The Indian Springs
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.