The Royal Indian Burial Ground in Charlestown

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Contributed by Jeffrey W. Potter, So. Kingstown, R. I.
I Stand amid the vernal scenes,
And gaze along the royal tombs,
Where monarchs of a race supreme,
Lie here in silent graves of gloom.
As thoughts fly back on tender wings,
Across the mind’s expansive eye;
The scenes of ancient greatness spring,
Of these wild lords that round me lie,
It heralds in no modern sight,
Of tramping steed and gorgeous trains;
But those wild scenes of pagan might,
As were displayed upon these plains.
Such heroes of their savage life,
As mock of battle scream of homes;
Has rung there valor, as angry strife,
In honor of these mouldering forms.
But yet we see on these dead lords,
A crown shine fi’om their savage brows,
Bright with such as the land affords,
From pebbled streams and forest boughs.
They knew not of the golden ore,
That in their own green mountain laid;
No sight of science dawned their shore;
No beam had lit their mental shade.
Now on their high grove fringed plateau,
The ocean’s mighty wave is seen;
Where these proud kings in their canoes,
Have sported ‘mid these billows green.
Their ocean yet is rolling there,
And nature’s mighty scenes lie round;
But oh! how sad the lot to share,
When naught but graves of them is found!
Their war horn we shall hear no more;
Their scalping knife has gone to rust;
Their rude canoes has left the shore;
Their bow and arrow long in dust.
But nations in the bark of time.
Oft sink beneath the freight of years;
And o’er their tomb a hallowed shrine,
Will rest enriched with memories dear.
So here the kings of one great race.
Whose empire was these fields of ours,
Have scarce a vestige to mark the place,
Where lay the dust of ancient powers.
But grateful hearts that love their homes.
Have set a granite shaft to tell,
That these huge mounds are royal tombs,
Whose race before our fathers fell.
SOURCE:  Page(s): 49-50; The Narragansett, Volume 1. July, 1882  Number 1
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