Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
488. Done For
 
By Rose Terry Cooke
 
 
A WEEK ago to-day, when red-haired Sally
  DOWN to the sugar-camp came to see me,
I saw her checked frock coming down the valley,
  Far as anybody’s eyes could see.
Now I sit before the camp-fire,        5
  And I can’t see the pine-knots blaze,
Nor Sally’s pretty face a-shining,
  Though I hear the good words she says.
 
A week ago to-night I was tired and lonely,
  Sally was gone back to Mason’s fort,        10
And the boys by the sugar-kettles left me only;
  They were hunting coons for sport.
By there snaked a painted Pawnee,
  I was asleep before the fire;
He creased my two eyes with his hatchet,        15
  And scalped me to his heart’s desire.
 
There they found me on the dry tussocks lying,
  Bloody and cold as a live man could be;
A hoot-owl on the branches overhead was crying,
  Crying murder to the red Pawnee.        20
They brought me to the camp-fire,
  They washed me in the sweet white spring;
But my eyes were full of flashes,
  And all night my ears would sing.
 
I thought I was a hunter on the prairie,        25
  But they saved me for an old blind dog;
When the hunting-grounds are cool and airy,
  I shall lie here like a helpless log.
I can’t ride the little wiry pony,
  That scrambles over hills high and low;        30
I can’t set my traps for the cony,
  Or bring down the black buffalo.
 
I ’m no better than a rusty, bursted rifle,
  And I don’t see signs of any other trail;
Here by the camp-fire blaze I lie and stifle,        35
  And hear Jim fill the kettles with his pail.
It ’s no use groaning. I like Sally,
  But a Digger squaw would n’t have me!
I wish they had n’t found me in the valley,—
  It ’s twice dead not to see!        40
 

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