Smith, Effie Waller
|A MOUNTAIN PICTURE|
We sat within the cabin old,
'Twas built of logs, and small;
The blazing fire of beechen sticks
Lit up the dingy wall.
Discerned we with our searching eyes
While glowed the fire's bright light,
On strong supports above the door
A rifle polished bright.
The crickets chirped solemnly
Among the chimney's clay,
Dozing upon the hearthstone wide
A brindled kitten lay.
We chatted with our host who had
For more than three score year,
Lived among the Cumberlands
A sturdy mountaineer.
He sat with legs crossed, loosely clad
In home spun suit of grey,
While smoke in billowy waves of blue
Curled from his pipe of clay.
He was our guide while we were there
Among those mountains high;
Whose every rill and valley were
Familiar to his eye.
He told of when ferocious beasts
Roamed o'er those mountains wild;
He told us of the time when he
An Indian chief had killed.
Yes, many tales he told to us
Of ancient deeds performed
By him among the Cumberlands
With knife and musket armed.
And while we listened to those tales
More fanciful than truthful,
We noted well our host's blue eyes
Large, sparkling, keen, and youthful.
The tranquil peace and happiness
That sweet contentment brings,
And which our host possessed is not
A heritage for kings.
Nor for those who daily walk
The crowded ways of life,
Eager for gain and eminence
Though won and held through strife.
'Twas thus I pondered long that night
In meditation deep,
While lying on my bed before
I closed my eyes in sleep.
I coveted my host who lived
With peace of mind unbounded,
Beside the Sandy river
By mountain walls surrounded.