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  • The Contrast, and: To the Pine Tree, and: Lines Written at Castle Island, Lake Superior, and: By an Ojibwa Female Pen, and: On the Doric Rock, Lake Superior
  • Jane Johnston Schoolcraft (bio)

The Contrast

  With pen in hand, I shall contrast,The present moments with the pastAnd mark difference, not by grains,But weighed by feelings, joys and pains.Calm, tranquil—far from fashion’s gaze,Passed all my earliest, happy daysSweetly flew the golden hours,In St. Mary’s woodland bowersOr my father’s simple hall,Oped to whomsoe’er might callPains or cares we seldom knewAll the hours so peaceful flewConcerts sweet we oft enjoyed,Books our leisure time employedFriends on every side appearedFrom whose minds no ill I fearedIf by chance, one gave me painThe wish to wound me not againQuick expressed in accents kindCast a joy throughout my mindThat, to have been a moment pained,Seemed like bliss but just attained.Whene’er in fault, to be reproved,With gratitude my heart was moved,So mild and gentle were their wordsIt seemed as soft as song of birdsFor well I knew, that each behest,Was warmed by love—convincing test.

  Thus passed the morning of my days,My only wish, to gain the praiseOf friends I loved, and neighbours kind,And keep a calm and heavenly mind.My efforts, kindly were received,Nor grieved, nor was myself aggrieved. [End Page 140]

  But ah! how changed is every scene,Our little hamlet, and the green,The long rich green, where warriors played,And often, breezy elm-wood shade.How changed, since full of strife and fear,The world hath sent its votaries here.The tree cut down—the cot removed,The cot the simple Indian loved,The busy strife of young and oldTo gain one sordid bit of goldBy trade’s o’er done plethoric moil,And lawsuits, meetings, courts and toil.

Adieu, to days of homebred ease,When many a rural care could please,We trim our sail anew, to steerBy shoals we never knew were here,And with the star flag, raised on highDiscover a new dominion nigh,And half in joy, half in fear,Welcome the proud Republic here. [End Page 141]

To the Pine Tree

Zhingwaak! Zhingwaak! Ingii-ikid,Weshki waabamag zhingwaakDagoshinaan neyab, endanakiiyaan.Zhingwaak, zhingwaak nos sa!Azhigwa gidatisaananGaagige wezhaawashkozid.

Mii sa naa azhigwa dagoshinaangBizindamig ikeyaambanGeget sa, niminwendamMiinwaa, waabandamaanGii-ayaad awiiya waabandamaan niinZhingwaak, zhingwaak nos sa!Azhigwa gidatisaanan.

Gaawiin gego, gaa-waabanda’iyanDibishkoo, ezhi-naagwasiinoonZhingwaak wezhaawashkozidWiin eta gwanaajiwi wiGaagige wezhaawashkozid. [End Page 142]

To the Pine Tree

literal translation by Margaret Noodin

Pine! Pine! I said,The one I see, the pineI return back, to my homeland.The pine, the pine my father!Already you are coloredForever you are green.

So we already have arrivedListen to him / her in that directionCertainly I am happyAnd I seeHe was there I saw it myselfThe pine, the pine my father!Already you are colored.

Nothing, you did show melike it, the way it looksPine you are greenHe is only that beautifulForever he is the green one. [End Page 143]

To the Pine Tree

translation by Jane Johnston Schoolcraft

on first seeing iton returning from Europe

The pine! the pine! I eager cried,The pine, my father! see it stand,As first that cherished tree I spied,Returning to my native land.The pine! the pine! oh lovely scene!The pine, that is forever green.

Ah beauteous tree! ah happy sight!That greets me on my native strandAnd hails me, with a friend’s delight,To my own dear bright mother landOh ‘tis to me a heart-sweet scene,The pine—the pine! that’s ever green.

Not all the trees of England bright,Not Erin’s lawns of green and lightAre half so sweet to memory’s eye,As this dear type of northern skyOh ‘tis to me a heart-sweet scene,The pine—the pine! that ever...


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pp. 140-147
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