Julia A. Moore

The Sweet Singer of Michigan


AIR -- "Bright Alfaretta"

Wild roved the Indians once
      On the banks of Grand River,
And they built their little huts
      Down by that flowing river.
In a pleasant valley fair,
      Where flows the river rapid,
An Indian village once was there,
      Where now stands Grand Rapids.

Indian girls and boys were seen,
      With their bow and quiver,
Riding in their light canoes
      Up and down the river.
Their hearts were full of joy,
      Happy voices singing
Made music with forest birds,
      They kept the valley ringing.

Indians have left and gone
      Beyond the Mississippi.
They called the river Owashtenong
      Where stands this pleasant city.
Louis Campau the first white man
      Bought land in Grand Rapids.
He lived and died, an honored man
      By people of Grand Rapids.

When Campau came to the valley
      No bridge was across the river;
Indians in their light canoes
      Rowed them o'er the water.
Railroads now from every way
      Run through the city, Grand Rapids;
The largest town in west Michigan
      Is the city of Grand Rapids.

Reprinted from The Sweet Singer of Michigan: Poems by Mrs. Julia A. Moore, ed. Walter Blair (Chicago: Pascal Covici, 1928).

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