" The pain of death is nothing. To the chief,
The forest warrior, it is good to die —
To die as he has lived, battling and hoarse,
Shouting a song of triumph. But to live
Under such doom as this, were far beyond
Even his stoic, cold philosophy."
IT was a gloomy amphitheatre in the deep forests to which the assembled multitude bore the unfortunate Occonestoga. The whole scene was unique in that solemn grandeur, that sombre hue, that deep spiritual repose, in which the human imagination delights to invest the region which has been rendered remarkable for the deed of punishment or crime. A small swamp or morass hung upon one side of the wood, from the rank bosom of which, in numberless millions, the flickering fire-fly perpetually darted upwards, giving a brilliance and animation to the spot, which, at that moment, no assemblage of light or life could possibly enliven. The ancient oak, a bearded Druid, was there to contribute to the due solemnity of all associations — the green but gloomy cedar, the ghostly cypress, and here and there the overgrown pine, — all rose up in their primitive strength, and with an undergrowth around them of shrub and flower, that scarcely, at any time, in that sheltered and congenial habitation, had found it necessary to shrink from winter. In the centre of the area thus invested, rose a high and venerable mound, the tumulus of many preceding ages, from the washed sides of which might now and then be seen protruding the bleached bones of some ancient warrior or sage. A circle of trees, at a little distance, hedged it in, — made secure and sacred by the performance there of many of their religious rites and offices, — themselves, as they bore the broad arrow of the Yemassee, being free from all danger of overthrow or desecration by Indian hands.
Amid the confused cries of the multitude, they bore the captive to the foot of the tumulus, and bound him backward, half reclining upon a tree. An hundred warriors stood around, armed according to the manner of the nation, each with a tomahawk, and knife, and