Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
Jean Joseph Rolette
By Laura Sherry
From “A Town on the River”

Captain of the fortress of Prairie du Chien,
Envoy extraordinary from John Jacob Astor, New York,
Owner of pelts of the Northwest.
Jean Joseph Rolette,        5
Your tomb stands high on the bluff
Commanding the river, the Northwest and your widow.
You tamed the blood of the red Indian;
Made a fortune in furs;
Captured in St. Louis the most beautiful woman in the Mississippi valley.        10
Your passionate blood, on that adventurous honeymoon,
Sang lustily
As your paddle cut into the strong current;
And your canoe, with its precious voyager,
Shot through the waves three hundred miles up the great river.        15
Under an arrogant stone on the hill
Your humble ashes rest.
Peace lies on the valley.
But there is adventure in barter,
And the blood of swift spirits is on the scent.        20
Your rival has captured the fur-trading post,
Built a fine house boldly facing the hill,
Defying your arrogant tomb;
And married your widow.

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