The White Wampum

by Emily Pauline Johnson


 

THE VAGABONDS


 

WHAT saw you in your flight to-day,
Crows, awinging your homeward way?

Went you far in carrion quest,
Crows, that worry the sunless west?

Thieves and villains, you shameless things!
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Black your record as black your wings.

Tell me, birds of the inky hue,
Plunderous rogues—to-day have you

Seen with mischievous, prying eyes
Lands where earlier suns arise?
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Saw you a lazy beck between
Trees that shadow its breast in green,

Teased by obstinate stones that lie
Crossing the current tauntingly.

Fields abloom on the farther side
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With purpling clover lying wide— [Page 30]

Saw you there as you circled by,
Vale-environed a cottage lie,

Girt about with emerald bands,
Nestling down in its meadow lands?
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Saw you this on your thieving raids?
Speak—you rascally renegades!

Thieved you also away from me
Olden scenes that I long to see?

If, O! crows, you have flown since morn
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Over the place where I was born,

Forget will I, how black you were
Since dawn, in feather and character;

Absolve will I, your vagrant band
Ere you enter your slumberland. [Page 31]
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