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Helen Hunt Jackson 1-9-8 transcription
Helen Hunt Jackson Papers Part 1, Ms 0020, Box 9, Folder 8, manuscript of a poem by HHJ, not dated.
Transcribed by CC student Danita Jenae Stewart, May 2006.

The Indian's Cross and Star.


A necklace made of hammered silver bent
In modest beads, and corrals rudely strung,
Careless above her scarlet blanket flung,
A silver cross the Indian wore. It lent
Her stranger attire a stranger charm. It meant
We thought our Christian faith. Some priest among
Her savage race in centuries past had sung
And taught the wonderous Bethlehem tale which blent
The Star and cross forever in our thought
And love. The cross was smoothly wrought
And smoother worn by age: it's base a heart
Rough shaped. "Oh, heart of Jesus which has sought
It's own" we cried, "no wilderness apart
From it's divine regenerating Art."


But we were wrong. One versed in Indian lore
Serving the Cross, its tale interpreted.
"Twas older than Jesus Christ," he said:
"None knew how old. The heart shaped base it bore
was fashioned for the waning moon. The four
Crossed lines, the Stars of morn and evening red,
Worshiped Gods, by past, races dead.
Forgotten dead for centuries and more,
In counted centuries began. "We knew
That he, thus speaking could but speak the true:
And yet the silver cross no less sufficed
As Emblem than before: by pagans priced
Thus holy: cherished their dark ages through
Unconscious symbol of the cross of Christ.



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