Miami County, Ohio Genealogical Researchers -- Sponsored by the Computerized Heritage Association

    A Legend of the Miami

    See the biography of William Cook Rogers for a better description of his wife, nee Margaret Douglas, who put in poetic form some of the many Indian legends which have been handed down through generation from the red race that once lived in this section of the country. It is with pleasure that we present one of these poems to the readers of this volume, as indicative of the literary accomplishments of the county, as well as the talent possessed by Mrs. Rogers. The following is called "Talawanda--A Legend of the Miami." The part of the river chosen by Talawanda for her fatal plunge is in the town of Piqua.

        TALAWANDA.   A legend of the Miami.
        On a bank of the Miami
           (Gently flowing, lovely water),
        Lived there once an Indian maiden,
           Of a chief the cherished daughter;
        Like she was unto her father,
           Far-famed chieftain of the Shawnees,
        Famed for mighty deeds of valor
           In his conquest with the Maumees.
        Lovely was the Indian maiden,
           Noted for her grace and beauty,
        And her skill in basket weaving,
           And her deeds of loving duty;
        And when swift she flew to meet him,
           Glad the chief was in his daughter,
        And he called her Talawanda,--
           Talawanda--Winding Water.
        And her eyes like mighty arrows
           Smote each young brave's heart and wounded,
        And with one accord they loved her;
           Far and near her praises sounded;
        But the heart of Talawanda 
           Was as stone was to their arrows--
        All their love thrusts darted backward, 
           Tortured them like toothed harrows. 
        Then there came unto the waters, 
           All their mystic charm beholding,
        Soldiers skilled in mighty warfare, 
           Peacefully their tents un folding.  
        And they traded with the Indians, 
           Traded for their skins and horses, 
        And the red men met them kindly--
           Welcomed all the neighboring forces. 
        But among the pale-faced warriors,
           One there was of kingly graces,
        Noble brow, and eyes like sunshine,--
           Handsomest of all pale faces;
        And the heart of Talawanda
           Melted 'neath those eyes of sunshine,
        And the brave pale face to her was
           As the tree is to the woodbine,
        As the clay is to the potter,
           So her heart was to her lover,
        When he vowed his faith eternal
           By the sun and moon above her;
        And the eyes of Talawanda
           Shone like stars as to his pleading
        She gave ear, and promised truly
           She would follow at his leading,
        But one morning Talawanda
           Woke to find their camp forsaken;
        All the neighboring pale-faced warriors
           In the night their flight had taken,
        And the heart of Talawanda
           Broke, and knew no more consoling;
        Ne'er was heard her merry laughter,
           And her grief knew no controlling.
        Then uprose the tribe of Shawnees,
           By her chieftain father headed,
        Vowing vengeance on the soldiers
           For the maiden left unwedded;
        And they massacred the white men,
           Left not one of all their number,
        Left them lying where they'd fallen,
           Wrapped in Death's long, heavy slumber.
        But ere they the deed accomplished,
           Talawanda, Winding Water,
        Loveliest of all the maidens,
           Still the chieftain's cherished daughter,
        Rose and sought the smooth Miami,
           Paddled o'er its surface shining,
        And she plunged into its bosom,
           Buried there her grief and pining.
        Then arose her chieftain father,
           When, returning on the morrow,
        Gathered many squaws around him
           Wailing forth the tale of sorrow;
        And with hand out-stretched in warning,
           And with eyes and nostrils swelling,
        "Cursed," he cried, "be every pale-face
           Who shall on these banks find dwelling!"
        Thus the legend of Miami--
           Gently flowing, lovely river--
        Thus the tale its bosom carries,
           Where the sun and moonbeams quiver;
        Thus the old chief called for vengeance
           For the death of his loved daughter,
        Thus the tale of Talawanda,
           Talawanda--Winding Water.

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