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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

E. Pauline Johnson 1862–1913

The Vagabonds


WHAT saw you in your flight to-day,

Crows a-winging your homeward way?

Went you far in carrion quest,

Crows that worry the sunless west?

Thieves and villains, you shameless things!

Black your record as black your wings.

Tell me, birds of the inky hue,

Plunderous rogues—to-day have you

Seen with mischievous, prying eyes

Lands where earlier suns arise?

Saw you a lazy beck between

Trees that shadow its breast in green,

Teased by obstinate stones that lie

Crossing the current tauntingly?

Fields abloom on the farther side

With purpling clover lying wide,

Saw you there as you circled by,

Vale-environed a cottage lie—

Girt about with emerald bands,

Nestling down in its meadow lands?

Saw you this on your thieving raids?

Speak—you rascally renegades.

Thieved you also away from me

Olden scenes that I long to see?

If O crows! you have flown since morn

Over the place where I was born,

Forget, will I, how black you were

Since dawn, in feather and character;

Absolve, will I, your vagrant band,

Ere you enter your slumber-land.