The Pictured Rocks of Blackbird Hill.—
What legends wait the savant’s skill
Who can those curious carvings trace.
Cut in the sandstone’s somber face:
Thick grown with moss and lichens gray.
In dells shut from the light of day :—
What may these ancient writings mean
Deep hid in Blackbird’s dark ravine?

This glowing sun.—this evening star—
Tell an old myth of Pawnee lore.—
Primeval nuptials,—whence there sprung
The tribal race and tribal tongue.

Behold near by in pictured word
The Hunter-Elk and Thunder-Bird ;—

Tales that are told as far and wide
As Chesapeake and Puget tide.

These rough-hewn ribs and bison face
Make for the Buffalo-Man a place;—
A favorite story—circled round—
On many an Indian camping ground.

Is this the centaur of the Greeks
Which in a later carving speaks?
This blended quadruped and man,
Whence came the Indian artist’s plan?

The Pictured Rocks of Blackbird Hill—
Let him who reads read what he will—
The cldest Indian shakes his head—
"In the long, long ago—all dead."

The "Little Rock," Omaha Reservation.


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