Song of the Nabajo

by Albert Pike

Albert Pike

Who rideth as fleet as a fleet Nabajo?
Whose arm is so strong with the lance and the bow?
His arrow in battle as lightning is swift;
His march is the course of the mountainous drift
The Eutaw can ride down the deer of the hills,
With his shield ornamented with bald-eagle quills;
Our houses are full of the skins he has drest;
We have slaves of his women, the brightest and best.

Go, talk of the strength of a valiant Painte,
He will hide in the trees when our arrows we shoot;
And who knows the wild Coyotera to tame,
But the bold Nabajo, with his arrow of flame!

The Moqui may boast from his town of the Rock:
Can it stand when the earthquake shall come with its shock?
The Suni may laugh in his desert so dry—
He will wail to his God when our foray is nigh.

Oh, who is so brave as a mountain Apache?
He can come to our homes when the doors we unlatch,
And plunder our women when we are away;
When met he our braves in their battle array!

Whose mouth is so big as a Spaniard's at home!
But if we rush along like the cataract foam,
And sweep off his cattle and herds from his stall,
Oh, then to the saints who so loudly can call!

Up, then, and away! Let the quiver be full!
And as soon as the stars make the mountain air cool,
The fire of the harvest shall make heaven pale,
And the priesthood shall curse, and the coward shall wail.

And there will be counting of beads then to do—
And the Pueblos shall mount and prepare to pursue;
But when could their steeds, so mule-footed and slow,
Compare with the birds of the free Nabajo!

Last updated May 13, 2023