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ANEMONE The South Dakota State Flower
South Dakota Poems
M. GOULD DAWSON
Copyright. M. GOULD DAWSON.
Dakota! Hail to Thee!
Forward, South Dakotans.
Apostrophe to the Black Hills. Awakening.
J«ne Sunrise In the Foothills. Cabin of Heart's Content. Day's End in the Pahasapa. Legend—Indian Maid of Sleepy Hollow, ltally Song of the Dakotans.
High Ideals led him ever on, Where, else, he scarce would dare to go; Where savage wild, and danger grave Allied courageous deeds w:th fear. And e'en, when years of hardship keen Had gnawed the vital cordage bare. When tempest, flood, or illness fell, Had almost opened gates of Death, Or grim discouragement, unhid. Had struggled at the fringe of Life, How bravely, then, he bade all near Give naught of heed to hints and threats Of failure, sometimes—oft—hard by; Instead, how ardently to Hope, His vibrant spirit hasted forth!
What dreams, inspired! Wha* visions rare, Of teeming cities, busy marts of trade, Of homesteads sheltered in the templed Hills! The far-off harpsongs of a coming throng E'en then were throbbing in his consciousness!
Such force within could not be won To dire defeat; 'twould surer wrest From primal soil, reward the more; Hence, guided e'er by Principle and Love, This deathless Spirit of the Pioneer Reflected, is, in cultivated plains,
Where herds, and flocks, and seas of shimmering grain That feed the hungered multitudes of Earth, Replace one-time wastes and savage hordes.
And so, Pathfinder of the yesteryear, You blazed the difficult trail we all have followed; Your dauntless faith and works have been our beacon; And every place shows forth your leadership.
From all the loyal hearts within this Nation, There surges one great wave of gratitude. As God forever lives, so, always, You!
DAKOTA! HAIL TO THEti*
Dakota! Hail to Thee!
State of brave hearts and free—
All States above! Land of the wheat and corn—> No stars more bright adorn The Flag we love.
Thy peaceful herds are king, Thy flowing rivers sing By homestead door; We love th»y pine-clad Hills, Thy towns and farms and rills. Each heart with pride must thrill Forevermore.
Oh! Father Pioneers!
Down through the coming years
May praise be thine! For men that fought the fight, For women pure and white, For faith no toil could blight, Courage Divine!
FORWARD SOUTH DAKOTANS
(Air: Onward Christian Soldiers).
Forward, South Dakotans! March in ways of peace. May our Homeland's progress Never, never cease. For, within its borders, All that's good is there; Cattle—ranch and farm-stead. Town and city fair.
State of South Dakota, Land of hallowed sod: Land of inspiration; Land where martyrs trod; Land where men are loyal Women pure and free; Children, future citizens, Heirs to Liberty.
Mighty Hills unbosom Wealth of golden store; Prairie, vast and fertile, Beckons to its door. Rivers broad and winding; Skies of sun-kissed blue; Wonders of past ages; History, old and new.
(•Chorus). •Repeat first four lines for chorus.
APOSTROPHE TO THE BLACK HILLS.
0 Heaven blue! Is, anywhere.
So full of health, wealth and might A land so full of prora'se bright, Is, 'neath Thy dome, a land so fair?
O Sun! Canst Thou smile down upon
Such tree-clad hills, all treasure-filled— Such fastnesses, all sparkling-rilled— As we can boast in unison?
O Singing River! Onward whirled! Do, anywhere, Thy wavelets kiss A better, sweeter, land than this— The treasure corner of the world?
O Pahasapa! On Thy breast
The wild things nestle without fear, There's never haunt, nor far, nor near, Can promise such sweet peace and rest.
Thy golden heart is throbbing with
The efforts—hope—of human life! Thy loins are fat—with riches rife,
More fabulous than fancy's myth.
Thy sunlit glades and canyons deep Are homing places for the deer; In cool green pools, 'neath waters clear. The speckled beauties sport and leap.
Thy people match thine excellence;
Thy men are brave, thy women strong; They mine, they plow, they rear their young Upon thy bounteous competence.
O Heaven blue! Is, anywhere,
So full of health and wealth and might A land so full of promise bright? Is, 'neath Thy dome, a land so fair?
A flutter and fuss in the treetops high. Songs in the sky,
A woe feathered homemaker hunting a string, And Spring Is a-wing!
A mantle of lace on the wild plum brush, Greening of rush,
A myriad blossoms, entrancing perfume, And Spring Is a-bloom!
A chord In the Soul that incessantly chimes, "Happier times"!
A new Resurrection that greets each new morn, And Spring Is re-born!
JUNE SUNRISE IN THE PAHASAPA
Shafts of shimmering light pierce the
draperies of even; Dawning hastes along with a fragrance
sweet and strange; Whiffs of blossoming pine blow a-down
the mighty canyons; Pahasapa wakes with the South Dakota range. Starlight and moonlight, and after night, the dawning— (and) Pahasapa weds with the South Dakota range.
High in heavenly blue, echo airy fairy Iiltings, Sonnets on the air that no human could arrange; Poised for fluttering flight, just uncuddled from its nesting,
Meadow Lark's abroad on the South Dakota range. Moonlight, and starlight, and after night the morning, (and) Meadow Lark a-song on the South Dakota range.
Tuning vibrant space with a melody enchanting, Wonder-songs of Love time and place can never change;
Dip of quivering grass in the dancing, glancing sunbeams—
Blossom-scented June greets the South Dakota range. S-tarlight, and moonlight, and after night, the morning, (and) Pahasapa weds with the South Dakota range.
CABIN OF HEART'S CONTENT.
My cabin's on a mount, and canyons deep, Surround my Heart's Content, and separate It from the Hills that frown, but yet protect From storms, and cold, and base marauder late.
Far, far above, the Sun his pathway wends; In twilit grandeur, far below, sojourn Grey rocks, greeti-^garbed in softest clinging robe Of trailing vine, and moss, and fringy fern.
Tbe birds a merry choral chant by day; At night the wandering breezes kiss the pines; Afar, the coyote's cry disturbs the dusk, Unscared by distant blasting in the mines.
I hear the trickling spring-drops on the rocks; A lamb's shy bleating from a nearby fold; A nestling's chirp — the mother's answering call, As through a beamlet darts a coypu bold.
A branch beats on my wall a soft tatoo; My heart, with grateful love, throbs in my breast, For Him, whose guiding thought and watching care Have brought me to this home and given me rest.
DAY'S END IN THE PAH ASA PA.
Silence, vast, embracing glade, Canyon, crag, and flame-crowned height; Emerald sheen; purple shade; Amber glow; yellow light; Crimson leaf against gray rock; Dun of herd, and white of flock; Gorgeous, rose-splashed turquoise sky Mirrowed where clear waters lie; Yonder, silvery mistings pend. Veiling muddy river-end.
Of far-flung color! Evensong!
A soul-translating bacbanal
Of wordless, soundless color-song
That sings into the consciousness,
That quickens pulse, and startles sense,
That wakes the soul in ecstacies,
Nor breaks the silence, vast and tense,
Touch of The Master, Infinite—
E'er falls the still, star-spangled night.
On the rim of a pine-crowned cliff at the mouth of a canyon in Custer County, there used to be a formation of rock about the size of, and resembling, a blanketed Indian woman. It may be there at the present time, although it may, as well, have been worn down or disintegrated by the elements.
At the base of the cliff is a pocket of four or five acres, traversed by a tiny stream bed, which at certain seasons of the year is full of clear, sparkling mountain water.
Some years ago, a "homesteader," ploughing up the tract for a garden, found great vari-colored circles, burned by countless camp-fires, and learned that the pocket had been an old camping ground of Sioux hunting parties from East of the Badlands.
Secluded as it was, yet only a few hundred yards from the old Deadwood-Buffalo Gap Trail, the Indian huntsmen used it as a base, where they hid their families while they were up :"n the Pahasapa fastnesses after game.
It was the custom of these parties to send out scouts who should search a certain number of days' travel from the camp, for lurking enemies, before it was deemed safe to proceed with the hunting. If these scouts encountered enemy sign, they hurried back, and all either remained quiet in camp or returned to their homes until a more propitious time.
On a certain occasion, the scouts were duly sent out, and, after fourteen days, reported back that no enemy sign had been found. All except the women and the very old men went joyously forth to the hunt.
Those remaining behind in camp made ready for the feasting and dancing that should take place upon the hunt-ters' return. The old women gathered wood and cow chips for fires, dug wild potatoes and wild turnips, and brought great kettles of water for cooking; the old men made racks upon which to hang the meat to dry; and the young women brightened their trinkets and added what they could to their finery, stopping often to climb the cliff and sight up the canyon or on the surrounding Hills for a returning brother, lover, or husband.
Meanwhile, the hunters were attacked and overwhelm • ed by their hated foes, the Crows, who had come across the mountains from the West and secreted themselves in the eaves that honeycomb the southern Pahasapa. All the Sioux hunters were killed.
After long anxious wa'ting for their young men, during which time old scouts went out and brought back the terrible tidings, the party returned sadly to their homes. All, except one bride, who refused to believe that her brave young husband was slain, or to leave the lookout point with the others. She never returned home, and probably succumbed to exposure and starvation, searching the Hills for him.
The story, part of which was gleaned from Indians, and the life-like formation of rock where the young brids waited "on the cliff's dizzy crest" caught the fancy of the author, hence:
INDIAN MAID OF SLEEPY HOLLOW
There's a place that I know—it's the Canyon of Rest— Where the moon, o'er the mountains is peeping; Where the pines sough and sigh, on tbe cliff's dizzy crest. To the psalm of a waterfall leaping.
The night winds have lulled all the flowers to sleep; Nested birdlings are drowsily cheeping; The zephyrs play, soft, through the trees, hide and seek; But the maiden, her virgil is keeping.
Up there on the rocks, in the South Wind's embrace, Looking out to the Eastern Sun's rising, No innermost thought can you read in her face, The memoried past thus surprising.
Of what does she dream, as she patiently sits, While the playful breeze dances around her, And a gay little night bird about her form flits And coquettes in the shades that surround her?
A legend Is told, of a hunt, long ago, When the game in the Hills was a-plenty; And the elk, and the deer, and the great buffalo Were pursued by a party of twenty.
Their tepees were pitched in the Canyon of Rest, In the Cradle of old Sleepy Hollow; And the Indian Maids climbed the cliff to its crest. Sighting trails that the hunters would follow.
And there, in the sunset-kissed pines, 'ga'nst the sky. They awaited their lovers' returning, As they chattered of dances and feasts bye and bye Far a-down where the camp-fires were burning.
Ah! How could they know that the enemy fierce, In the depths of the forest was hiding? And who was to tell that the arrows would pierce Every heart, so that none could bring tiding?
Many suns rose and set—many moons waxed and waned— One by one, hearts grew sick, as they waited. One by one, they crept back, till at last there remained A lone watcher for one Brave—ill-fated.
Snows on snows have passed by—no more do they camp In the Cradle of old Sleepy Hollow; They are chained to Reserves, and the impatient tramp Of their ponies, the white man's trailf follow/.
Snows on snows have passed by; still she patiently sits On the cliff's dizzy crest in the canyon; And the gray little night bird that round about flits And coquettes, is her only companiou.
RALLY SONG OF THE DAKOTAN8. (Air: Battle Hymn of the Republic))
We come from South Dakota where the bravest meet the
We come from Brookings in the East; from Rapid in the
From Custer, Pierre, and Aberdeen, from Fairburn and
the rest; We all come marching on.
Glory! Glory to Dakota! Glory! Glory to Dakota! Hurrah! Hurrah for South Dakota, Our State is marching on.
We're fathers, and we're mothers, and we're uncles, and we're aunts;
We're brothers, and .we're sisters, and we're neighbors,
too, perchance, We hail from every walk in life, from cabin and from manse;
We all come marching on. Chorus—
We're soldiers, and we're workers in pursuit of lofty aim; Historians, and poets, who adorn the scroll of fame; Philanthropists and scientists of known and unknown name; Chorus—
Our Fathers tamed the wilderness with hope and courage blest;
They sowed the seed of Brotherhood within the savage breast;
Till Indian and Pioneer could march along abreast; We all come marching on. Chorus—
Our Senators and Congressmen, the oldsters and the new,—
Pete Norbeck, "Billy" Williamson, and Royal Johnson, too;
McMaster and Christopherson: Are men both tried and true;
We all come marching on. Chorus—
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