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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 48 pages of information about Carolina Chansons.

CAROLINA CHANSONS

LEGENDS OF THE LOW COUNTRY

SEANCE AT SUNRISE

    Place the new hands
    In the old hands
    Of the old generation,
    And let us tilt tables
    In the high room
    Of our imagination.

    Let the thick veil glow thin,
    At sunrise—­at sunrise—­
    Let the strange eyes peer in,
    The red, the black, and the white faces
    Of the still living dead
    Of the three races.

    Let a quaint voice begin: 

      Voice of an Indian
    “Gone from the land,
    We leave the music of our names,
    As pleasant as the sound of waters;
    Gone is the log-lodge and the skin tepee,
    And moons ago the ghost-canoe brought home
    The latest of our sons and daughters—­
    Yet still we linger in tobacco smoke
    And in the rustling fields of maize;
    Faint are the tracks our moccasins have left,
    But they are there, down all your ways.”

      Voice of a Slave
    “We do not talk
    Of hours in the rice
    When days were long,
    Nor of old masters
    Who are with us here
    Beyond all right or wrong. 
    Only white afternoons come back,
    When in the fields
    We reached the Mercy Seat
    On wings of song.”

      Voice of a Planter
    “Nothing moves there but the night wind,
    Blowing the mosses like smoke;
    All would be silent as moonlight
    But for the owl in the oak—­
    Stairways that lead up to nothing—­
    Windows like terrible scars—­
    Snakes on a log in the cistern
    Peering at stars....”

      Spirit of Prophecy
    “Dawn with its childish colors
    Stipples the solemn vault of night;
    Behind the horizon the sun shakes a bloody fist;
    Mysteries stand naked by the lakes of mist;
        Spirits take flight,
        The medicine man,
        The voodoo doctor—­
        Witches mount brooms. 
        The day looms. 
        Faster it comes,
        Bringing young giants
        Who hate solitude,
        And march with drums—­
        Beat—­beat—­beat,
        Down every ancient street,
        The young giants!  Minded like boys: 
        Action for action’s sake they love
        And noise for noise.”

      Voice of a Poet
    “The fire of the sunset
    Is remembered at midnight,
    But forgotten at dawn. 
    While the old stars set,
    Let us speak of their glory
    Before they are gone.”

H.A.

SILENCES[1]

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