Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
The Carrying of the Ghost
By Nelson Antrim Crawford
 
A Mes-qua-kie Ceremony

[The Friends and the Mourners chant responsively.]

LET the ghost of the brave be carried away.
Let the ghost of the brave be carried away.
    Mourners, look up.
    Fasters, look up.
You who have shed your blood, look up.        5
You whose tears were not enough to shed,
    Look up, look up.
 
    We cannot look up.
    We cannot look up.
 
A moon ago he died.        10
A moon ago died the dutiful son.
A moon ago died the faithful husband.
A moon ago died the brave, the friend.
    His ghost is cold.
    His ghost is naked.        15
Let the ghost of the brave be carried away.
    Mourners, look up.
    Fasters, look up.
 
    We cannot look up.
    We cannot look up.        20
 
    Mourners, fasters,
    Where is his ghost?
In the Happy Hunting Ground
Pursues he the game?
Fights he in company with ancient warriors?        25
Fights he in company with Hot Hand?
Fights he in company with Cold Hand?
Fights he with the ancient brave Mes-qua-kies?
    Mourners, fasters,
    Where is his ghost?        30
Is he in the Happy Hunting Ground?
Is he in the Happy Hunting Ground?
 
    Aï, aï! Aï, aï! Aï, aï!
    Aï, aï! Aï, aï! Aï, aï!
 
Why is he not in the Happy Hunting Ground?        35
Why is he not in the Happy Hunting Ground?
    Mourners, fasters,
    Have you not sent him?
    Mourners and fasters,
    Befriend him, befriend him.        40
    Mourners and fasters,
    Befriend his ghost.
Why is he not in the Happy Hunting Ground?
Mourners, and fasters, why does his ghost tarry?
Why is it thin and cold and naked?        45
 
    He is so loved
    We cannot send him.
    He is so loved
    We cannot let him go.
    Aï, aï! Aï, aï! Aï, aï!        50
 
He stands outside
The circle of the ghost-fire.
He stands outside
In the cold darkness.
His soul is naked,        55
He is cold, outside
In the cold darkness.
He fears the demons
In the cold darkness,
Lest they eat his soul        60
In the cold darkness.
Mourners and fasters,
Befriend his ghost.
 
He is son: we cannot send him.
He is brother: we cannot send him.        65
He is husband: we cannot send him.
He is friend: we cannot send him.
    We cannot send him.
    We cannot let him go.
    If we send him,        70
    He comes back no more.
    If he goes,
    He comes back no more.
 
He is lonely and friendless.
He has no companions.        75
He sees his friends
By the smoky ghost-fire,
But they cannot see him.
He hears their voices
Praise him by the ghost-fire        80
But they cannot hear him
When he replies.
    Thin is his voice:
    They cannot hear it.
Send him to the Happy Hunting Ground,        85
Where dwell his ancestors,
Send him to the Happy Hunting Ground,
Where dwell Hot Hand and Cold Hand.
 
    Long is the ghost-road:
    No one returns by it.        90
    Long is the ghost-road:
    He comes back no more.
 
Long is the ghost-road: no one returns by it.
Long is the ghost-road: but all go over it.
Long is the ghost-road: you will go over it.        95
You will go over it, if you will send him.
 
    Long is the ghost-road:
    No one returns by it.
    Long is the ghost-road:
    He comes back no more.        100
 
He wanders in the cold, beyond the ghost-fire.
He picks up crumbs like a wolf in the cold.
He has no horse: he can hunt no game.
    Long is the ghost-road,
    But all go over it.        105
    Long is the ghost-road.
    You will go over it.
    You will go over it
    If you will send him.
 
Yes, we will send him,        110
For we shall follow him.
Yes, we will send him,
For we shall not lose him.
Yes, we will send him:
We shall all follow after him.        115
We shall all follow after him,
Wise, good, loving.
Yes, we will send him:
Make ready the horse,
The new clothes, the feast.        120
 
They will send him, they will send him,
The mourners will send him,
Make ready the horse, the new clothes, the feast.
    They will send him,
    They will send him,        125
And they will follow after.
    Call the ghost carriers,
    Call the ghost carriers.
Bring no more wood to the smoky ghost-fire:
The ghost goes on the long ghost-road.        130
Bring no more food to the smoky ghost-fire:
The ghost goes on the long ghost-road.
Let the men who sit by the smoky ghost-fire
No more praise him that he may hear.
Let the men who sit by the smoky ghost-fire        135
Rise up now and help to make ready.
    Rise up and make ready.
    Make ready,
    Make ready,
    Rise up and make ready.        140
The ghost goes on the long ghost-road.
 
 
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