For her mother sleeps long in the mound,
and a step-mother rules in the teepee,
And her father, once strong and renowned,
is bent with the weight of his winters.
No longer he handles the spear,—
no longer his swift, humming arrows
Overtake the fleet feet of the deer,
or the bear of the woods, or the bison;
But he bends as he walks, and the wind
shakes his white hair and hinders his footsteps;
And soon will he leave me behind,
without brother or sister or kindred.
The doe scents the wolf in the wind,
and a wolf walks the path of Winona.
Three times have the gifts for the bride
to the lodge of Ta-te-psin been carried,
But the voice of Winona replied
that she liked not the haughty Tamdoka.
And thrice were the gifts sent away,
but the tongue of the mother protested,
And the were-wolf still follows his prey,
and abides but the death of my father.”
[AI] The Dakotas say the humming-bird comes from the “Land of the rain-bow.”
[AJ] See Legend of the Falls, or Note 28—Appendix.
[AK] My Sister.
“I pity Winona,” he said,
“but my path is a pathway of danger,
And long is the trail for the maid
to the far-away land of the sunrise;
And few are the braves of my band,
and the braves of Tamdoka are many;
But soon I return to the land,
and a cloud of my hunters will follow.
When the cold winds of winter return
and toss the white robes of the prairies,
The fire of the White Chief will burn
in his lodge at the Meeting-of-Waters;[AL]
And when from the Sunrise again
comes the chief of the sons of the Morning,
Many moons will his hunters remain
in the land of the friendly Dakotas.
The son of Chief Wazi-Kute guides
the White Chief afar on his journey;
Nor long on the Tanka Mede[AM]—
on the breast of the blue, bounding billows—
Shall the bark of the Frenchman delay,
but his pathway shall kindle behind him.”
[AL] Mendota—properly Mdo-te—meaning the out-let of a lake or river into another, commonly applied to the region about Fort Snelling.
[AM] Tanka-Mede—Great Lake, i.e. Lake Superior. The Dakotas seem to have had no other name for it. They generally referred to it as Mini-ya-ta—There at the water.
She was pale, and her hurried voice
swelled with alarm as she questioned replying—
“Tamdoka thy guide?—I beheld
thy death in his face at the races.
He covers his heart with a smile,
but revenge never sleeps in his bosom;
His tongue—it is soft to beguile;