Poet: Philip Morin Freneau
Dates: 2 January 1752 – 18 December 1832
Title of Poem: The Indian Burial Ground
In spite of all the learn’d have said;
I still my old opinion keep,
The posture, that we give the dead,
Points out the soul’s eternal sleep.
Not so the ancients of these lands —
The Indian, when from life releas’d
Again is seated with his friends,
And shares gain the joyous feast.
His imag’d birds, and painted bowl,
And ven’son, for a journey dress’d,
Bespeak the nature of the soul,
Activity, that knows no rest.
His bow, for action ready bent,
And arrows, with a head of stone,
Can only mean that life is spent,
And not the finer essence gone.
Thou, stranger, that shalt come this way.
No fraud upon the dead commit —
Observe the swelling turf, and say
They do not lie…
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