Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DONE FOR, by ROSE TERRY COOKE



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DONE FOR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A week ago today, when red-haired sally
Last Line: It's twice dead not to see!


A WEEK ago to-day, when red-haired Sally
Down to the sugar-camp came to see me,
I saw her checked frock coming down the valley,
Far as anybody's eyes could see.
Now I sit before the camp-fire,
And I can't see the pine-knots blaze,
Nor Sally's pretty face a-shining,
Though I hear the good words she says.

A week ago to-night I was tired and lonely,
Sally was gone back to Mason's fort,
And the boys by the sugar-kettles left me only;
They were hunting coons for sport.
By there snaked a painted Pawnee,
I was asleep before the fire;
He creased my two eyes with his hatchet,
And scalped me to his heart's desire.

There they found me on the dry tussocks lying,
Bloody and cold as a live man could be;
A hoot-owl on the branches overhead was crying,
Crying murder to the red Pawnee.
They brought me to the camp-fire,
They washed me in the sweet white spring;
But my eyes were full of flashes,
And all night my ears would sing.

I thought I was a hunter on the prairie,
But they saved me for an old blind dog;
When the hunting-grounds are cool and airy,
I shall lie here like a helpless log.
I can't ride the little wiry pony,
That scrambles over hills high and low;
I can't set my traps for the cony,
Or bring down the black buffalo.

I'm no better than a rusty, bursted rifle,
And I don't see signs of any other trail;
Here by the camp-fire blaze I lie and stifle,
And hear Jim fill the kettles with his pail.
It's no use groaning. I like Sally,
But a Digger squaw wouldn't have me!
I wish they hadn't found me in the valley, --
It's twice dead not to see!





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