The Feast of the Virgins and Other Poems eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 375 pages of information about The Feast of the Virgins and Other Poems.

[BZ] Spirit-Knob was a small hill upon a point in the lake in full view from Wayzata.  It is now washed away by the waves.  The spirit of a Dakota mother, whose only child was drowned in the lake during a storm many years ago, often wailed at midnight (so the Dakotas said), on this hill.  So they called it Wa-na-gee Pa-zo-dan—­Spirit-Knob. (Literally—­little hill of the spirit.)

[CA] The Welsh name for the robin.


[CB] Lodges.

[CC] Wanm-dee—­the war-eagle of the Dakotas.

[CD] Lake Superior.

[CE] Pronounced Yoon-hay-hay—­the exclamation used by Dakota women in their lament for the dead, and equivalent to “woe-is-me.”


White-haired and hoary-bearded, who art thou That speedest on, albeit bent with age, Even as a youth that followeth after dreams?  Whence are thy feet, and whither trends thy way?

Stayed not his hurried steps, but as he passed
His low, hoarse answer fell upon the wind: 
“Go thou and question yonder mountain-peaks;
Go thou and ask the hoary-heaving main;—­
Nay, if thou wilt, the great, globed, silent stars
That sail innumerable the shoreless sea,
And let the eldest answer if he may. 
Lo the unnumbered myriad, myriad worlds
Rolling around innumerable suns,
Through all the boundless, bottomless abyss,
Are but as grains of sand upwhirled and flung
By roaring winds and scattered on the sea. 
I have beheld them and my hand hath sown.

“Far-twinkling faint through dim, immeasured depths,
Behold Alcyone—­a grander sun. 
Round him thy solar orb with all his brood
Glimmering revolves.  Lo from yon mightier sphere
Light, flying faster than the thoughts of men,
Swift as the lightnings cleave the glowering storm,
Shot on and on through dim, ethereal space,
Ere yet it touched thy little orb of Earth,
Five hundred cycles of thy world and more. 
Round him thy Sun, obedient to his power,
Thrice tenfold swifter than the swiftest wing,
His aeon-orbit, million-yeared and vast,
Wheels through the void.  Him flaming I beheld
When first he flashed from out his central fire—­
A mightier orb beyond thine utmost ken. 
Round upon round innumerable hath swung
Thy sun upon his circuit; grander still
His vaster orbit far Alcyone
Wheels and obeys the mightier orb unseen.

“Seest thou yon star-paved pathway like an arch
Athwart thy welkin?—­wondrous zone of stars,
Dim in the distance circling one huge sun,
To whom thy sun is but a spark of fire—­
To whom thine Earth is but a grain of dust: 
Glimmering around him myriad suns revolve
And worlds innumerable as sea-beach sands. 
Ere on yon Via Lactea rolled one star
Lo I was there and trode the mighty round;
Yea, ere the central orb was fired and hung

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The Feast of the Virgins and Other Poems from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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