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.

O what are leagues to the loving hunter,
Or the blinding drift of the hurricane,
When it raves and roars o’er the frozen plain! 
He would face the storm—­he would death encounter
The darling prize of his heart to gain. 
But his hunters chafed at the long delay,
For the swarthy bison were far away,
And the brave young chief from the lodge departed. 
He promised to come with the robins in May
With the bridal gifts for the bridal day;
And the fair Wiwaste was happy-hearted,
For Wakawa promised the brave Chaske. 
Birds of a feather will flock together. 
The robin sings to his ruddy mate,
And the chattering jays, in the winter weather,
To prate and gossip will congregate;
And the cawing crows on the autumn heather,
Like evil omens, will flock together,
In common council for high debate;
And the lass will slip from a doting mother
To hang with her lad on the garden gate. 
Birds of a feather will flock together—­
’Tis an adage old—­it is nature’s law,
And sure as the pole will the needle draw,
The fierce Red Cloud with the flaunting feather,
Will follow the finger of Harpstina.

The winter wanes and the south-wind blows
From the Summer Islands legendary;
The skeskas[46] fly and the melted snows
In lakelets lie on the dimpled prairie. 
The frost-flowers[47] peep from their winter sleep
Under the snow-drifts cold and deep. 
To the April sun and the April showers,
In field and forest, the baby flowers
Lift their blushing faces and dewy eyes;
And wet with the tears of the winter-fairies,
Soon bloom and blossom the emerald prairies,
Like the fabled Garden of Paradise.

The plum-trees, white with their bloom in May,
Their sweet perfume on the vernal breeze
Wide strew like the isles of the tropic seas
Where the paroquet chatters the livelong day. 
But the May-days pass and the brave Chaske [17]
O why does the lover so long delay? 
Wiwaste waits in the lonely tee
Has her fair face fled from his memory? 
For the robin cherups his mate to please,
The blue-bird pipes in the poplar-trees,
The meadow lark warbles his jubilees,
Shrilling his song in the azure seas
Till the welkin throbs to his melodies,
And low is the hum of the humble-bees,
And the Feast of the Virgins is now to be.


The sun sails high in his azure realms;
Beneath the arch of the breezy elms
The feast is spread by the murmuring river. 
With his battle-spear and his bow and quiver,
And eagle-plumes in his ebon hair,
The chief Wakawa himself is there;
And round the feast, in the Sacred Ring,[48]
Sit his weaponed warriors witnessing. 
Not a morsel of food have the Virgins tasted
For three long days ere the holy feast;
They sat in their teepee alone and fasted,

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