My head Thou dost with oil anoint,
And my cup overflows.
Tohsohke pomatam wekit Monedo
Michem nuttain pish.--
Goodness and mercy all my life
Shall surely follow me,
And in God's house for evermore
My dwelling-place shall be.
It will be observed that in rendering the above example from the sacred writings into Indian the figure 8 is used set horizontally. There is a peculiar sound in the Indian tongue that no letter of the English alphabet will express, and to express this Eliot10 first used the figure 8, and his example has been ever since followed. All other savage sounds can be expressed by the letters of the alphabet. I shall conclude these examples from Indian poetry by giving a verbatim translation of an Indian hymn that was much in use a few years ago among the Chippewa Indians:
Ever let piety and prayer
Be the rule of our lives,
The Great Spirit alone,
Alone let us love.
All evil living of mankind,
All, all that's bad or weak--
All evil living, as a tainted wind,
All, let us all forsake.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Native American Folklore in Nineteenth-Century Periodicals. Contributors: William M. Clements - Author. Publisher: Swallow Press. Place of publication: Athens, OH. Publication year: 1986. Page number: 90.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.