The Feast of the Virgins and Other Poems eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 375 pages of information about The Feast of the Virgins and Other Poems.


Lo the lights in the "Teepee-Wakan!"
          ’tis the night of the Wakan Wacepee
Round and round walks the chief of the clan,
          as he rattles the sacred Ta-sha-kay; [81]
Long and loud on the Chan-che-ga [81]
          beat the drummers with magical drumsticks,
And the notes of the Cho-tanka [81]
          greet like the murmur of winds on the waters. 
By the friction of white-cedar wood
          for the feast was a Virgin-fire [20] kindled. 
They that enter the firm brotherhood
          first must fast and be cleansed by E-nee-pee;[81]
And from foot-sole to crown of the head
          must they paint with the favorite colors;
For Unktehee likes bands of blood-red,
          with the stripings of blue intermingled. 
In the hollow earth, dark and profound,
          Unktehee and fiery Wakinyan
Long fought, and the terrible sound
          of the battle was louder than thunder;
The mountains were heaved and around
          were scattered the hills and the boulders,
And the vast solid plains of the ground
          rose and fell like the waves of the ocean. 
But the god of the waters prevailed.
          Wakin-yan escaped from the cavern,
And long on the mountains he wailed,
          and his hatred endureth forever.

When Unktehee had finished the earth,
          and the beasts and the birds and the fishes,
And men at his bidding came forth
          from the heart of the huge hollow mountains,[69]
A band chose the god from the hordes,
          and he said:  “Ye are the sons of Unktehee
Ye are lords of the beasts and the birds,
          and the fishes that swim in the waters. 
But hearken ye now to my words,—­
          let them sound in your bosoms forever: 
Ye shall honor Unktehee and hate Wakinyan,
          the Spirit of Thunder,
For the power of Unktehee is great,
          and he laughs at the darts of Wakinyan
Ye shall honor the Earth and the Sun,—­
          for they are your father and mother; [70]
Let your prayer to the Sun be:—­
          Wakan Ate; on-si-md-da ohee-nee."[AF]
And remember the Taku Wakan[73]
          all-pervading in earth and in ether—­
Invisible ever to man,
          but He dwells in the midst of all matter;
Yea, he dwells in the heart of the stone—­
          in the hard granite heart of the boulder;
Ye shall call him forever Tunkan—­
          grandfather of all the Dakotas. 
Ye are men that I choose for my own;
          ye shall be as a strong band of brothers,
Now I give you the magical bone
          and the magical pouch of the spirits,[AG]

Project Gutenberg
The Feast of the Virgins and Other Poems from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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