A Poem For Saturday

Jun 15 2013 @ 9:12am

Wigwam

“Medicine Song of an Indian Lover,” from the Ojibwa tribe:

1.

Who, maiden, makes this river flow?
The Spirit—he makes its ripples glow—
But I have a charm that can make thee, dear,
Steal o’er the wave to thy lover here.

2.

Who, maiden, makes this river flow?
The Spirit—he makes its ripples glow—
Yet every blush that my love would hide,
Is mirror’d for me in the tell-tale tide.

3.

And though thou shouldst sleep on the farthest isle,
Round which these dimpling waters smile—
Yet I have a charm that can make thee, dear,
Steal over the wave to thy lover here.

(From Wild Scenes in the Forest and Prairie, Charles Fenno Hoffman, 1839. Reproduced in American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century,Volume Two: Herman Melville to Trumbull Stickney, American Indian Poetry, Folk Songs and Spirituals, edited by John Hollander, published by The Library of America, 1993. Image: Details of Ojibwe Wigwam at Grand Portage by Eastman Johnson, c. 1906, via Wikimedia Commons)