Monday, 12 September 2016

Poetry Revisited: The Indian by Elizabeth Kirkham Mathews

The Indian

(from Poems: 1802)

Alone, unfriended, on a foreign shore,
Behold an hapless, melancholy maid,
Begging her scanty fare from door to door,
With piteous voice, and humbly bended head.
Alas! her native tongue is known to few:
Her manners and her garb excite suprise;
The vulgar stare to see her bid adieu;
Her tattered garments fix their curious eyes.
Cease, cease your laugh, ye thoughtless vain;
Why sneer at yon poor Indian’s pain?
’Tis nature’s artless voice that speaks:
Behold the tear bedew her cheeks!
Imploring actions, bursting sighs,
Reveal enough to British eyes.

Elizabeth Kirkham Mathews (1772-1802)
British poet, novelist, and schoolteacher


  1. It sounds like this poet had a sympathy of feeling for the natives in her new land.

    1. Definitely! If others had been like her, native Americans might have had less of a hard time...


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