Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/193

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


THE SUNKEN ISLAND. 1 87

Moonless and still on the lonely shore A tale of the lost for evermore.

Far back in the land of the Long Ago

Stood an island fair in the summer glow,

Where ever alone a prophet dwelt,

For whose healing touch the suffering knelt.

Thither the Mohawk warrior came

With the wound from poison-dart aflame ;

And the Iroquois, with his war-won pain,

Sought at his hand for health again.

Savage of mien and dark of mood, As well became his Indian blood, Sullen and stern, none ever guessed The secrets locked in the dusky breast ; Knew not how oft in the swift canoe The shivered waves from the paddles flew, As close by the dim deep forest stayed The prophet s foot in the darkness strayed, Till close by the bitter fountain s brink He stopped at last, yet not to drink ; But bore from thence the wondrous draught, The source and secret of his craft.

At last, the olden legend saith,

He claimed the power to conquer Death ;

And spoke in horrid blasphemy

Of twinship with Divinity;

Then the Great Spirit s awful frown

Sent isle and prophet hurtling down ;

�� �