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.

Dark was the visage of Harpstina
When the robe was laid at her rival’s feet,
And merry maidens and warriors saw
Her flashing eyes and her look of hate,
As she turned to Wakawa, the chief, and said: 
“The game was mine were it fairly played. 
I was stunned by a blow on my bended head,
As I snatched the ball from slippery ground
Not half a fling from Wiwaste’s bound. 
The cheat—­behold her! for there she stands
With the prize that is mine in her treacherous hands. 
The fawn may fly, but the wolf is fleet;
The fox creeps sly on Maga’s[10] retreat,
And a woman’s revenge—­it is swift and sweet.”

She turned to her lodge, but a roar of laughter
And merry mockery followed after. 
Little they heeded the words she said,
Little they cared for her haughty tread,
For maidens and warriors and chieftain knew
That her lips were false and her charge untrue.

Wiwaste, the fairest Dakota maiden,
The sweet-faced daughter of Little Crow,
To her teepee[11] turned with her trophy laden,
The black robe trailing the virgin snow. 
Beloved was she by her princely father,
Beloved was she by the young and old,
By merry maidens and many a mother,
And many a warrior bronzed and bold. 
For her face was as fair as a beautiful dream,
And her voice like the song of the mountain stream;
And her eyes like the stars when they glow and gleam
Through the somber pines of the nor’land wold,
When the winds of winter are keen and cold.

Mah-pi-ya Du-ta[12], the tall Red Cloud,
A hunter swift and a warrior proud,
With many a scar and many a feather,
Was a suitor bold and a lover fond. 
Long had he courted Wiwaste’s father,
Long had he sued for the maiden’s hand. 
Aye, brave and proud was the tall Red Cloud,
A peerless son of a giant race,
And the eyes of the panther were set in his face: 
He strode like a stag, and he stood like a pine;
Ten feathers he wore of the great Wanmdee;[13]
With crimsoned quills of the porcupine
His leggins were worked to his brawny knee. 
The bow he bent was a giant’s bow;
The swift, red elk could he overtake,
And the necklace that girdled his brawny neck
Was the polished claws of the great Mato[14]
He grappled and slew in the northern snow. 
Wiwaste looked on the warrior tall;
She saw he was brawny and brave and great,
But the eyes of the panther she could but hate,
And a brave Hohe[15] loved she better than all. 
Loved was Mahpiya by Harpstina
But the warrior she never could charm or draw;
And bitter indeed was her secret hate
For the maiden she reckoned so fortunate.



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