The Black Hawk War of the Artists

Vachel Lindsay

Written for Lorado Taft's Statue of Black Hawk at Oregon, Illinois

To be given in the manner of the Indian Oration and the Indian War-Cry.

   Hawk of the Rocks,
   Yours is our cause to-day.
   Watching your foes
   Here in our war array,
   Young men we stand,
   Wolves of the West at bay.
      _Power, power for war
      Comes from these trees divine;
      Power from the boughs,
      Boughs where the dew-beads shine,
      Power from the cones--
      Yea, from the breath of the pine!_

   Power to restore
   All that the white hand mars.
   See the dead east
   Crushed with the iron cars--
   Chimneys black
   Blinding the sun and stars!

   Hawk of the pines,
   Hawk of the plain-winds fleet,
   You shall be king
   There in the iron street,
   Factory and forge
   Trodden beneath your feet.

   There will proud trees
   Grow as they grow by streams.
   There will proud thoughts
   Walk as in warrior dreams.
   There will proud deeds
   Bloom as when battle gleams!

   Warriors of Art,
   We will hold council there,
   Hewing in stone
   Things to the trapper fair,
   Painting the gray
   Veils that the spring moons wear,
   This our revenge,
   This one tremendous change:
   Making new towns,
   Lit with a star-fire strange,
   Wild as the dawn
   Gilding the bison-range.

   All the young men
   Chanting your cause that day,
   Red-men, new-made
   Out of the Saxon clay,
   Strong and redeemed,
   Bold in your war-array!

Inspired by the Sac Indian chief, Black Hawk, the statue stands alone amongst woods in Lowden State Park, overlooking the city of Oregon, Illinois from a bluff high above the Rock River.