Far Horizons

by Bliss Carman


 

WORD FROM THE MOCCASIN TRAIL


 

FROM the land of the Abanakis,—
The rivers and hills of the East,—
An Indian spirit sends greeting
To the great Trail Riders’ feast.

Afoot and alone with peril

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We went with arrow and bow.
Mounted, unarmed and jesting,
In safety at ease you go.

Little enough was our learning,
Small was our craft and skill.

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But we saw the feet of the morning
Go by,—and our hearts were still.

We shaped the canoe and the paddle,
We fashioned the snowshoe frame,
And the Great Spirit was with us,

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As we kindled the council flame.

You have circled the earth with your knowledge,
Your magic is more and more.
Yet must you heed our wisdom,—
The truth of the wilderness lore.

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You ride to make good our beginnings,
Our trails to keep clear and extend,
Guarding the lodge and the camp fire,
In peace at sundown’s end.

So over all we are tribesmen,

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By the law that does not swerve,—
At home in the Tent of the Open,
On call through the Great Reserve.

We lift you the friendly signal,
We send you our sign on the air.

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Look East for our smoke at evening,
And say, “Our brothers are there!”

“May no foot want for a stirrup,
No prayer nor adventure fail,
And the Master Guide go with you,”

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Is the word from the Moccasin Trail.  

Moonshine,
Twilight Park,
In the Catskills,
July, 1924.