The wide night re-echoing howled,
and the hoarse North-wind laughed o’er the slaughter.
But their ravenous maws unappeased
by the blood and the flesh of their fellows,
To the cold wind their muzzles they raised,
and the trail to the oak-tree they followed.
Round and round it they howled for the prey,
madly leaping and snarling and snapping;
But the brave maiden’s keen arrows slay,
till the dead number more than the living.
All the long, dreary night-time, at bay,
in the oak sat the shivering Winona;
But the sun gleamed at last, and away
skulked the gray cowards[BQ] down through the forest.
Then down dropped the deer and the maid.
Ere the sun reached the midst of his journey,
Her red, welcome burden she laid
at the feet of her famishing father.
Waziya’s wild wrath was appeased,
and homeward he turned to his teepee,
O’er the plains and the forest-land breezed
from the Islands of Summer the South-wind.
From their dens came the coon and the bear;
o’er the snow through the woodlands they wandered;
On her snow-shoes with stout bow and spear
on their trails ran the huntress Winona.
The coon to his den in the tree,
and the bear to his burrow she followed;
A brave, skillful hunter was she,
and Ta-te-psin’s lodge laughed with abundance.
[BO] Waziya’s Star is the North-star.
[BP] A strap used in carrying burdens.
[BQ] Wolves sometimes attack people at night, but rarely, if ever, in the day time. If they have followed a hunter all night, and “treed” him, they will skulk away as soon as the sun rises.
The long winter wanes. On the wings
of the spring come the geese and the mallards;
On the bare oak the red-robin sings,
and the crocus peeps up on the prairies,
And the bobolink pipes, but he brings
of the blue-eyed, brave White Chief no tidings.
With the waning of winter, alas,
waned the life of the aged Ta-te-psin;
Ere the wild pansies peeped from the grass,
to the Land of the Spirits he journeyed;
Like a babe in its slumber he passed,
or the snow from the hill-tops of April;
And the dark-eyed Winona, at last,
stood alone by the graves of her kindred.
When their myriad mouths opened the trees
to the sweet dew of heaven and the raindrops,
And the April showers fell on the leas,
on his mound fell the tears of Winona.
Round her drooping form gathered the years
and the spirits unseen of her kindred,
As low, in the midst of her tears,
at the grave of her father she chanted