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I write of those who held this land
From time as far back as you will-
To-day a wasted, stricken band.
But yesterday a stalwart race
Preserving in the gentle face
The imprint of God's fingers still.

Ere Ovid's parchment spread the ink
The tale was legend of the lips Of Perseus.
And so, I think, 'Tis well to teach the world the lore
Our aborigines forebore

But we who've peeped into their hearts
See there the deep and passioned beat-
We see how quick a teardrop starts-
We read the furrows of the brow,
We know the ache that's with them now,
We note their dragging, listless feet.

They count their age since life began
Here, they the embryo at dawn;
Here lived they when the earth was wan!
Their age is aeons-is not years!
And now they're dying of their tears!
Down in their ashes hear them mourn.

They had no sea-borne argosy,
They trecked no treck with questing feet-
Such tales--they are but fantasy!
Their God was Love-their life was law;
Diseaseless, happy! Why wish more?
In purity they had their seat.

Then came white wings that brought them Death.
They'd lived by love--but Nature saw
In tune with God--sweet as His breath-
But now they see who is the Last,
They know their day has faded fast-
We lie-'tis Nature's law!

--C. W. Peck.