Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, GERONIMO, by ERNEST MCGAFFEY

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GERONIMO, by            
First Line: Beside that tent and under guard
Last Line: The fierce apache fettered there.
Subject(s): Geronimo (1829-1909)

BESIDE that tent and under guard
In majesty alone he stands,
As some chained eagle, broken-winged,
With eyes that gleam like smouldering brands, --
A savage face, streaked o'er with paint,
And coal-black hair in unkempt mane,
Thin, cruel lips, set rigidly, --
A red Apache Tamerlane.

As restless as the desert winds,
Yet here he stands like carven stone,
His raven locks by breezes moved
And backward o'er his shoulders blown;
Silent, yet watchful as he waits
Robed in his strange, barbaric guise,
While here and there go searchingly
The cat-like wanderings of his eyes.

The eagle feather on his head
Is dull with many a bloody stain,
While darkly on his lowering brow
Forever rests the mark of Cain.
Have you but seen a tiger caged
And sullen through his barriers glare?
Mark well his human prototype,
The fierce Apache fettered there.

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