Legend of Spirit Lake
| Long ago beside the waters of this lake of crystal clearness
Lived a tribe of peaceful Indians, few in number, very gentle
a loving chieftain and his daughter Sewewanna.
Fair was she, the fairest
maiden of a tribe renowned for beauty.
Long her hair, and like the
blackbird, changing color in the sunlight
Brown her eyes and soft as
starlight that reflects in deep, still waters
And her voice was as the
singing of the meadowlark at sunset
Or the cooing of a ring dove at the
springtime of its mating.
And this maiden loved a young brave, loved
a playmate of her childhood
Who was tall and strong and slender as the
pine trees on the mountain
Proud and graceful as the eagle, fleet of foot
as any red deer And this young brave loved the maiden and their hearts
were filled with gladness.
So their vows of love they whispered in
the moonlight by the lake shore Pledged their vows of love eternal to the
gods of youth and gladness And the little spotted muledeer, unafraid came
out to see them And the wild fox and his new mate ran before them through
Now beyond the sheltering mountains in the land toward
the sunrise Lived another tribe of Indians, fierce and warlike in their
manner And their chief was old and feeble, bent and bowed from many
winters But he thought himself a great brave and would wed the Sewewanna.
So he sent to them a warrior, with a message to her father
Saying he would wed the maiden or make war upon her people Who knew not
the ways of fighting and were few beside his many Saying he must have his
answer ere tomorrow's sun was setting Ere the twilight made its shadows on
the lake of crystal water.
So to save his peaceful people from the
wrath of the old chieftain Father of the Indian princess sent this message
by the warrior That the maiden Sewewanna would be glad to wed the
chieftain From the land toward the sunrise, from the land of many
Now the maiden and her lover pleaded long before her father
Pleaded for their youth and loving, pleaded that their hearts were
breaking. But the old chief sat in silence saying only "I have spoken"
And they knew that it was useless so they spoke with him no longer.
From the land toward the sunrise came the old chief and his warriors
Came to claim the lovely maiden bringing gifts of furs and wampum Bringing
meat, and nuts, and berries to make feasting at the wedding But the hearts
of Sewewanna and her lover brave were breaking.
While the old chief
sat in council in the wigwam of her father While the youthful braves and
maidens sang and danced around the fires Sewewanna and her lover slipped
away toward the lake shore To the spot above the whirlpool where their
vows of love were spoken.
And the white moon high above them made a
pathway on the water Made a path of shining silver leading out to the
Great Spirit And the soft winds in the tree tops told them to walk out
upon it That their vows might be unbroken, that their love might live
So they bound their hands together with the marriage chain
of rushes And walked out upon the moon path to the land of the Great
Spirit And the lake of crystal waters took them quickly to its bosom
And the whirlpool closed above them making many silver circles That grew
wide and ever wider until they vanished in the shadows
And now, when
the spring winds whisper and the moon with its silvery hue Illumines the
lake with its brightness you can see a dark canoe Two shadowy forms are
within it, two faces that seem to smile Tis the maid and her Indian lover
returned from the spirit isle.
So ends the Indian legend that the
mothers tell their children Of the days before the white man came to live
beside the waters Of the crystal lake that nestles in the lap of tree-clad
mountains How this lake once called Clear Water, came to be the Lake of