©Poems of R.F.Mueller- Other Times, Other Thoughts
AFTER YOU LANGLADE
After you Langlade, our wired world is an epilog.
Separating the press of ancestral mouths on wooden bowls
From the glare of the ships of doom,
Your century is the one in which
We all were born and all will die.
But how could you, even in your dotage,
Sit calmly sucking your pipe,
Still watching the timeless Fox roll by
While our only century came to an end?
It was you who almost invented that terrible mobility
That plagues us to this day;
But yours, without a single wheel
Except the arc of the Paddle's flash,
Left no one in New France or the frontier's northern half
Feel secure from your warrior bands,
As on that July day in the deep Allegheny shade
When Braddock never knew what hit him
And the terror spread south along the Shenandoah
Where the Long Knives closed their shutters tight
Against the hunched up hills of savage night.
We follow you to the break in the Plains of Abraham
And the Falls of the Montmorency,
To your anguish at the trampled Fleur-de-lis,
So far from your barberry and juniper,
The scoured pebbles of sacred Michigan's shore;
On the endless sweaty portages through jack pine flats,
The countless trails returned to never more;
While westward the big sky slumbers,
Waiting for the Little Big Horn And the cracker hoard,
Waiting for the bands of steel and the gleaming yellow spike,
The tide that finally laps Muir's Range of Light.
.Some flatter themselves with the empire you began
And predict a millennium yet to come.
But would you own to this shining paradise
That cuts the rock-ridged hills away
And sucks your lakes and rivers dry?
The historical matter in this poem is based on Badger Saints and Sinners by Fred L. Holmes.