Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
Song of the Conqueror of Women
By Constance Lindsay Skinner
 
From “Songs of the Coast-dwellers”

  I AM Mo-an-mat-ma, the Dandy.
My tribesmen, jealous, call me Many-Faces;
But the name over my house-door
Is Conqueror of Women.
The Moon-Woman’s finger wrote it there.        5
I am as that red deer of stars
In the night’s skyey forest,
Ever pursued by the tossing foam of maidens’ love—
Froth from the mouths of hunting wolves!
(Ak! and some that be not maidens—        10
My blind-eyed kinsmen, look to the little straying feet
Of such—and this—and that—um’m’m’m—
Look to it!) They follow me,
As the twinkling foam-track of hungry stars
Endlessly trails after him, the antlered one, the Red Star—        15
But takes him never! Aik-Ki-yi-y!
 
  I am the Conqueror of Women!
My grass cap is set round with red breasts of red-breasted woodpeckers;
My hair is sleek, black, long, bead-twined,
It flashes like the watered fins of Auch-Willo        20
Striking through the sea in the sun.
It is priceless as the fur of seals:
It is heaven-blossomed, like Yethel’s wing.
I am tall, tall, tall and proud,
Proud, proud, proud, and strong;        25
Strong, strong, strong, like—
Like all the men of the Haidas;
Like all save me, who am tallest, proudest, strongest.
My moccasins are of white doe-skin much embroidered;
Five little rows of smallest white owl-feathers        30
Go round and round
The star-signs, the love-signs, worked in colored grasses.
(O my kinsman, O No-al-es, would you wed with Ho’g tonight
If you knew—oh, la la!—who worked my moccasins?)
 
  I am the Conqueror of Women!        35
My body is swiftly strong as the storm in spring,
And beautifully large as the pale gold sand beneath the moon.
I am long-limbed and thewed like the cliff,
And curved in mighty curves like the shore about the sea.
My voice in love-making is as birds warring.        40
It is as sea-gulls shrieking, in the ears of women;
In anger—ai-k! how terrible in anger is my voice!
It splits the hearts of women, like Yethel pecking clam-shells.
Ai! They follow, follow my bright moccasins
Through the crooked trails of the woods.        45
They break my hunting scent; they scare my fishes—
Ak! ak! ak! love-seekers! husband-snatchers!
Foolish, foolish and unwise, you dance after a ghost!
I am Many-Faces, the Dandy; I wed none.
I wed none, I miss none. I lose none.        50
I am the Conqueror of Women!
 
 
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