Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE PASSING INDIAN, by FENTON JOHNSON

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THE PASSING INDIAN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: By the shore of lonely long ago
Last Line: Ere the purple sunset calls thee home.
Subject(s): Native Americans; Indians Of America; American Indians; Indians Of South America

By the shore of lonely Long Ago,
By the waters of Forgetfulness,
Wrapped in woven blanket stained with blood
Stand I gazing at the dying tribes;
In my hand the ancient tomahawk,
In my eye a fire that never dies,
But soars high to Gitchie Manitou
As the eagle flies at eventide.
O thou race of squaws, be kind to me;
Let me smoke with thee the calumet,
Let me hunt the bison and the deer,
Let me breathe the air of libery
In the land the white man's blossom choked,
Ere the purple sunset calls me home.

I am dying as the wounded deer,
I who once was master of these shores;
Might and brawn I held my majesty,
Infinite I deemed this strength of mine,
Morning star and sunset glow my God;
Passion ruled within this breast of mine,
And before me swept my better self.
Listen, O thou mighty race of squaws,
Ere the purple sunset calls me home;
Thou may pass away as I have passed --
Gitchie Manitou alone is Chief,
Sachem of the mighty Winds is He,
And He lives till dry the stream of Time.
Be not vain, but hear His gentle voice,
O my worthy brothers pale of face,
Ere the purple sunset calls thee home.

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