The Indian Springs

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I KNOW a shady hollow 'neath the pines,
Rich floored with velvet moss and trailing vines,
Where grouping ferns grow lusty, tall, and green,
With sipping from the bowl o'er which they lean;
And crimson berries on the margin cling,
Like drops of blood about the Indian spring.

On this same spot these many years ago
A graceful figure knelt and, bending low,
Wrist-deep in moss, one hand curved to a cup,
The water to her scarlet lips dipped up.
A heron's wing drooped from her dusky hair,
Which draped her rich-hued cheeks and shoulders bare.

Swift, stealthy footsteps took her by surprise;
She started, flushed, and met his eager eyes,—
A noble figure, young and lithe and tall,
With one proud eagle feather crowning all.
A pause, a word, and lo! the heron's wing
Brushed with the eagle's there above the spring.

Two cruel eyes gleamed from the piny shade,
Fixed on the bended heads of man and maid;
Sudden, a gray goose feather with a twang
Of hate and envy from the darkness sprang.
One shrilling cry—the heron wing was fled;
Low lay the eagle plume; the spring ran red.

The years have gone; new mosses veil the ground,
New ferns, new vines:—but here the spring I found,
And here the gray goose shalt its story told,—
A heart of flint 'neath moss and years of mold
And vines to which the blood-red berries cling,
I found an arrow by the Indian spring.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924.

The author died in 1927, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.