Indian Names

Natalie Merchant
Language: English

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Versi di Lydia Huntley Sigourney (1791-1865), poetessa americana
Nella raccolta “Poems” publicata nel 1834
Musica di Natalie Merchant (1963-), cantautrice statunitense, voce del 10,000 Maniacs fino al 1992, quando poi intraprese una propria, altrettanto proficua, carriera solista.
Nel doppio album intitolato “Leave Your Sleep” (2008-09), i cui testi sono costituiti da poesie di autori dell’800 e 900 dedicate all’infanzia.

Leave Your Sleep

La memoria dei nativi nord-americani, sconfitti e quasi annientati da una società solo più ingorda e crudele – la nostra - non potrà mai essere cancellata perché risiede ancora nei nomi stessi di tutto ciò che ci circonda…

Le ultime due strofe sono indicate tra parentesi perché non incluse dalla Merchant nella sua versione.
Ye say they all have passed away,
That noble race and brave,
That their light canoes have vanished
From off the crested wave;
That ’mid the forests where they roamed
There rings no hunter shout,
But their name is on your waters,
Ye may not wash it out.

’Tis where Ontario’s billow
Like Ocean’s surge is curled,
Where strong Niagara’s thunders wake
The echo of the world.
Where red Missouri bringeth
Rich tribute from the west,
And Rappahannock sweetly sleeps
On green Virginia’s breast.

Ye say their cone-like cabins,
That clustered o’er the vale,
Have fled away like withered leaves
Before the autumn gale,
But their memory liveth on your hills,
Their baptism on your shore,
Your everlasting rivers speak
Their dialect of yore.

Old Massachusetts wears it,
Within her lordly crown,
And broad Ohio bears it,
Amid his young renown;
Connecticut hath wreathed it
Where her quiet foliage waves,
And bold Kentucky breathed it hoarse
Through all her ancient caves.

Wachuset hides its lingering voice
Within his rocky heart,
And Alleghany graves its tone
Throughout his lofty chart;
Monadnock on his forehead hoar
Doth seal the sacred trust,
Your mountains build their monument,
Though ye destroy their dust.

[Ye call these red-browned brethren
The insects of an hour,
Crushed like the noteless worm amid
The regions of their power;
Ye drive them from their father’s lands,
Ye break of faith the seal,
But can ye from the court of Heaven
Exclude their last appeal?

Ye see their unresisting tribes,
With toilsome step and slow,
On through the trackless desert pass
A caravan of woe;
Think ye the Eternal’s ear is deaf?
His sleepless vision dim?
Think ye the soul’s blood may not cry
From that far land to him?]

Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2016/4/8 - 14:53

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