IN the old Wisconsin River, 

Where the red man's bow and quiver 

Shot the wild deer in the forest, 

Where the wild duck swam the faster 

When she saw the arrow pass her, 

Are the far-famed Dells of Kilbourn. 

Deep the river's narrow bed is, 

And around the abrupt turning 

Rush the waters, madly foaming; 

And the bare rocks, rising upward 

From the bosom of the waters, 

Seem one solid wall of stonework, 

Built by mason's plumb and chisel,—

Summits crowned with waving verdure, 

Evergreen, and birch, and maple. 

And a rustic bridge of branches 

Spans the awful chasm's thunder, 

As the waters, dashing onward 

Through the channel deep and narrow, • 

Weep and moan, then waxing bolder, 

Send their crashing grandeur upward. 

Suddenly there sounds a war-whoop, 

And it echoes through the forest; 

Over on the other summit, 

See a red man swifter running 

Than an eagle in its flying. 

Ah! The bridge affords a refuge; 

Haste his flying footsteps thither, 

And his enemies behind him 

See him leaping o'er the branches 

Of the bridge across the river. 

But where is he? Has he fallen 

Has he 'scaped the death of lances 

But to drown amid the surges 

Of the cruel, fateful river? 

Not at all! For well the red man 

Knows the secrets of his country. 

In the side of yonder mountain, 

Just below the bridge of branches, 

Seems an entrance to a cavern, 

And the red man, swinging downward 

From the boughs above the river, 

Enters through the darkened portal. 

And 'tis said that his pursuers 

Thought a spirit 'twas they followed 

To the margin of the river; 

For they dreamed not that a cavern 

Took their prey and gave no token. 

Long he lived in deep seclusion; 

Dared not tell his dark-faced brothers 

Where his wild and sure retreat was. 

Far within the cavern's chambers 

Sustenance he found in plenty. 

Through one room of glittering brightness 

Ran a river full of fishes; 

And the wild birds came to know him 

As a friend, and trusted in him. 

But his foes that wandered o'er him 

Dreamed not of the cave beneath them. 

Many changes had come o'er them. 

None remembered now the brother 

They had driven to the river. 

But their good old chief was dying. 

In his wigwam lay the old man 

With his dusky brothers round him, 

When the furry curtain lifting, 

Showed a stranger at the entrance. 

As he saw the keen light fading 

From the eyes, and heard the moaning 

Of the women that were wailing, 

Lightly stepped he to the pallet, 

And in tenderness bent o'er him. 

How he soothed the old man's pathway 

To the dim and silent river, 

Blessings gave instead of curses, 

Only they can tell who saw him. 

Turning then, he bade them listen 

While be told of his adventures 

In the cavern 'neath their dwellings; 

How he'd come to them at midnight, 

When they slept, and could not know him. 

And in joy for his returning, 

They forgot their old-time hatred, 

Blessed and praised him till the twilight 

Passed away in early dawning. 

"Our old chief is dead," they whispered. 

"Why not make our brother chieftain, 

For none better could be chosen 

From our band of bravest hunters." 

Long he lived, and ruled in kindness, 

Till the pale-face stole his freedom, 

Then amid the din of battle 

Yielded up the life God gave him. 

And his tribe, so deeply mourning, 

Buried him, their loved commander; 

And the mound heaped high above him 

Is oft visited by strangers.