Mrs. S. A. Collins



Devil's Lake

by Mrs. S. A. Collins

Guarded well by sentinels,

      Whose faithful watch they keep

At morning noon and eventide,

      Lay its waters clear and deep.

Those towering rocks above the lake,

      Make the place seem weird and strange,

As Nature wrought those wonders rare,

      Perfect, they need no change.

Legends tell of Indian lovers,

      Wooing here the dusky maid;

Tell of deer which used to gambol

      Neath these large trees' leafy shade.

But those dusky brown-eyed heroes .

Are no more, and in their place

Come the young with high achievements,

      Cultured minds and fairer face.

But the wooing still continues,

      As it did in days of yore,

The leading part in all Life's drama

      Till youth and maiden are no more.

Here we see the row-boats speeding

      Lightly o'er the waters blue,

Hear the many voices blending

      In happy song and laughter too.

See the steam-boat gently gliding,

Freighted with her load of joy;

Hear the splashing of the water,

      Music for each girl and boy.

All along the beach are scattered,

      Cottages for young and old,

Who for health or pleasure linger,

      Till the summer nights grow cold.

And on the sandy beach the children,

      In their suits of blue and gray,

Gather pebbles by the handful,

      Then toss them one by one away,

Into the water cool and clear

      And watch the ripples as they spread,

Attended by the sweetest music.

      From the tree-tops over head.

See the angler with his fish-hook,

      Coaxing oft the finny tribe,

While the cottagers make ready

      For their meal at even-tide.

Here the happy rambler lingers

      As the moon peeps o'er the hill,

To watch the water gleam and glimmer,

      While all nature seems so still.

It is well for tired mortals,

Weary with the cares of life,

To sit beside these placid waters

      Far away from busy strife,

And to drink from nature's fountain,

      Joy and gladness o'er again;

Thoughtless for a time of duty,

      Heedless then of care and pain.

As I stand upon the summit

      Of the bluff at left or right,

And watch the water as it glistens,

      Like dew-drops in the morning light.

Then look about me at the beauty

      Of the rocks and waters too,

I wonder what more could we ask for,

      But a thankful heart and true.