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Poems by Murray Poets and Poems About Murray County
The Land of the Cherokee
Ernest Neal
Poet Laureate of Georgia

Poem read at dedication of the New Echota Monument, 1931

Have you heard of the land of the Cherokees.
With its wonderful streams and beautiful trees?
Of its flowers abloom, and the wild perfume
That floats like a dream on the evening breeze?

Have you heard of Echota, the capital town.
And the brave old chief with featherly crown?
Of the warrior band and the pow-wow grand
In the light of the moon when the sun goes down?

Far away in the past this quaint land lies.
And around it the mists obscure arise:
It is only in dreams we may hear the shrill screams
Of its eagles afloat in their native skies.

But its rivers glide on in rhythmical flow
Through fields of today, from a weird long-ago
The cold Chickamauga, the slow Conasauga,
Like their musical names, gurgle soft and low.

From the gold-bearing hills comes the rich Chestatee,
Through the mountains to the north breaks the Hiawassee,
And the romping Ellijay joins the bouncing Cartekay
To frolic in the rapids of the Coosawattee.

h the laughing of the ripples of the sweet Salacoa.
In the tailing of the current of the silvery Toccoa,
In the roarings of Tallulah, and the splashings of Yahoola
Are the wild and varied volumes of a never-written lore.

And we listen to the song of the sad Etowah;
In his voice is a sob, a refrain from afar.
While the rough Chattahoochee makes love to Nacoochee
In the shade of the Vale of The Evening Star.

Than the moans of Oostanaula no dirge can sadder be.
For he heard the parting groans of the banished Cherokee.
Thus in music shall roll the Indian's proud soul
As long as his rivers flow into the sea.

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