poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

About this Poem 

"Crazy Snake—Chitto Harjo. The leader of a band of Creeks who oppose the abolishment of their tribal rights. Several times Harjo has been imprisoned because of his defying the United States authorities."

—note from The Poems of Alexander Lawrence Posey (Crane & Co., 1910)

On the Capture and Imprisonment of Crazy Snake, January, 1900

Down with him! chain him! bind him fast!
    Slam to the iron door and turn the key!
The one true Creek, perhaps the last
    To dare declare, “You have wronged me!”
Defiant, stoical, silent,
    Suffers imprisonment!

Such coarse black hair! such eagle eye!
    Such stately mien!—how arrow-straight!
Such will! such courage to defy
    The powerful makers of his fate!
A traitor, outlaw,—what you will,
    He is the noble red man still.

Condemn him and his kind to shame!
    I bow to him, exalt his name!

From The Poems of Alexander Lawrence Posey (Crane & Co., 1910). This poem is in the public domain.

From The Poems of Alexander Lawrence Posey (Crane & Co., 1910). This poem is in the public domain.

Alexander Posey

Alexander Posey

Alexander Posey, born August 3, 1873, was a Muskogee Creek poet, journalist, and humorist known for his poems and Fus Fixico letters.

by this poet

poem
How savage, fierce and grim!
     His bones are bleached and white. 
But what is death to him? 
     He grins as if to bite. 
He mocks the fate 
     That bade, ''Begone.'' 
There's fierceness stamped 
     In ev'ry bone. 

Let silence settle from the midnight sky— 
Such silence as you've broken with your cry;
poem
There is more glory in a drop of dew,
    That shineth only for an hour,
Than there is in the pomp of earth’s great Kings
    Within the noonday of their power.

There is more sweetness in a single strain
    That falleth from a wild bird’s throat,
At random in the lonely forest’s depths,
    Than there’s in all
poem
    Some day this quest
       Shall cease;
          Some day,
          For aye,
    This heart shall rest
      In peace.
Sometimes—ofttimes—I almost feel
The calm upon my senses steal,
So soft, and all but hear
The dead leaves rustle near
And sign to be
At rest with me.
Though I behold
  The ashen branches