Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LEGEND OF THE ST. JOSEPH, by BENJAMIN FRANKLIN KING



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LEGEND OF THE ST. JOSEPH, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: There's a place, 'pon my soul
Last Line: And poor little walle-wo-ge.
Alternate Author Name(s): King, Ben
Subject(s): Legends


THERE'S a place, 'pon my soul,
Called the "Old Devil's Hole,"
By the Chippewa chief, Black Otter,
Who, when business was damp,
Went into his camp,
And filled up with fierce fire water.

Then over the river
Over the river
He called to his squaw, Maumee,
"Go get my canoe,
And you may come too,
And bring little Walle-wo-ge."

So off to the river
They all flew the ground,
"Black Otter" as brave as could be,
And the little pappoose --
He couldn't get loose --
Was strapped to the back of Maumee.

They floated till dark,
When the wolf's weird bark
Frightened the wits of Maumee;
So she loosened the sack,
Tied fast to her back,
That contained little Walle-wo-ge.

"Black Otter" bent low
And reached for his bow,
When the boat tipped up on its side,
And in fell he, with his squaw Maumee;
And the boat set free, with Walle-wo-ge,
Sped swiftly along with the tide.

Down the swift river's tide
The pappoose took a ride;
The canoe shot along like a rocket,
But he lay there as snug
As a bug in a rug,
Or an old woolen glove in a pocket.

On, on, out to sea
Drifted Walle-wo-ge,
With his face pointed up to the skies;
And history says,
Which is true, more or less,
That the gray sea gulls pecked out his eyes.

Black Otter was drowned
And never was found;
But they say that old Squaw Maumee
Waded back thro' the damp
Of the marsh to the camp
In search of her Walle-wo-ge.

Came back thro' the swale,
And the rain and the hail,
By the side of the waters so blue,
In search of her baby,
To pick him up, may be,
I wish this would all come out true.

Her spirit distressed,
She beat on her breast,
For the poor old squaw's grief knew no bound;
But Monets so swift,
Bore her off in a skiff,
To the land of the famed hunting ground.

On the ninth of November,
I hope you'll remember,
A phantom one plainly can see
Walk down from the hole,
In search of the soul
Of poor little Walle-wo-ge.

Now, this is the legend
Of this old-time region,
And the tale of the Squaw Maumee,
Likewise old Black Otter,
Who fell in the water,
And poor little Walle-wo-ge.





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