In presenting to the public this volume the compiler wishes to disown any attempt at a complete collection of Indian legends; both her knowledge of archæology, and the time allowed for the completion of the work are inadequate to such an achievement. She has attempted to gather the more noticeable legends already in verse in order to stimulate interest in the scenery and romance of her State. From its name--Minnesota--to its floral emblem--the moccasin flower--the State everywhere bears the impress of former occupation. About every lake, forest, and valley clings the aroma of romance in the form of name or legend of the vanished Red Man.
arcely out of sight,
She hastens to relieve her captive knight;
And while he gladly tastes the savory fare
Which presently her willing hands prepare,
Stretches his cramped limbs to the grateful sun,
And drinks the favoring smiles so hardly won,
A sudden shadow falls athwart his feet--
At last the war-like Sioux and Blackfoot meet.
Surely the boy his sister's secret guessed,
Since only kindness dwells within his breast
Toward his ancestral foe. By friendly signs,
Each comely youth the other's thought divines;
Then suddenly exclaims the dauntless Sioux,
"Listen, my friend! I must return with you
To ask and win this maiden for my wife!"
"Return with us! not if you prize your life--"
The startled Blackfoot answers. "You must know
That all our tribe regard you as a foe;
My sister's suitors are as many now
As yonder leaves that twinkle on the bough.
Should a Dakota venture such a plea,
Our jealous youth would slay him instantly!"