The Camp Of Souls Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


My white canoe like the silvery airA
O'er the River of Death that darkly rollsB
When the moons of the world are round and fairA
I paddle back from the 'Camp of Souls 'C
When the wishton wish in the low swamp grievesD
Come the dark plumes of red 'Singing Leaves 'C
Two hundred times have the moons of springE
Rolled over the bright bay's azure breathF
Since they decked me with plumes of an eagle's wingE
And painted my face with the 'paint of death '-
And from their pipes o'er my corpse there brokeG
The solemn rings of the blue 'last smoke '-
Two hundred times have the wintry moonsH
Wrapped the dead earth in a blanket whiteI
Two hundred times have the wild sky loonsH
Shrieked in the flush of the golden lightI
Of the first sweet dawn when the summer weavesD
Her dusky wigwam of perfect leavesD
Two hundred moons of the falling leafJ
Since they laid my bow in my dead right handK
And chanted above me the 'song of grief'J
As I took my way to the spirit landK
Yet when the swallow the blue air cleavesD
Come the dark plumes of red 'Singing Leaves '-
White are the wigwams in that far campL
And the star eyed deer on the plains are foundM
No bitter marshes or tangled swampN
In the Manitou's happy hunting groundM
And the moon of summer forever rollsB
Above the red men in their 'Camp of Souls '-
Blue are its lakes as the wild dove's breastO
And their murmurs soft as her gentle noteP
As the calm large stars in the deep sky restO
The yellow lilies upon them floatP
And canoes like flakes of the silvery snowQ
Thro' the tall rustling rice beds come and goQ
Green are its forests no warrior windR
Rushes on war trail the dusk grove throughS
With leaf scalps of tall trees mourning behindR
But South Wind heart friend of Great ManitouR
When ferns and leaves with cool dews are wetR
Bows flowery breaths from his red calumetR
Never upon them the white frosts lieT
Nor glow their green boughs with the 'paint of death'F
Manitou smiles in the crystal skyT
Close breathing above them His life strong breathF
And He speaks no more in fierce thunder soundR
So near is His happy hunting groundR
Yet often I love in my white canoeS
To come to the forests and camps of earthF
'Twas there death's black arrow pierced me throughS
'Twas there my red browed mother gave me birthF
There I in the light of a young man's dawnU
Won the lily heart of dusk 'Springing Fawn '-
And love is a cord woven out of lifeJ
And dyed in the red of the living heartR
And time is the hunter's rusty knifeJ
That cannot cut the red strands apartR
And I sail from the spirit shore to scanV
Where the weaving of that strong cord beganV
But I may not come with a giftless handR
So richly I pile in my white canoeS
Flowers that bloom in the spirit landR
Immortal smiles of Great ManitouR
When I paddle back to the shores of earthF
I scatter them over the white man's hearthF
For love is the breath of the soul set freeW
So I cross the river that darkly rollsB
That my spirit may whisper soft to theeW
Of thine who wait in the 'Camp of Souls '-
When the bright day laughs or the wan night grievesD
Come the dusky plumes of red 'Singing Leaves '-

Isabella Valancy Crawford


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