Sing Minnesota's Saga

Sing, little Crow Wing, lyrical your falls;

The Moccasin is blooming; the goldfinch calls:

The catkins crouch upon the swaying willows--

Follow a time-worn path--Wing, dappled billows!

I hear the Crow Wing waters as they flow

Chant Minnesota's saga, and I know

They ran through primal prairies, gypsy-free,

Startled by church and school bells--Destiny!

The French explorers came, the British too;

Her native tribes, the Chippewa and Sioux;

Arrival of the settlers--trampled trails ...

The Indian missions--Light that never fails!

The Sioux-land treaty--wagons pushing west;

The great seal of the state with its attest:

"I fain would see what lies beyond." The white

Man with his plow is here--His dreams are bright--

The Indian must go. All this I hear

While listening to the Crow Wing, silver-clear.

Sing, little Crow Wing! Sing of summer skies;

Man bent to purpose; faith in woman's eyes.

Tassled are cornfields; saffron is the grain;

Aster-blue the prairies; fruited the plain!

Straight as the Norway Pine, the Red Man stands

Then slow-retreats as settlers claim his lands.

Gone, isolation with the pack-horse trail!

A miracle: the railroad! Daily mail!

The frontier fears and loneliness disperse.

I watch the "boom," the panic's violence;

See Minnesota's countenance grow tense

Then eased and confident. I feel the urge

Of freedom's spirit in her heart to purge

The land of slavery. I know her white,

High courage and her starward faith in right.

I see a day, one hundred years ago,

Her day of statehood--a new star to glow

Unsullied in the banner of the free--

A timeless star to touch Infinity.

Sing, little Crow Wing! Sing of scarlet, gold;

Filled is the empty hutch, all it can hold.

Sing, little river, slowly, slowly run

Chanting in gratitude; gone the harvest sun!

My heart is tuned to rhythm of the song

Of Minnesota's cities with their long-

Line traffic, swarming streets, their commerce-humming--

I love to hear her mighty cities' thrumming!

But more I love the still, reflective peace

Of her small villages when labors cease

And twilight gently comes, for then I hear

Her children's laughter ... As the stars appear,

The old recall the locust year's dismay;

The young in love await the newer day,

For hush! They hear prophetic waters sing

A greater Minnesota's offering!

Still looking westward, eyes adventure-flamed,

Then scan the vastness of the sky unclaimed.

Dream little Crow Wing! Sweet is your repose

While beauty lies asleep beneath the snows.

Dream of tomorrow--Moccasin awaits

Your song when rain comes tapping April's gates!