But gladlier still had she heard
of the death of the crafty Tamdoka.
The Chief will return; he is bold,
and he carries the fire of Wakinyan:
To our people the truth will be told,
and Tamdoka will hide like a coward.”
His thin locks the aged brave shook;
to himself half inaudibly muttered;
To Winona no answer he spoke,—only moaned he “Micunksee! Micunksee![BH]
In my old age forsaken and blind!
Yun-he-he! Micunksee! Micunksee!"[BI]
And Wichaka, the pitying dog,
whined as he looked on the face of his master.
[BH] My Daughter; My Daughter.
[BI] Alas, O My Daughter,—My Daughter!
Waziya came down from the North—
from the land of perpetual winter.
From his frost-covered beard issued forth the sharp-biting,
At the touch of his breath
the wide earth turned to stone, and the lakes and the rivers:
From his nostrils the white vapors rose,
and they covered the sky like a blanket.
Like the down of Maga[BJ] fell the snows,
tossed and whirled into heaps by the North-wind.
Then the blinding storms roared on the plains,
like the simoons on sandy Sahara;
From the fangs of the fierce hurricanes
fled the elk and the deer and the bison.
Ever colder and colder it grew,
till the frozen ground cracked and split open;
And harder and harder it blew,
till the hillocks were bare as the boulders.
To the southward the buffalos fled,
and the white rabbits hid in their burrows;
On the bare sacred mounds of the dead
howled the gaunt, hungry wolves in the night-time,
The strong hunters crouched in their tees;
by the lodge-fires the little ones shivered;
And the Magic-Men[BK] danced to appease,
in their teepee, the wrath of Waziya;
But famine and fatal disease,
like phantoms, crept into the village.
The Hard Moon[BL] was past, but the moon
when the coons make their trails in the forest[BM]
Grew colder and colder. The coon,
or the bear, ventured not from his cover;
For the cold, cruel Arctic simoon
swept the earth like the breath of a furnace.
In the tee of Ta-te-psin the store
of wild-rice and dried meat was exhausted;
And Famine crept in at the door,
and sat crouching and gaunt by the lodge-fire.
But now with the saddle of deer
and the gifts came the crafty Tamdoka;
And he said, “Lo I bring you good cheer,
for I love the blind Chief and his daughter.
Take the gifts of Tamdoka, for dear