A Legend of Clear Creek Falls
By: Charles D. Hudgins
Note: Winston County is steeped in Indian legend. One of the most beautiful and most famous is the "Legend of Clear Creek Falls." This legend was set to poetry by Charles D. Hudgins, who was a resident of Doubles Springs for about 20 years—from about 1888 to 1908, occupying the hill where the A.B. Burdick home is now (in 1950). He was an able lawyer of that day.
Hast thou ever stood at the noon of night, when heaven’s candles were
Burning bright, and round full moon was riding high and
Chasing juno across the sky?
I say, hast thou ever, when the cock calls,
Stood at the foot of clear creek falls, alone, and watched for the
Spirit twain whose flight to the eternal realms was taken
From the deep pool, as I’ve been told who was skilled in
You have not! Well, go and stand at night when the air is crisp
And the stars are bright, and watch for spirits of the fell,
And then return, if thou canst, and tell what thou has seen.
And if no sprite plunged over the falls to greet the sight,
At least thou’lt own God never planned a work than this so sublimely
Grand. For then the mellow moonbeams play and dance in a wall
Of silvery spray, and deep caverns there around with a
Tumultuous voice resound, while strange, fantastic shadows creep
Under the hemlocks that fringe the steep, just as they did on a
Summer night when the soul of Allulla took its flight from that
Deep pool, and her lover gave his manly form to the whirling wave.
While Venus, from her throne on high, looked down with an
Approving eye and called them to the realms above, as with a
Braid of angel’s hair she twined their souls together there.
For as on earth, in heaven the light of love is Virtue’s beacon
Bright. It flashed from Eve’s celestrial eyes on flowery beds of
Paradise, and as our first grandparent felt its power, and at its
Altar knelt, so man still kneels and owns its sway, and will
Till earth shall pass away.
And yet how often love has led its votary to its dying bed,
When stern, parental hands prevent a union of two souls intent
On journeying thro’ life side by side and O'er death’s
Mysterious tide. And thus it was--so I’ve been told,
Love brought to death two hearts of gold, long ere the "Paleface"
Strode these hills and drank from Winston’s sparkling rills.
Allulla was an Indian maid, of radiant beauty, it is said,
Whose sire, a Cherokee renouned, upon a Choctaw warrior frowned.
Whose manly suit had won the love of his fair daughter; and he
Strove by methods stern to draw the dart cupid had wafted to
Her heart. But all in vain! The maiden gave her whole soul
To her Choctaw brave, and they together sought to flee to his
Far lodge beside the sea where never chilling blasts had come,
And flowers eternal decked his home.
When it was learned the maid had fled, Tacomah shook his hoary
Head, and called the bravest of his band, and thundered forth
This stern command: "Pursue, and ne’er return again till
Yampo’s blood has dyed the plain!"
‘Twas then the lovers southward bent their steps, until the day
Was spent, and then rested till fair lunas face the eastern welkins
'Gan to grace, when, hand in hand, again they flew, Thro’ the
Dark forest, dank with dew, all thankful for the shades of night,
That hid them from pursuer’s sight.
For well they knew avenging wrath was following on their tortuous
Path, and if o’ertaken the warrior's eyes no more would greet
At length on a Clear Creek's band they stood and viewed its darkly
Rushing flood, for it was angry then, and high; And hark! A
Voice! The chase was nigh. Allulla knew that death was near for
Him she loved. Like frightened deer she glanced first up, then
Down the tide. And, lo, a bark canoe she spied, left by some
Traveler on the shore, and quick begins their journey o’er;
But all to late, for yells resound, while showers of arrows
Fall around. The brave Choctaw drops the stave with which he
Sweeps the angry wave, his life blood gushing from his side, and
The barque drifts adown the tide, bearing the living freightage
O’er the fall--and they are seen no more.
The Chieftan, when he learned his child had perished ‘neath the
Waters wild, cursed his own fierce, revengeful mood, and sought
The forest's solitude; and aimless roamed until one day,
He stood and watched the sunbeams play against that e’er descending
Wall of rushing water, Clear Creek's Fall, and there
Remained till orbs of night replaced the suns more glorious
Light; in trem'lous tones his voice he reared, and sang a
Requiem for the maid whose life for love's sweet sake was paid.
And these lines his sorrow poured for her whose mem'ry
"Sweet maid of the mountains, bright angel of light
How sad is the world since thy pure spirit fled
To the depths of yon river, away from my sight,
When cataracts thunder above thy fair head,
And fishes delight in thy presence so rare and polish their
Scales in thy glorious hair.
"Yes, sad is the world, and a desert my home since thou hast
Departed no more to return; and, broken in spirit, I carelessly
Roam, while the flames of remorse unceasingly burn. And often
When slumber enchains me I hear thy gentle reprovings fall soft
On my ear.
"But sweet by thy dreamings deep under the lee: and long may the
Tales of thy virtues be told, that maids and their lovers may
Emulate thee, and value their ‘throthal more highly than gold;
For love is a gift from heaven sent down by an angel of light,
Earth’s virtues to crown.
"And tho’ thy dark tresses are straying tonight o’er the breast
Of thy hero, on whose arm thy beauteous head, with virgin delight
Is pillowed secure from intrusion of harm. Yet I know thy pure
Spirit is floating above and sipping delight from the goblet of
The singer’s voice was suddenly stilled, for lo! a sight appeared
That chilled his very blood, as o’er a tide, a ghostly barque did
Seem to ride, bearing a warrior and a maid, whose queenly arms
Were stretched for aid one moment; then the cruel wave bore them
Triumphant to a grave. The old chieftan kneeling there, forgiveness
Sought of God, in prayer. Until the eastern sky was
Grey, when he in sorrow turned away and sought his home; and
Since that night, when e’er the full moon throws its light
Straight down upon the rushing tide at the mid-hour, twain
Shadows glide over the falls, while softly rolls an anthem to
Their passing souls, and slow ascending, soars on high and
Seems to mount into the sky.