Fuller inserts this poem in a chapter that describes spending time with Chippewa and Ottawa tribes who have come en masse to camp in Mackinaw, where they will receive their annual payment from the United States government in return for having ceded lands they once owned. Fuller spends time observing and interacting with these tribes, showing a special interest in the position of their women.
In the stanza of the poem indicated, Fuller's speaker muses on the fate of the Native Americans who are being displaced from their lands and murdered by white settlers. She rationalizes this genocide on the basis of it being inevitable that weaker civilizations are swept away by stronger civilizations. She writes that it is a philosophic principle that "cannot err," or be wrong, that "an unimproving race" [Native Americans] must give way and "resign their places" to the superior race. She treats "Human Culture" as if it as a force that can no more be stopped than nature, likening the "Indian blood" being shed to the waters of a rolling flood. She ends the stanza, however, by stating that as inevitable as it is that the Indigenous people must go, it is natural that this sad fate would bring "tears into the calmest eyes." She notes a degradation that European society imposes when former Indian princes who roamed the forest with dignity are replaced by "raree shows," events that often showcased Indians as freaks.
Fuller reveals in these lines that she adheres to Manifest Destiny, a theory popular among whites in that time period that asserted it was obviously fated that the white United States would possess and occupy the entire North American continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific. White journalists, such as John O'Sullivan, used the term to justify the slaughter of Native peoples, stating that it was God's will that the United States' democracy reign supreme in North America as a beacon to the world.
Fuller, for all her sympathy for Native peoples, sound resigned in these lines to their fate. She is wrong in what she writes: the more powerfully armed white Americans could easily have chosen to treat the Indigenous people with greater humanity and respect: it was not, factually speaking, "inevitable" that the superior race wipe out the inferior one, nor was it a fact that the whites were superior. Many Native Americans thought of whites as inferior and even insane. Fuller, in this poem, has shown that she has unconsciously internalized an ideology of white supremacy and "progress" as if this is an inviolable truth and a "natural" phenomenon, not a cultural choice. This attitude helped relieve her and other white Americans of any strong sense of moral responsibility for the fate of Indigenous tribes.