[BC] The route of DuLuth above described—from the mouth of the Wild-Rice (Mud) River, to Lake Superior—was for centuries, and still is, the Indians’ canoe-route. I have walked over the old portage from the foot of the Dalles to the St. Louis above—trod by the feet of half-breeds and voyageurs for more than two centuries, and by the Indians for perhaps a thousand years.
The swift west-wind sang in the sails,
and on flew the boat like a sea-gull,
By the green, templed hills and the dales,
and the dark, rugged rocks of the North Shore;
For the course of the brave Frenchman lay
to his fort at the Gah-mah-na-tek-wahk,
By the shore of the grand Thunder Bay,
where the gray rocks loom up into mountains;
Where the Stone Giant sleeps on the Cape,
and the god of the storms makes the thunder,
And the Makinak lifts his huge shape
from the breast of the blue-rolling waters.
And thence to the south-westward led his course
to the Holy Ghost Mission,
Where the Black Robes, the brave shepherds,
fed their wild sheep on the isle Wauga-ba-me,
In the enchanting Cha-quam-e-gon Bay
defended by all the Apostles,[BD]
And thence, by the Ke-we-naw,
lay his course to the Mission Sainte Marie,[BE]
Now the waves clap their myriad hands,
and streams the white hair of the surges;
DuLuth at the steady helm stands,
and he hums as he bounds o’er the billows:
O sweet is the carol of bird,
And sweet is the murmur of streams,
But sweeter the voice that I heard—
In the night—in the midst of my dreams.
[BD] The Apostle Islands.
[BE] At the Sault Ste. Marie.
’Tis the moon of the sere, falling leaves.
From the heads of the maples the west-wind
Plucks the red-and-gold plumage and grieves
on the meads for the rose and the lily;
Their brown leaves the moaning oaks strew,
and the breezes that roam on the prairies,
Low-whistling and wanton pursue
the down of the silk-weed and thistle.
All sere are the prairies and brown
in the glimmer and haze of the Autumn;
From the far northern marshes flock down,
by thousands, the geese and the mallards.
From the meadows and wide-prairied plains,
for their long southward journey preparing.
In croaking flocks gather the cranes,
and choose with loud clamor their leaders.
The breath of the evening is cold,
and lurid along the horizon
The flames of the prairies are rolled,
on the somber skies flashing their torches.
At noontide a shimmer of gold