Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
Chief Bear’s-Heart Makes Talk
By Lew Sarett
 
From “Council Talks”

AGENT-MAN from Keetch'-ie O'-gi-ma',
Our Big W’ite Chief,
De heart of all de Cheebway
In my tribe are good to you;
My people want your heart        5
Be good to all de Eenshuns.
 
In summer of de many rains,
Comes long-blade soldier, Major Rice,
An’ black-robes priest, for mak’-um treaty.
Dey mak’-um talk in council, so:        10
“Cheebway, Cheebway, mak’-um treaty;
Walk on far-away reservation and live;
You go new reservation, you get-um plenty t’ing
From Keetch'-ie O'-gi-ma':
Get-um plenty grub an’ big annuity;        15
Plenty t’ing for belly an’ for wear.”
Den Long Blade and Black Robes stick one hand
On big black book an’ treaty-paper,
An’ raise-um oder hand to Keetch'-ie Ma'-ni-do',
De w’ite man’s Big Spirit, an’ say:        20
“Cheebway, all dose t’ing on treaty sure will be!”
 
Ho! Eenshun scratch-um paper;
Stick-um t’umb on treaty;
An’ walk on reservation.
Wat’s come treaty now! Ugh!        25
 
No got-um plenty grub!
Cheebway got-um small flat belly;
No got-um w’ite man’s big fat belly!
 
Comes soon de Winter-maker,
Blowing on de river wit’ hees icy breat’        30
An’ making dem stand still
Wit’ sleep beneat’ de snow.
An’ Nort’ Wind whistle crazy-wild
T’rough crying spruce an’ cedar;
An’ Muk'-wa, ol’ fat bear, he sleep        35
An’ shiver in hees hole;
An’ Pee'-nay, hongry pa’tridge,
Bury in de balsam snow-drif’.
Now walk on Eenshun wi'-ga-wan!
Cheebway sit dere hongry—        40
In winter no can get-um grub lak moose
Who paw big hole in snow for plenty moss.
No got-um lots annuity;
No got-um w’ite man’s grub.
Squaw, she got-um bad osh-kee'-shee-gwa'-pee-nay'—        45
She sick on eye lak devil-hell.
Squaw-sich, little gal, she got-um measles-sick,
De spotted-sickness on de face.
Little boy, he got um heap sick—
Bad coughing-sickness. Ugh! He spit all-tam’!        50
Got sick on lung, an’ hot on cheek;
Got eye she blaze lak wild-cat!
W’y should be dose t’ing?
Ugh! Go w’ite man’s town:
He got-um plenty grub;        55
Hees belly laugh wit’ grub!
W’y should be difference, ha-aaah?
Mebbe w’ite man’s God he want-um difference! Hah!
Mebbe Ma'-ni-do' no lak-um Eenshun chil’en! Hah!
Mebbe Ma'-ni-do' forget-um Eenshun chil’en! Ugh!        60
Mebbe so! Mebbe so!….
Mebbe no!
Look-um straight!
Talk-um straight!
Ai-yee! Keetch'-ie Ma'-ni-do'        65
He no foget-um Cheebway Eenshun!
Eenshun chil’en, good chil’en!
Big Spirit lak-um Eenshun chil’en
Jus’t so much he lak-um Long Knife chil’en!
            Ho!        70
            How! How! How!
 
Inspector Taylo’, in council of olden tam
De Long Blade raise-um hand to sky and say:
“All t’ing on treaty-paper sure will be!”
 
Mebbe….        75
Mebbe….
Mebbe he was only fool for fun! Hah?
Ho! Long Blade only fool for fun! Ho! Ho!
 
Mebbe so!…. Mebbe so!….
 
Mebbe hees tongue she talk-um little bit crooked! Ho?        80
 
Mebbe so!…. Mebbe so!….
 
Mebbe he got-um forks in tongue
Wit’ little poison-gland! Ugh!
 
Eenshun t’ink—
He lie!….        85
 
Look on me!
Look on me!
Look on me!
 
Talk-um straight today!
No got-um double-snake-tongue!….        90
 
I have said it!
 
            Ho!
            How! How!
            Ho! Ho! Ho!
 
 
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