Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
The Tom-tom
By Frank S. Gordon
 
From “Along the South Star Trail”
Tribal Songs from the South-west

DRUM-BEAT, beat of drums,
Pebble-rattle in the gourd,
Pebble feet on drifting sand …
Drum-beat, beat of drums—
I have lost the wife-made robe of bear-skin …        5
Take the prize—mine the loss.
Have I lost too the courage of the black bear—
His power, his thunder?
Lul-la-by,
Games’ queer lullaby …        10
O robe of mine!—
O luck of mine!
 
  Drum-beat, beat of drums,
Pebble-rattle in the gourd,
Coyote feet upon the plain …        15
Drum-beat, beat of drums—
Coyotes crushed the tender ham-string and the bone …
A bull-calf bawls, dies alone.
Where are the herds of buffalo and the hides,
The meat, the tepees?        20
Lul-la-by,
Man’s dread lullaby …
O home of mine!
O life of mine!
 
  Drum-beat, beat of drums,        25
Pebble-rattle in the gourd,
Horse-hoof beat upon the ground …
Drum-beat, beat of drums—
By Wounded Knee ye buried them, buried them—
Red men’s flesh, their bones …        30
By Wounded Knee we buried them, buried them.
The songs we sung, the dreams….
Lul-la-by,
The white man’s lullaby …
O race of mine!        35
O brothers mine!
 
  Drum-beat, beat of drums,
Pebble-rattle in the gourd,
Pulse-beat in the fever …
Drum-beat, beat of drums—        40
Famine drank from the gourd bottle, ate the gourd;
Left the skin, the bone.
She walked the pathway from the east, of the departed—
Left me forsaken, alone….
Lul-la-by,        45
Tirawa’s long lullaby …
O blood of mine!
O child of mine!
 
  Drum-beat, beat of drums,
Pebble-rattle in the gourd.        50
Still feet in the grave-mound …
Drum-beat, beat of drums—
The gourd-rattle handle leads to the sun and life;
Leaves clay, leaves cold.
A purple smoke arises from bowl to float on winds;        55
Leaves ashes—my ash….
Lul-la-by,
Death’s sweet lullaby …
O flesh of mine!
O hands of mine!        60
 
  Drum-beat, beat of drums,
Pebble-rattle in the gourd,
Dream-feet in the yellow line …
Drum-beat, beat of drums—
One half the feather of Tirawa’s bird is white;        65
The other black—’tis night;
Tirawa’s song at night is morning star of dawn
Where dance dreams, in light….
Lul-la-by,
The spirit’s lullaby …        70
O soul of mine!
O breath of mine!
 
  Drum-beat, beat of drums,
Pebble-rattle in the gourd,
Calves’ feet in starry plains …        75
Drum-beat, beat of drums—
A sacred herd graze on tips of fair fresh flowers
In garden—Star of Evening’s.
A bison drinks mixed all-waters, pure
From Spring; ’tis hers….        80
Lul-la-by,
All-Life’s lullaby …
O land of mine!
O plains of mine!
 
  Drum-beat, beat of drums,        85
Pebble-rattle in the gourd,
Dance-feet ’round the sun …
Drum-beat, beat of drums—
By the sun see the dancing white men with the red—
By Wounded Knee, a post!        90
There they blend their songs together, brother-wise;
Here the post, the paint….
Lul-la-by,
The Nation’s lullaby …
O race of mine!        95
O brothers mine!
 
  Drum-beat, beat of drums,
Pebble-rattle in the gourd,
Child feet in the hogan …
Drum-beat, beat of drums—        100
A child has taught her little spider pet to weave
Bead-work at my door;
A child has taught these dimming eyes to see
Thread-work, star-lit lodge …
Lul-la-by,        105
Love’s own lullaby …
O hogan mine!
O hogan thine!
 
  Drum-beat, beat of drums,
Pebble-rattle in the gourd,        110
Soul-feet in trail of wind….
Drum-beat, beat of drums—
Hear the great sea-feet, beating on the flint-rock!
Drum-beat, beat of drum—
Hear the beat of distant feet on South Star Trail!        115
Drum-beat, beat of drum—
Ti-ra-wa!
Earth’s great Ti-ra-wa.
O heart-beat thine!
O drum-beat thine!        120
 
 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors