LEGEND OF THE WABASH ©
Floyd Simeon Root


Let me tell you about the Wabash
Whose mystic waters flow,
Was started by a Maiden
And Brave of long ago.

In the valley of the Wabash
There lived a noble breed
Of Indian people descended
They say, of Godly seed.

Never was finer glory
Ever seen by human eyes
Than that valley of the Wabash,
An Indian paradise.

Dogwoods that bloomed in spring
Were as white as fallen snow.
The game was tame and plentiful,
Where oak and wild wood grow.

A fragrance filled the air
Of the honeysuckle vine.
The honey and the berries
Placed by powers divine.

There lived within the valley
A Brave with a heart of love,
Love for an Indian Maiden fair,
And the Spirit that dwells above.

And though the Spirit was pleased
For the love that bloomed therein,
Yet was the Spirit grieved
For the greed of other men.

Men who had much reason
For their blessings to be grateful,
Had hearts once warm and loving,
Grown now cold and hateful.

With envy, lust, and vanity,
A violence gripped the land.
With war paint on their faces
They killed their fellow man.

The Spirit was sorely grieved
For the lack of love he found.
The Spirit cried, “I hold my blessing.
I curse this hallowed ground.”

From the very day he spoke
The sky withheld the rain.
The sun beat on the forest hot.
It scorched the fertile plain.

The animals began to disappear.
The grasses all turned dry.
The Indians knew if no rain fell
Then they would surely die.

The men cried out in sorrow.
They knew not what to do.
They fought amongst themselves.
They cursed. They killed anew.

That brave young Indian only
Was repentant for their sin,
And he alone determined
To help his fellow men.

He tenderly kissed his Maiden
And said, “For you I die.
I ask, my love, don’t follow me,
And do not ask me why.”

And with that simple parting,
He turned and walked away.
And though her heart was breaking,
She promised she would stay.

And though she tried her very best,
She could not stay behind,
But dashed into the forest dry,
Her lover there to find.

She ran along a leafy trail,
By heart she knew the way.
Then in a glen ahead of her
She saw him kneel, and pray.

His heart beat hard and heavy.
In reverence he bowed his head.
She saw his lips part slowly.
She heard the words he said.

“Great Spirit of the clouds,
In anguish to you I cry.
My people for lack of water
I know will surely die.

“I offer all I have to you,
My life to you I give,
If you will just send water,
And let my people live.”

A ray of light shone softly.
It stroked his long black hair.
It seemed to be an answer
Of one who answers prayer.

She heard a voice speak clearly,
“By you are your brothers blest.
Because you share the Spirit love,
I grant you your request.

“I’m going to bring you home with me,
Away from greed and sin.
I’ll take away your sorrow,
I’ll let the sun shine in.”

The ray of light grew brighter.
A flash entombed the Brave.
And when the smoke had cleared,
It left an Indian grave.

And so she knelt down on the earth,
And she began to cry.
The tears fell down across her face
Like rain from the summer sky.

The tears they shone like diamonds
Beneath the summer sun.
And yet she cried and all at once,
A stream began to run.

The stream crept slowly southward
Past every Indian band.
It greened the grateful grasses,
It quenched the burning sand.

That stream was mighty special.
It flowed from love and grace.
The stream became a river
Fed by tears from off her face.

Then all the heavens opened,
And gentle came the rain.
It was divine restoration
For the forest, for the plain.

The Indians all rejoiced
To see the waters flow.
Now there would be life
And forest green would grow.

The Indian children sang.
With joy the women cried.
No one seemed to know
An Indian Brave had died.

The lovely Indian Maiden,
She disappeared that day.
For as she cried her heart out,
She cried herself away.

And even to this very day
The Wabash Waters flow.
They were started by a Maiden
And Brave of long ago.

They never really left us though,
And I’m sure they never will,
For high above the Wabash
The two are living still.

So when you see the Wabash,
Let thoughts and cares depart,
And think of the Indian Maiden
With her broken Indian heart.






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