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Title: The Inca's Daughter

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: May 5, 1840

Publication information: The Long Island Democrat 5 May 1840: [1].

Source: Our transcription is based on a photocopy of a microfilm copy of an original issue.

Whitman Archive ID: per.00035

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang and Susan Belasco


THE INCA'S DAUGHTER.

BY W. WHITMAN.
Before the dark-brow'd sons of Spain,
A captive Indian maiden stood;
Imprison'd where the moon before
Her race as princes trod.
The rack had riven her frame that day—
But not a sigh or murmur broke
Forth from her breast; calmly she stood,
And sternly thus she spoke:—
"The glory of Peru is gone;
Her proudest warriors in the fight—
Her armies, and her Inca's power
Bend to the Spaniard's might.
"And I—a Daughter of the Sun—
Shall I ingloriously still live?
Shall a Peruvian monarch's child
Become the white lord's slave?
"No: I'd not meet my father's frown
In the free spirit's place of rest,
Nor seem a stranger midst the bands
Whom Manitou has blest."
Her snake-like eye, her cheek of fire,
Glowed with intenser, deeper hue;
She smiled in scorn, and from her robe
A poisoned arrow drew.
"Now, paleface see! the Indian girl
Can teach thee how to bravely die:
Hail! spirits of my kindred slain,
A sister ghost is nigh!"
Her hand was clenched and lifted high—
Each breath, and pulse, and limb was still'd;
An instant more the arrow fell:
Thus died the Inca's child.

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