Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
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James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
 
September 4
Geronimo
By Ernest McGaffey (1861– )
 
          Chief of the Apaches. Captured by General Miles on Sept. 4, 1886.

BESIDE that tent and under guard
In majesty alone he stands
As some chained eagle, broken-winged
With eyes that gleam like smouldering brands;
A savage face, streaked o’er with paint,        5
And coal-black hair in unkempt mane,
Thin, cruel lips, set rigidly—
A red Apache Tamerlane.
 
As restless as the desert winds,
Yet here he stands like carven stone,        10
His raven locks by breezes moved
And backward o’er his shoulders blown;
Silent, yet watchful as he waits
Robed in his strange, barbaric guise,
While here and there go searchingly        15
The cat-like wanderings of his eyes.
 
The eagle feather on his head
Is dull with many a bloody stain,
While darkly on his lowering brow
Forever rests the mark of Cain;        20
Have you but seen a tiger caged
And sullen through his barriers glare?
Mark well his human prototype,
The fierce Apache fettered there.
 
 
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