Flint and Feather

by Emily Pauline Johnson


 

CALGARY OF THE PLAINS


 

Not of the seething cities with their swarming human hives,
Their fetid airs, their reeking streets, their dwarfed and poisoned             lives,
Not of the buried yesterdays, but of the days to be,
The glory and the gateway of the yellow West is she.

The Northern Lights dance down her plains with soft and silvery
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            feet,
The sunrise gilds her prairies when the dawn and daylight meet;
Along her level lands the fitful southern breezes sweep,
And beyond her western windows the sublime old mountains             sleep.

The Redman haunts her portals, and the Paleface treads her             streets,
The Indian’s stealthy footstep with the course of commerce
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            meets,  
And hunters whisper vaguely of the half forgotten tales
Of phantom herds of bison lurking on her midnight trails.
            [Page 160]

Not hers the lore of olden lands, their laurels and their bays;
But what are these, compared to one of all her perfect days?
For naught can buy the jewel that upon her forehead lies—

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The cloudless sapphire Heaven of her territorial skies.
            [Page 161]