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No pause even here to list thy lay;
The human ferment working
In bubbling thousands swept away,
Twin minstrels were ye
Once in sunshine and shade
His rhymes to the Maid.
As he linger'd at noon
In shower-freshen’d June,
To mark thee on high,
Were arching the sky;
Of comfort to him-
His destiny dim!
Long the glory is gone,
To each desolate one :
SONNET. TO DENMARK.
AGAIN the trumpet-blast of war is blown :
LIFE IN THE “FAR WEST."
We have said that La Bonté was a Often and often, as La Bonté sat philosopher: he took the streaks of cross-legged before his solitary campill lack which checkered his mountain fire, and, pipe in mouth, watched the life in a vein of perfect carelessness, if blue smoke curling upwards in the not of stoical indifference. Nothing clear cold sky, a well-remembered ruffled his danger-steeled equanimity form appeared to gaze upon him from of temper; no sudden emotion dis- the vapoury wreaths. Then would tarbed his mind. We have seen how old recollections crowd before him, wives were torn from him without and old emotions, long a stranger to eliciting a groan or grumble, (but his breast, shape themselves, as it such contretemps, it may be said, can were, into long-forgotten but now fascarcely find a place in the category miliar pulsations. Again he felt the of ills ;) how the loss of mules and soft subduing influence which once, in mustangs, harried by horse-stealing days gone by, a certain passion exerIndians, left him in the ne-plus-ultra cised over his mind and body ; and of mountain misery— "afoot ;" how often a trembling seized him, the same packs and peltries, the hard-earned he used to experience at the sudden
beaver" of his perilous hunts, were sight of one Mary Brand, whose dim “ raised" at one fell swoop by free and dreamy apparition SO often booting bands of savages. Hunger watched his lonely bed, or, unconand thirst, we know, were common- sciously conjured up, cheered him in place sensations to the mountaineer. the dreary watches of the long and His storm-hardened flesh scarce felt stormy winter nights. the pinging wounds of arrow-point At first he only knew that one face or bullet; and when in the midst of haunted his dreams by night, and the Indian fight, it is not probable that few moments by day when he thought any tender qualms of feeling would of anything, and this face smiled allay the itching of his fingers for his lovingly upon him, and cheered him enemy's scalp-lock, nor would any mightily. Name he had quite forremains of civilised fastidiousness pre- gotten, or recalled it vaguely, and, vent his burying his knife again and setting small store by it, had thought again in the life-blood of an Indian of it no more. savage.
For many years after he had deStill, in one dark corner of his heart, serted his home, La Bonté had cherthere shone at intervals a faint spark ished the idea of again returning to of what was once a fiercely-burning his country. During this period he fire. Neither time, that corroder of had never forgotten his old flame, and all things, nor change, that ready many a choice fur he had carefully abettor of oblivion, nor scenes of laid by, intended as a present for peril and excitement, which act as Mary Brand; and many a gâge d'amour dampers to more quiet memory, could of cunning shape and device, worked smother this little smouldering spark, in stained quills of porcupine and which now and again—when rarely- bright-coloured beads—the handiwork coming calm succeeded some stirring of nimble-fingered squaws-he had passage in the hunter's life, and left packed in his possible sack for the him, for a brief time, devoid of care same destination, hoping a time would and victim to his thoughts—would come when he might lay them at her flicker suddenly, and light up all the feet. nooks and corners of his rugged breast, Year after year wore on, however, and discover to his mind's eye that and still found him, with traps and one deep-rooted memory clung there rifle, following his perilous avocation; still, though long neglected; proving and each succeeding one saw him that, spite of time and change, of life more and more wedded to the wild and fortune,
mountain - life. He was conscious “On revient toujours à ses premiers amours." how unfitted he had become again to
VOL. LXIV.-10. CCCXCV.
enter the galling harness of conven- rupted run of good luck; trapping tionality and civilisation. He thought, with great success on the head streams too, how changed in manners and ap- of the Columbia and Yellow Stonepearance he now must be, and could not the most dangerous of trapping ground believe that he would again find favour --and finding good market for his in the eyes of his quondam love, who, peltries at the North-west" postshe judged, had long since forgotten beaver fetching as high a price as fire him; and inexperienced as he was in and six dollars a “plew"-the “ golsuch matters, yet he knew enough of den age" of trappers, now, alas, never womankind to feel assured that time to return, and existing only in the and absence had long since done the fond memory of the mountaineers. work, if even the natural fickleness of This glorious time, however, was too woman's nature had lain dormant. good to last. In mountain language, Thus it was that he came to forget " such heap of fat meat was not going Mary Brand, but still remembered the to shine' much longer.” all-absorbing feeling she had once La Bonté was at this time one of a created in his breast, the shadow of band of eight trappers, whose hunting which still remained, and often took ground was about the head waters of form and feature in the smoke-wreaths the Yellow Stone, which we have of his solitary camp-fire.
before said is in the country of the If truth be told, La Bonté had his Blackfeet. With him were Killback, failings as a mountaineer, and-sin Meek, Marcelline, and three others; unpardonable in hunter law-still pos- and the leader of the party was Bill sessed, in holes and corners of his Williams, that old “hard case” who breast seldom explored by his inward had spent forty years and more in the eye, much of the leaven of kindly hu- mountains, until he had become as man nature, which now and again tough as the parflêche soles of his involuntarily peeped out, as greatly mocassins. They were all good men to the contempt of his comrade trap and true, expert hunters, and wellpers as it was blushingly repressed by trained mountaineers. After having the mountaineer himself. Thus, in trapped all the streams they were his various matrimonial episodes, he acquainted with, it was determined to treated his dusky sposas with all the strike into the mountains, at a point consideration the sex could possibly where old Williams affirmed, from the demand from hand of man. No "run" of the hills, there must be squaw of his ever humped shoulder to plenty of water, although not one of receive a castigatory and marital the party had before explored the “ lodgepoling" for offence domestic; country, or knew any thing of its nabut often has his helpmate blushed ture, or of the likelihood of its affordto see her pale-face lord and master ing game for themselves or pasture for devote himself to the feminine labour their animals. However, they packed of packing huge piles of fire-wood their peltry, and put out for the land on his back, felling trees, butcher. in view-a lofty peak, dimly seen above ing unwieldy buffalo-all which are the more regular summit of the chain, included in the Indian category of being their landmark. female duties. Thus he was esteem. For the first day or two their route ed an excellent parti by all the mar- lay between two ridges of mountains, riageable young squaws of Black and by following the little valley which foot, Crow, and Shoshone, of Yutah, skirted a creek, they kept on level Shian, and Arapaho; but after his last ground, and saved their animals connubial catastrophe, he steeled his considerable labour and fatigue. Wilheart against all the charms and co- liams always rode ahead, his body quetry of Indian belles, and perse- bent over his saddle-horn, across which vered in unblessed widowhood forrested a long heavy rifle, his keen many a long day.
gray eyes peering from under the From the point where we left him slouched brim of a flexible felt-hat, on his way to the waters of the Colum- black and shining with grease. His bia, we must jump with him over a buckskin hunting-shirt, bedaubed until space of nearly two years, during it had the appearance of polished which time he had a most uninter- leather, hung in folds over his bony carcass; his nether extremities being of the Far West, and with all the Inclothed in pantaloons of the same dian tribes who inhabited it, he never material, (with scattered fringes down failed to outwit his Red enemies, and the outside of the leg—which orne- generally made his appearance at the ments, however, had been pretty well rendezvous, from his solitary expedithinned to supply " whangs" for mend- tions, with galore of beaver, when nuing mocassins or pack-saddles,) which, merous bands of trappers dropped in shrunk with wet, clung tightly to his on foot, having been despoiled of their long, spare, sinewy legs. His feet packs and animals by the very Indians were thrust into a pair of Mexican through the midst of whom old Wilstirrups, made of wood, and as big as liams had contrived to pass unseen coal-scuttles; and iron spurs of incre- and unmolested. On occasions when dible proportions, with tinkling drops he had been in company with attached to the rowels, were fastened others, and attacked by Indians, to his heel-a bead-worked strap, four Bill invariably fought manfully, and inches broad, securing them over the with all the coolness that perfect instep. In the shoulder-belt which indifference to death or danger sustained his powder-horn and bullet- could give, but always " on his pouch, were fastened the various in own hook." His rifle cracked away struments essential to one pursuing merrily, and never spoke in vain; his mode of life. An awl, with and in a charge-if ever it came deer-horn handle, and the point de- to that - his keen-edged butcherfended by a case of cherry-wood knife tickled the fleece of many a carved by his own hand, hung at Blackfoot. But at the same time, if the back of the belt, side by side he saw that discretion was the better with a worm for cleaning the rifle; and part of valour, and affairs wore so under this was a squat and quaint- cloudy an aspect as to render retreat looking bullet-mould, the handles advisable, he would first express his guarded by strips of buckskin to save opinion in curt terms, and decisively, his fingers from burning when running and, charging up his rifle, would take balls, having for its companion a little himself off, and “cache" * so effecbottle made from the point of an an- tually that to search for him was telope's horn, scraped transparent, utterly useless. Thus, when with a which contained the “medicine" used large party of trappers, when any in baiting the traps. The old coon's thing occurred which gave him a hint face was sharp and thin, a long nose that trouble was coming, or more and chin hob-nobbing each other; and Indians were about than he consihis head was always bent forward, dered good for his animals, Bill was giving him the appearance of being wont to exclaim hump-backed. He appeared to look “Do 'ee hyar now, boys, thar's neither to the right nor left, but, in fact, sign about ? this hos feels like cachhis little twinkling eye was every ing;" and, without more words, and where. He looked at no one he was stoically deaf to all remonstrances, he addressing, always seeming to be would forthwith proceed to pack his thinking of something else than the animals, talking the while to an old, subject of his discourse, speaking in a crop-eared, raw-boned Nez - percé whining, thin, cracked voice, and pony, his own particular saddle-horse, in a tone that left the hearer in doubt who, in dogged temper and iron whether he was laughing or cry. hardiness, was a worthy companion ing. On the present occasion he had of his self-willed master. This beast, joined this band, and naturally as as Bill seized his apishamore to lay sumed the leadership, (for Bill ever upon its galled back, would express refused to go in harness,) in opposition displeasure by humping its back and to his usual practice, which was to shaking its withers with a wincing hunt alone. His character was well motion, that always excited the ire of known. Acquainted with every inch the old trapper ; and no sooner had he
Taid the apishamore smoothly on the twinkling, and hobbled them, struck chafed skin, than a wriggle of the fire and ignited a few chips, (leaving animal shook it off.
the rest to pack in the wood,) lit his 66 Do 'ee hyar now, you darned pipe, and enjoyed himself. On one crittur!” he would whine out, "can't'ee occasion, when passing through the Keep quiet your old fleece now? Isn't valley, they had come upon a band of This old coon putting out to save 'ee from fine buffalo cows, and, shortly after the darned Injuns now, do 'ee hyar?" camping, two of the party rode in And then, continuing his work, and with a good supply of fat fleece. One Taking no notice of his comrades, who of the party was a " greenhorn" on stood by bantering the eccentric trap- his first hunt, and, fresh from a fort per, he would soliloquise" Do 'ee on Platte, was as yet uninitiated hyar, now? This niggur sees sign in the mysteries of mountain cooking. ahead-he does ; he'll be afoot afore Bill, lazily smoking his pipe, called to long, if he don't keep his eye skinned, him, as he happened to be nearest, to
he will. Injuns is all about, they ar': butcher off a piece of meat and put it Blackfoot at that. Can't come round in his pot. Markhead seized the this child—they can't, wagh !" And at fleece, and commenced innocently last, his pack animals securely tied to carving off a huge ration, when a the tail of his horse, he would mount, gasping roar from the old trapper and throwing the rifle across the horn caused him to drop his knife. of his saddle, and without noticing “ Ti-yah,” growled Bill, “ do 'ee his companions, would drive the jing- hyar, now, you darned greenborn, do ling spurs into his horse's gaunt 'ee spile fat cow like that whar you sides, and muttering, “ Can't come was raised? Them doin's won't shine round this child-they can't !" would in this crowd, boy, do 'ee hyar, darn ride away ; and nothing more would you? What! butcher meat across be seen or heard of him perhaps for the grain! why, whar'll the blood be months, when they would not unfre- goin' to, you precious Spaniard ? quently, themselves bereft of animals Down the grain I say," he continued in the scrape he had foreseen, find him in a severe tone of rebuke," and let located in some solitary valley, in his your flaps be long, or out the juice 'll lonely camp, with his animals securely run slick-do 'ee hyar, now?" But this picketed around, and his peltries safe. heretical error nearly cost the old
However, if he took it into his head trapper his appetite, and all night long to keep company with a party, all felt he grumbled his horror at seeing “fat perfectly secure under his charge. His cow spiled in that fashion." iron frame defied fatigue, and, at night, When two or three days' journey his love for himself and his own ani- brought them to the end of the valley, mals was sufficient guarantee that the and they commenced the passage of the camp would be well guarded. As he mountain, their march was obstructed rode ahead, his spurs jingling, and by all kinds of obstacles; although thumping the sides of his old horse at they had chosen what appeared to every step, he managed, with admir- be a gap in the chain, and what able dexterity, to take advantage of was in fact the only practicable pasthe best line of country to follow- sage in that vicinity. They followed avoiding the gullies and cañons and the cañon of a branch of the Yellow broken ground, which would otherwise Stone, where it entered the mountain; have impeded his advance. This but from this point it became a torrent, tact appeared instinctive, for he and it was only by dint of incredible looked neither right nor left, whilst exertions that they reached the sumcontinuing a course as straight as pos- mit of the ridge. Game was exceed
ble at the foot of the mountains. ingly scarce in the vicinity, and they 1. selecting a camping site, le dis- suffered extremely from hunger, hayplayed equal skill : wood, water, and ing, on more than one occasion, reS ss began to fill his thoughts towards course to the parflêche soles of their sundown, and when these three requi- mocassins to allay its pangs. Old sites for a campi les for a camping ground presented Bill, however, never grumbled; he
ives, old Bill sprang from his chewed away at his shoes with reale, linpacked his animals in a lish even,, and as long as he had a