arms as if in benediction. The flame all this while gathered but slowly, and this was matter of discontent to both prophet and people; for the gathering of the fire was to indicate the satisfaction of the Manneyto with their proposed design. While its progress

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The Yemassee
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • American Fiction Series *
  • The Yemassee *
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations vii
  • Introduction ix
  • A Simms Chronology xxxvi
  • Selected Bibliography xxxvii
  • The Yemassee Uprising xlii
  • Note on the Text *
  • To Professor Samuel Henry Dickson, M.D., of South Carolina 3
  • Chapter I 9
  • Chapter II 15
  • Chapter III 21
  • Chapter IV 28
  • Chapter V 34
  • Chapter VI 43
  • Chapter VII 51
  • Chapter VIII 65
  • Chapter IX 74
  • Chapter X 81
  • Chapter XI 91
  • Chapter XII 98
  • Chapter XIII 105
  • Chapter XIV 113
  • Chapter XV 118
  • Chapter XVI 123
  • Chapter XVII 133
  • Chapter XVIII 139
  • Chapter XIX 146
  • Chapter XX 151
  • Chapter XXI 159
  • Chapter XXII 165
  • Chapter XXIII 173
  • Chapter XXIV 182
  • Chapter XXV 188
  • Chapter XXVI 201
  • Chapter XXVII 210
  • Chapter XXVIII 215
  • Chapter XXIX 222
  • Chapter XXX 229
  • Chapter XXXI 235
  • Chapter XXXII 243
  • Chapter XXXIII 249
  • Chapter XXXIV 255
  • Chapter XXXV 265
  • Chapter XXXVI 271
  • Chapter XXXVII 276
  • Chapter XXXVIII 283
  • Chapter Xxxix 295
  • Chapter XL 300
  • Chapter XLI 307
  • Chapter XLII 314
  • Chapter XLIII 322
  • Chapter XLIV 329
  • Chapter XLV 336
  • Chapter XLVI 345
  • Chapter XLVII 355
  • Chapter XLVIII 363
  • Chapter Xlix 375
  • Chapter L 382
  • Chapter LI 389
  • Chapter LII 396
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