Johnson, E. Pauline. “La Crosse.” E. Pauline Johnson, Tekahionwake: Collected Poems and Selected Prose. Ed. Carole Gerson and Veronica Strong-Boag. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2002. 158.
As promised, here is the longer acrostic, “La Crosse,” included in Gerson and Strong-Boag’s collection of Johnson’s work.
Crown Prince born of the forest courts —
A child of the stealthy Redskin Race,
Now you are throned as the King of Sports —
Acclaimed as ruler, while yet the race
Dark and savage, of Indian blood,
Arrows its way with a tiger’s grace —
Surging your veins with its headlong flood.
Nature has made you a virile thing —
Agile and lithe, that no time can tame,
Tawny your sire, but your mothering
Indian and Paleface, both may claim,
Owing your birth to the wilds remote —
National game of the roust North,
A panther, wrapped in a racehorse coat —
Live with its blood you are forging forth.
Sinew of deer in your woven net,
Pulse of the ash in your curving frame,
Obeying the master-hand firm set
Renews the birth you cannot forget
That crowns you Canada’s kingly game.