Spirit Lake Idaho !
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Legend of Spirit Lake

Legend of Spirit Lake Idaho ! Long ago beside the waters of this lake of crystal clearness lived a tribe of peaceful Indians, few in number, very gentle governed by 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 the forest.

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 warriors.

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 forever.

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 Spirits.

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