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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Done For

By Rose Terry Cooke (1827–1892)

[From Poems. Collective Edition. 1888.]

A WEEK ago to-day, when red-haired Sally

Down to the sugar-camp came to see me,

I saw her checked frock coming down the valley,

Far as anybody’s eyes could see.

Now I sit before the camp-fire,

And I can’t see the pine knots blaze,

Nor Sally’s pretty face a-shining,

Though I hear the good words she says.

A week ago to-night I was tired and lonely,

Sally was gone back to Mason’s fort,

And the boys by the sugar-kettles left me only;

They were hunting coons for sport.

By there snaked a painted Pawnee,

I was asleep before the fire;

He creased my two eyes with his hatchet,

And scalped me to his heart’s desire.

There they found me on the dry tussocks lying,

Bloody and cold as a live man could be;

A hoot-owl on the branches overhead was crying,

Crying murder to the red Pawnee.

They brought me to the camp-fire,

They washed me in the sweet white spring;

But my eyes were full of flashes,

And all night my ears would sing.

I thought I was a hunter on the prairie,

But they saved me for an old blind dog;

When the hunting-grounds are cool and airy,

I shall lie here like a helpless log.

I can’t ride the little wiry pony,

That scrambles over hills high and low;

I can’t set my traps for the cony,

Or bring down the black buffalo.

I’m no better than a rusty, bursted rifle,

And I don’t see signs of any other trail;

Here by the camp-fire I lie and stifle,

And hear Jim fill the kettles with his pail.

It’s no use groaning. I like Sally,

But a Digger squaw wouldn’t have me!

I wish they hadn’t found me in the valley,—

It’s twice dead not to see!