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.

  Mihihna, Mihihna, the boy I bore—­
    When the robin sang and my brave was true,
  I can bear to look on his face no more,
    For he looks, Mihihna, so much like you.

  Mihihna, Mihihna, the Scarlet Leaf
    Has robbed my boy of his father’s love;
  He sleeps in my arms—­he will find no grief
    In the star-lit lodge in the land above.

  Mihihna, Mihihna, my heart is stone;
    The light is gone from my longing eyes;
  The wounded loon in the lake alone
    Her death-song sings to the moon and dies.

[CP] Mee-heen-yah—­My husband.

Swiftly down the turbid torrent, as she sung her song she flew;
Like a swan upon the current, dancing rode the light canoe. 
Hunters hurry in the gloaming; all in vain Wanata calls;
Singing through the surges foaming, lo she plunges o’er the Falls.

Long they searched the sullen river—­searched for leagues along the shore,
Bark or babe or mother never saw the sad Dakotas more;
But at night or misty morning oft the hunters heard her song,
Oft the maidens heard her warning in their mellow mother-tongue. 
On the bluffs they sat enchanted till the blush of beamy dawn;
Spirit Isle, they say, is haunted, and they call the spot Wakan[CQ]
Many summers on the highland in the full moon’s golden glow—­
In the woods on Fairy Island,[CR] walked a snow-white fawn and doe—­
Spirits of the babe and mother sadly seeking evermore
For a father’s love another turned away with evil power.

Sometimes still when moonbeams shimmer through the maples on the lawn,
In the gloaming and the glimmer walk the silent doe and fawn;
And on Spirit Isle or near it, under midnight’s misty moon,
Oft is seen the mother’s spirit, oft is heard her mournful tune.

[CQ] Pronounced Walk-on,—­Sacred, inhabited by a spirit.

[CR] Fairy Island,—­Wita-Waste—­Nicollet Island.


Chickadee, chickadee, chickadee-dee! 
That was the song that he sang to me—­Sang
from his perch in the willow tree—­
Chickadee, chickadee, chickadee-dee. 
  My little brown bird,
  The song that I heard
Was a happier song than the minstrels sing—­
A paean of joy and a carol of spring;
And my heart leaped throbbing and sang with thee
Chickadee, chickadee, chickadee-dee.

  My birdie looked wise
  With his little black eyes,
As he peeked and peered from his perch at me
With a throbbing throat and a flutter of glee,
  As if he would say—­
  Sing trouble away,
Chickadee, chickadee, chickadee-dee.

  Only one note
  From his silver throat;
  Only one word
  From my wise little bird;
But a sweeter note or a wiser word
From the tongue of mortal I never have heard,
Than my little philosopher sang to me
From his bending perch in the willow tree—­
Chickadee, chickadee, chickadee-dee.

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