ivor or ivor.e hogg
First Born - Poem by ivor or ivor.e hogg
In the softly scented twilight,
walking slowly simply musing.
My thoughts turn to my hearts delight
she is sure now to be choosing.
Which young man she wants to marry
now she has become a woman.
Hopefully I am her quarry now
that she must chose her man.
Long dark hair which flows like water,
flashing eyes that hold the moonlight.
Running Elk the chieftains daughter
graceful as the swallows in flight.
She is full of joy and laughter,
she sings sweeter than the song birds
Can I win the chieftains daughter
may the Great Spirit hear my words.
Many moons now I have loved her
watched her grow into a beauty
Now the goddess’ hand has touched her,
she must do her sacred duty.
She is old enough now to wed.
She must choose her life’s companion
to share her tepee and her bed.
I long to be her chosen one.
I am proud with much to offer.
Doughty warrior, careful tracker.
I have much that I can proffer
defence from any attacker.
Great Manitou lend me your aid.
Guide her footsteps let her choose me
from all the braves who will parade
Let her heart see my honesty.
Make me show worthy in her eyes.
She is young and needs a husband
who know that he has gained the prize.
Fairest maiden of all this land.
Through the night I’m vigil keeping
praying to ancestral spirits
Whilst the other braves are sleeping.
Night long prayers can bring benefits.
In the morning as the dawn breaks.
Tribal elders call the young men
from their beds as the camp awakes.
To let the maidens look again.
Each young warrior wears a brave face
Hoping he is the chosen one
Now each young maiden takes her place
their faces set as cast in stone.
Will she chose me I must wonder.
If I find favour in her eyes,
she’ll lead me to the forest yonder.
Where we may enter paradise.
Be still my heart let not your thunder
sound so loudly. I must appear
indifferent as I wonder.
Though I can feel her drawing near.
Her soft strong hand encloses mine
Running Elk the chieftains daughter
has chosen me so she is mine
We walk away midst peals of laughter
quickly towards the forest grove
There in the quiet of the trees
we can enjoy our new sprung love
Caressed by sunlight and the breeze.
For one full moon we need not be
concerned with any other thing.
For one full moon we are quite free.
She is my queen and I am king.
But then we must rejoin the tribe
take up our duties separate
As tribal customs all prescribe
as married man and chosen mate,
Though presently we do not care
lost in love and burning need.
We live on love and dine on air
in this we are firmly agreed.
When the moon is full we will go
back to the camp to our tepee
and let her loving kinfolk know
that she has chosen happily.
We will maintain our dignity
at least in public where we’re seen
But in our tepee privately
I will still treat her as my queen.
Although the tribal laws dictate
a wife must meekly serve her lord.
I see no need to dominate
I’ll let her have the final word.
For I have observed carefully
the way my older kinfolks live
and those who live in harmony.
Know when to take and when to give.
My Running Elk is my delight
and I provide for her the best
WE work by day and love by night,
we know by heaven we are blessed.
Beneath her heart a new life thrives
a mutual product of our love
A treasure to complete our lives
A sign of favour from above
The first born of our family
The chieftain takes it in his stride
Her mother tells us privately
That he is swollen up with pride.
Her mother well advises her
what she must and must not do
As she makes clothes of softest fur
to fit the babe that is soon due.
But as me I’m terrified
I would rather face a bear.
She brushes all my fears aside
and tells me that I won’t be there.
Some things men aren’t allowed to see
At child birth the old women rule
and I agree wholeheartedly.
Because I am frightened fool.
But when he’s here I’ll play my part
and teach him everything I know.
Make sure he has the finest start
of any child and watch him grow.
My wife’s convinced it will be a she.
She says the goddess told her so.
It matters not we both agree
for in due course we’ll get to know
I am a man I have a wife
I am as happy as can be.
Together we created life
that I await impatiently.
My Running Elk just laughs at me.
She says she must do all the work
In nurturing the life to be
while I just wear a silly smirk
As if was all down to me
I did my bit I did my best
and she conceived triumphantly.
I think I passed my manhood test.
I’m what a proper man should be
I am so proud that I could burst
My Running Elk indulges me.
All men are proudest of their first.
Nine moons have passed this was the last.
Now I am banished from my tent.
I sweat and bid the time go fast.
I cannot rest til news is sent.
Have I a daughter or a son
and is my Running Elk alright.
The babes arrived the battle’s won.
Just as the morning star shines bright.
Now Running Elk must have her rest
and I am not allowed to see
the babe that’s suckling at her breast.
Until my sweetheart calls for me
To thank her for this wondrous gift.
the pain she underwent for me.
I feel my lowered spirits lift
I hear her calling come and see.
I go to her and hold her hand.
My son is sleeping peacefully.
I cannot speak I simply stand
and gaze upon my family.
My heart is full she understands
she reads me like an open book.
My son she places in my hands
I stand amazed and thunderstruck
A sturdy boy, his shock of hair
as shiny as a ravens wing
I cannot say how much I
but she can hear she’s listening.
The hymn of praise which my heart sings
will tell her all she longs to hear
To me our son a king of kings
and she the dearest of the dear.
My mind replays the day she chose.
I was afraid that she would not
and somehow even this she knows
but is still pleased with what she got.
She is much more than I deserve
although she won’t agree with this.
For all my life I’ll gladly serve
my family for her sweet kiss.
She knows my love will never fade
that I will love her faithfully
She knows I loved her as a maid
and that’s the reason she chose me.
She bids me go and get some sleep
she knows the vigil that I kept.
Our love is strong enough to keep
and words must wait until we’ve slept.
I go my way and find a bed
I close my eyes and know no more.
When I awake the sun is red
and night is falling fast once more.
Tonight I sleep in my own bed
beside the wife that I adore
My son will sleep beside her head.
What man could ask for any more.
(Revised Sep 07)
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