Falling Leaf

The following song was written by an unknown soldier sometime in 1869 at Fort Laramie, Wyoming Territory. Makes one wonder what a talented poet/songwriter was doing so far away from a place where his skills may have been truly appreciated. But a new song would have been a welcome addition in lonely forts like Laramie. Was the writer running from something, on an adventure, or just a lonely soldier with a gift for words? Guess we will never know—enjoy.

Far beyond the rolling prairie, where the noble forest lies,
Dwelt the fairest Indian maiden ever seen by mortal eyes,
She had eyes bright as sunshine; daughter of the warrior chief,
Came to bless their home in autumn, and they called her Falling Leaf.

 Falling Leaf the breezes whispered of thy spirit’s early flight,
And within that Indian wigwam there is grief and woe tonight.


Through the depths of tangled forest, all on one summer day
Came a hunter worn and weary from his long and lonely way,

Weeks went by and still he lingered. “Gentle Falling Leaf,” he cried,
And he wooed and won her for his fair and lovely bride.

One bright day this hunter wandered through the prairie wastes alone.
Long she watched and long she waited, but his fate was never known.

With the autumn days she lingered, and with the autumn leaves she died,
And she closed her eyes in slumber by the Laramie River’s side.


*Song reprinted from –“Wyoming Pageant,” by Virginia Cole Trenholm and Maurine Carley  © 1946
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