Open Collections

The Chung Collection

Chung Logo

The Chung Collection

Tsoqalem, a weird Indian tale of the Cowichan monster a ballad Haweis, Lionel, 1870-1942 1918

Item Metadata

Download

Media
chungpub-1.0114632.pdf
Metadata
JSON: chungpub-1.0114632.json
JSON-LD: chungpub-1.0114632-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): chungpub-1.0114632-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: chungpub-1.0114632-rdf.json
Turtle: chungpub-1.0114632-turtle.txt
N-Triples: chungpub-1.0114632-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: chungpub-1.0114632-source.json
Full Text
chungpub-1.0114632-fulltext.txt
Citation
chungpub-1.0114632.ris

Full Text

Array Ti^il^CHAPiwilHfrER
By LiaN AwveIs   T THL BALLAD of T50QALLM
Accepted by the Royal Society of Canada as part of
their Proceedings, 1918. MM HM9HH
A
WEIRD INDIAN
TALE. OF THE
COWICHAN
MONSTER
a ballad by
^ —■Ilionel
:| feAWEIS
FOREWORD BY
r#:— CHARLES
HILtiJTOUT
/"OVER DESIGN
v-- feY NORMAN
N.1HAWKINS
PUBLISHED BY THE.
CITIZEN PRINTING
& PUBLISHING CO..
VANCOUVER,  B. C.   1918 (Bopyright; (Banada,   7918
by uionel ZHaweis
•mm FOREWORD.
I ./HEN one considers what a rich mine of litera.ry wealth
**      lies embedded in the folk-tales and legends of the
native tribes of this continent, one is surprised so little use
has been made of them fot poetic themes.
The story which forms the subject of Mr. Haweis's
poem appears to have some foundation in fact. Tsoqalem,
according to the Indians, was a real historic character, a
member of the Cowichan tribe, a Vancouver Island division of that linguistic group of the Salish stock known to
us under the term Halkomalem, whose hahitat is and was
the jfcower Fraser ValleyJ| Mr. Haweis has used the poet's
license freely, but he has been eminently successful in
maintaining the true Indian atmosphere, and the story
gains an added interest by his poetic presentation of it.
Some of the passages are extremely fresh and beautiful as
for example the opening verses of Canto V, and again in
Canto fill where, in the quaint conceit of the 'Fisher of the
Night' he has caught"in the happiest manner possible the
very spirit of the Indian mind." K
The belief of the Indians in a personal totem or guardian
spirit lies at the very root of * their religious conceptions
as well as influencing deeply all their social relations.
They recognised||no\vever, no Supreme, Being who controlled the universe, no high gods who ruled the destinies of men; they believed in a multiplicity of spirits. Every
object had its own soul or spirit, distinct from its material
form, and could live an independent ghostly existence. Not
only those objects we call animate, but also* every insensate
object—a blade of grass, a stick or a stone, the very tools
and utensils they made and employed, each and all possessed spirit-forms (snams)|| Thus the spirit -or ghost-world
was a very real world to them, ever present and ever encompassing them—was, indeed, the source of all the ills and
pleasures of their existence^
Among the Salish tribes, especially those of the interioji|
every man and woman had customarily his or her friendly
personal spirit ^'snanrp The method of acquiring these
seems to have been practically the same everywhere. The
seeker, likecthe youth Tsoqalem, went apart into the forest
or mountains and undertook a more or less lengthy course
of 'training' and self-discipline. This course among the
Salish continued for a period of from four days to as many
years, according t^the object the seeker had in view?
Prolonged fasts, repeated bathings and sweatings, such as
are referred to in Cantos IV and V, and other exhausting
bodily exercises were the usual means adopted for inducing
the desired state—the mystic dreams and visions in which
the neophyte met and., became mystically related fel|his
"snam."
Viewing nature as they did, it is not surprising thaifepthe
Indians believed in monsters of the kind Mr. Haweis has
depicted. These creatures, it was. thoughtM possessed
'mystery' powers of various orders, whicifilf powers    they
iPi would  sometimes   bestow   upon   those   who  sought  their
haunts and found favor in their sight.
How far the incidents of this story are literally true it
is now impossible to say, as myth and fact are inextricably
woven together in it; but there can be little doubt that an
Indian of the character of Tsoqalem existed some generations ago among the Cowichans, and-met with a tragic end
at the hand of a woman, somewhat in the manner recorded
in the. story.
CHARLES HILL-TOUT.
University Club,
Vancouver, B.C. *. THE STORY.
CANTO. 1.
Page
Qaiyakwetsten, great chief and medieine-maii, tells
the reason of his fathering the boy, Tsoqalem. -m^lm     9
6ANTO M.
The chief falls silenftand his squaw takes up the
talel&. ':i^^^^^^mW^tm"- • • '&BM&BSB!?-* I *IStt^^^r9   15
CANTO III.   11
How the chief, intent upon reforming Tsoqalem,
begins his good work upon the boy; of the ceremonial
he employs and the instant power of the "medicine" ;
and of the love, through pity of the ordeal, aroused in
a girl's breast..J$jmBB*&^:- • -ISiEifc • I^^^^B^^P
20
CANTO IV. §H
How.Tsoqalem awakes to a human appreciation of
things good; how intuitively he enters upon "animistic
meditation/ll and of the regeneration whiclSj takes
place within him... WmrWm.. .||.. ^^^S^^^^^^S
25
CANTO V.
How Tsoqalem falls into the dream-trance of spiritual rejuvenation; and of the passion which possesses
him at the appearance of the girljlwhose sympathy
and affection have constrained her to seek him outilfel
30
1 CANTO VI. g|g
How on her return throughfijthe forest the girl
meets a Monster which, after raiding her village, is
carrying off a youth she recognises as tJlka; of her
brothers whom she meets in pursuit of the Monster
they take to be this very Tsoqalenai^grown worse instead of better; and of their suspicions aroused at
finding their sister so far afield, and in distraction. JS-
34
CANTO VII.
I&ow the hunger of Tsoqalein's  ceremonial  fast
hastens "the  moral  break-down  which  passion had|p|f
begun£%>f his own meetingpftthSie Monster, and of
his sudden and.complete degener|ttion In consequence
of that associatibn^^l^^^^&^^^^^^fe^^^^fe^t'   40
CANTO VIII.
Hor^the giSf|||tress of mind £||well as, her inability to rejoin Tsoqalem leads^to her madness, and
earns-for her ^fthe last a traditional indulgence ; of
her^Miduct, apparently inspired||tand pf the signs
which QaiyakWetsten mistakes for those of jwtsdom^^K   50
CANTO IX. j§
^ Haw Tsoqalem'^jaiothei^choosefs to maJt^Bfeady
against the refui^of her son;*cri|§he awe which her
doings|jiispire jpand of what grievous thing the occasion brings : forth. ^^^^M^^^^^^&^m^M^^^Si   56
CANTO X.
p&-^Ks<^aw^viip^a.ld Jps tale; and of the habit
of ; my imindA^^^^SjSSS^^^^^^^^^^^^^B^^M
64
■fir 3~rom the -^l re hives oft/he Vancouver
Vagabonds (Blub,   Vancouver^ The Ballad of Tsoqalem
CANTO I.
Qaiyakwetsten, great chief and medicine-man, tells the
reason of his fathering the boy, Tsoqalem.
THE story of Tsoqalem—thief J§
And brute, and more was he—
An aged Halkomalem chief ||
Once tried to tell to, me. Wt
Squat in a blanket, fringed and striped
And wrapped around, with both
His nervous hands he waved, and wiped
With one across his mouth;—
It seemed as though he should have piped
Of dollars and a drouth!  W$Hm
i
Nine THE BALLAD OF
Not he!   Although he chewed a straw,
And whittled sticks for sale
For all that I could see, or saw,
He had his pride, he had his squaw,
And last, he had this tale.
"Tsoqalem—ah!'*j$isk as who should say
'His hateful memory clings'—
'Twas tEus he spoke his name that day,
And made as though to wipe away
Abominable things.
Shorn of all interest, his art
Of life was flickering
To finish, though he turned to start
At every triviahthing,
Scarred as he was in face and heart
With his adventuring.
"Tsoqalem—ah!   He break my plan,
S|§He everything ..destroy;
I, Qaiyakwetsten, medicine-man,
I try to teach the boy.
Ten TSOQALEM
"I catch him some-time for a talk—
He run away again;
He big fine boy, and when he walk,
Can't hear him walking then.
"Run like a deer, and very light
With foot and make no sound f
Like thief he roam, like brute he fight,
And all his play was scratch and bite,
And roll upon the ground.
"He always going naked,—he
Not wearing any clo'es,
With water-running mouth to see,
And water-running nose.
"And all the time and every while
He look from underneath
And sideways up;  and when he smile,
He showing all his teeth. "Oh!   much he look at me, and then
He make ml half^-afraid,
Because his eyes not eyes of men!"
And here he wiped his mouth again;-
The face the fellow made!
"He look at me,' he know he can
Whatever I shall do;
I, Qaiyakwetsten, medicine-man,
Was father of him, too.
"His mother slave I take one day;
She lay like deaf-and-dumb,
For not one word that she will say
TiU soon her baby come.
"I think to kill him as I take,
But when I hear his cries,
I look, and see I make mistake;—
He very fine big eyes.
Twelve •
TSOQALEM
"I cover up again the fur
To keep him from the rain;
And so I give him back to her,-
And make mistake again.
"'Oh, kill him!  kill him!J then she cry,
'This boy'belong to you;  S£
I think it good thing if he die
Before I kill him, too!'
"But then I take her at my will,
And tell her all her lies,
And hold her at the throat until
I see that somethihg come and fill
Her very fine big eyes.
"I look — I look upon a thing
That is not good to see;
And then I know' a spirit bring
A work to do for me.
Thirteen
Man  TSOQALEM
CANTO II.
■4--T-
The chief falls silent, and hi& squaw takes up the tale
H
IS words half-querulous began
And ended with a wail,—
Old Qaiyakwetsten, medicine-man,
Who told the half-told tale;
j
For suddenly in mid-repeat
He ceased,* I knew not why,'
And shuffled loosely with his feet,
And shifted with his eye.
Fifteen THE BALLAD OF
As one whom recollection cows,
Nor ever told me more,
He walked into a dead-man's house,
And closed the dead-man's door.
As one who crawls into his shell,
Distrustful of a friend ;f
Or, as perhaps who fears a spell
He cannot break nor bend,
Just so he set himself to tell
A tale without an end.
A crooked squaw
I turned about   .   . M
Was.plucking at my knee
She was, or had been plaiting straw
As busy as could be f|- ^^^ffl
Old burns had scored and drawn the jaw
Most horrible to see;
And wrinkled was the face I saw,
As is the cedar-tree.
Sixteen TSOQALEM
And as I passed, as pass I must*
§|IShe looked from underneath
And sideways up!—-with strange disgust
I: shivered to the teeth.
Those eyes!   I thought.I saw a hint
Of haunting in her eyes;
Or was it but a sunny glint JR
Of light ?—or just surmise ?
Or, was if menace that I saw?
Or was it xmly pain?—
I know not; but I fc^ow the squaw
Called out,''Gome back again!
"Come back! Come back!" The more she cried
That mocking cry, "Come back!"
The more I shook the thought aside,
And hurried down the track f||§lll^
It rang like bells at eVentide
Within my head, alack!
i
i
Seventeen THE BALLAD OF
For every day that cry I heard,
Who was both loth and fahrfji^
At last I took the coward-word
Of courage in my teeth—"Absurd!"—^
And back I went again.
And then she croaked this little lay:
£>**■**' wlS%£ ^*-Ejrfe * -w^^k?*^!! &^^c
"The meat is raw before ye slay;
So eat it raw as well ye may;
For hungry folk can eatalway!"
And when I think of that old squaw
M    Who squatted at my knee,
And all the horrid things I saw,
The things she made me see,
My Christian soul is filled with awe
Of all she showed to me. ~WmA
Nay, but a tithe may I set down
Of this, howe'er I fail
Eighteen TSOQALEM
To ease my memory, and drown
The thought within the tale.
This story of Tsoqalem seems
In sense so deeply sown,
It haunts my days, and in my dreams
It claims me for its own.
\
Nineteen THE BALLAD OF
CANTO III.
How the chief, intent upon reforming Tsoqalem, Jitegins
his good work upon the boy|jj^of the ceremonial he employed and the instant power of the "medicinewand of the
love, through pity of the ordeal, aroused in a girl's breast.
A
ND so the wrinkled squaw began
To end what I've begun,—
This squaw, who was ilo other than
TJie mother of the one
Whom Qaiyakwetsten, medicine-man,
Betook him for a son. n
And this he did because he saw
As in the mother's eyes,
That Power which passed all mortal law-
The Power that never dies.
Twenty TSOQALEM
Nobly he dreamed to use this Power
To serve a noble ain^^^^^H
Alack!  it was an evil hour      B|
He lent the brat a name!
*
TSOQALEM—wild, as I have said-
*        The forest was his home;
And where a bear had made his bed
He killed the bear, and dwelt instead |§|
Hence was he wont to roam,        pi
Hunting the food whereon he fed
Of salmon-grease and berry-bread,
And here at night he laid his head,
And dreamed of honey-comb.
For oftllhe folk would see him creep
Around the Lodge at .eve,
Who thought of naught but food and *sleep-
The food that he could thieve.
Twenty-one THE BALLAD OF
And so he grew both great and strong*
And left the child behind;       q|f
But knew no thing of right nor wrong,
According to his land.
That now the sacrificial plan
Which he alone could know-rf|j
He, Qaiyakwetsten, medicine-man,
Recalled, and caught him as he fan,
Nor would he let him go.
Saying, "My boy, and art thou here?"
He looked into his eyes;
"Though nothing love, yet nothing fear,
And I will make thee wise   .   IBS
.,»: ;
"Tsoqalem—hark^ Go fetch me now
A bramble full of thorn,
To do according to the vow
I made when thou wert born."
Twenty-two Tsoqalem grinned, and presently
Tore up a thorny strand,
Clawing upon it savagely,
Yet brought obedient as could be,
A bramble, of the blackberry,"
And gave it in his hand.
And this he looped into a fan, ,
And bound the ends in place,
For thus, according to his plan,
Did Qaiyakwetsten, medicine-man,
Who thrust it in his face!
Four times—four times he flayed his face
Therewith across the eyes;
Four times he spoke the words of grace
He knew would make him wise.
And though that savage folk and grim
Full-hardened were to woe;
Yet some were there could pity him
Who saw the red blood flowJll
ii
1
Twenty-three THE BALLAD OF
Of these was one soft-featured maid
Who watched him play his part,
And called him cheer; and all was said
In pity of her heart.
The which Tsoqalem heard and saw,
Despite the rosy flood   |||p .
Alack! that she were moved to draw
That awful smile of bloodI
And then away—away he fled
And sheltered in the glade;
Within his cave he laid his head,
And dreamed—he loved a maid!
Twenty-four CANTO IV.
Ho*w Tsoqalem awakes to a human appreciation of
things good;, how intuitively he enters upon "animistic
meditation," and of the regeneration which takes place
within him.
w
ITH the first sun he walked; and here
At arm's-length was a fawn,
Which gazed upon him without fear.
He strung his bow—but lo! 'twas clear
He had no mind to kill the deer;
For lo! again, he had the cheer
Of joyfulness at dawn.
He stood awhile  . ||§1| What strangest thing
Had happened in the night?—
Then he bethought him of the sting
Of brambles in his sight.
Twenty-five THE BALLAD OF
But yet he saw as plain—nay, more;
He saw that all around
Good things and great were arching o'er
The good things of the ground.
Above the brakes the lofty trees,
Above the trees the sky;
His senses freshened in the breeze,
And gladdened in his eye.
And he was glad to be alive,
And glad to let things live;
As glad to be allowed to strive
Sunward as they,—the more they strive,
As they the more to give.
The mists were melting in the wood
The fogs within his heart
Faded before that growing good
Which is the nobler part.
Twenty-six TSOQALEM
And, looking inwardly, he saw
The vision of a maid
In token of the cheerful law
Of smiling unafraid.
He learned to hope; his spirit burned
The brighter for a tear,—
Which fell the instant that he learned
That other law, of fear -f|£§ii|
S
The fear that's love . . M She loved him!—him,
Whose nature was sp base?—
Whose very smile how tense and grim
Upon his wounded face?
To wash, to purge, to purify—
These things he now must do;
And all the while his seeing eye
Grew wide as heaven to descry
The truth of all things true.
Twenty-seven
M THE BALLAD OF
And as with honour kindness came
To sweeten every thought,
He learned how grievous was the shame
That brings them all to naught;
And, dreaming thus, a mystic flame
Of sylvan magic breathed a Name
He knew not that he sought.
Yet how should Indian misdeem
His snam?—as prone he sank
Plunging his face into the gleam
Of waters there, and of that stream
Of absolution drank.
Anon he rose in strength, and helved
Bone of the mountain-sheep,
Wherewith beside the stream he delved
A hole both wide and deep,
And deftly banked it where it shelved,
And watched the waters seep.
And reared a sylvan pyramid!
Of boughi against the sun
Twenty-eight TSOQALEM
Above the pool; and all he did
Was true and throughly done.
From stacks he carried in his hair
Of cotton-wood and brier,
He rubbed a spark and blew a flare,
Flushing .the pool with boulders there
He baked beneath a fire.
Thus walled and roofed about with fir,
He sat him down therein
To purify his soul, and stir
The ashes of his sin. fc
\
Twenty-nine THE BALLAD OF
CANTO V.
How Tsoqalem falls into the dream-trance of spiritual
rejuvenation ; and of the passion which possesses him at
the appearance of the girl, whose sympathy and affection
have constrained her to seek him out.
JT^WAS eve . . . Athwart his foliage-heaped
1 Embrasure, all the glare
Of curious day that came and peeped
At last discerned him there.
He rose and stretched him on the bank,
And all the long night through
Familiar spirits, rank on rank,
Possessed his soul, painting the blank
Perfervid hours, and rose and sank
In ghostly retinue.
Thirty TSOQALEM
And all the night he naked lay
Beside the babbling stream,
The moon cast down her silver ray
And purged him with the beam.
That so he waked—all thought withdrawn
Of sickness or dismay;
Invoked, the Spirit of the Dawn
Turned all his Night to Day.
And then—-as well it might behoove—
That happened, in his sight
Which proved, if any sight could prove,
The World was full of Light.
For lo! surpassing all denial
Of ail that only seems,—
There stood the Maiden of his Trial,
The Virgin of his Dreams!
Thirty-one THE BALLAD OF
At half-a-cast she stared amazed
To find him where he stood,
Tracked down as though the trail were blazed
Athwart the tangled wood;
And lo! she knew, as well she gazed,
Tsoqalem was grown good.
And he, Tsoqalem, dared not move
For awe of such a sight,
Which proved—if any sight could prove—.
The World so full of Light.
And much he marvelled that tfte maid
Should seek him in this wise;
And more that all for which he prayed
Should come in such a guise;
But most that there should be betrayed
Heart-secrets in the eyes.
Wonderful love, sprung from a dumb
Reluctance to depart! fm- . HI
Thirty-two TSOQALEM
She stayed to love, who erst had come
In pity of her heart.
And as in Light the lovers stood
Entreating not in vain,
What gentle commune sweet and good
Then passed between these twain
I shall not tell, and if I could
I would not tell again.
-«
Thirty-three THE BALLAD OF
CANTO VI.
How on her return through the forest the girl meets a
Monster which, after raiding her village, is carrying off
a youth she recognises as Ulka,; of her brothers whom she
meets in pursuit of the Monster they take to be this very
Tsoqalem, grown worse instead of better ; and of their3"
suspicions aroused at finding their sister so far afield, and
in distraction. sK?l8
' CARE WELL! farewell!" exclaimed the maid;
I "The sun is calling me,—
See where his finger inxthe shade
Beckons from yonder tree,
*    f
And points the trail adown the glade! . .|||
Red in the face is he4
As who would not be disobeyed!—
Haiyako!" murmured she.
Thirty-four TSOQALEM
And down the woodland ways as fleet
As any doe she fled—
Even, I think, Tsoqalem's feet
Never so lightly sped.
And as a bird sings blithe and gay
So blithely then sang she;
When lo! there-anet her in the way
A fearful thing to see.
A horrid beast, beyond compare
Of reason or disguise;
A kind of Man, a kind of Bear,
With wolfish teeth and wolfish hair,
And claws, and dreadful eyes.
*
And when I think of that old squaw
Who squatted at my knee,
I cannot paint the Thing I saw—
The Thing she made me see;
Thirty-five THE BALLAD OF
For oh! my soul is filled with awe
Of all she showed to me.
»
*
«Ja>
♦
AU beasts she knew, but This which held
Her rooted to the ground,—
Against this Horror she rebelled,
And reeled as in a swound.      «
For, as she gazed upon the Thing
Which stirred her soul's alarm,
It crouched and made as though to spring,
But feared to loose that other thing
It clutched beneath its arm.
And then she shrieked, and ran and hid,
Choking with every breath
As though she fled*—as flee she did—
A very Feast of Death.
Thirty-six TSOQALEM
But as she thrust in mid-career
Athwart some woodland-lace,
She found her brothers stalking near,
And they were girt to hunt the deer,-
Her brothers face to face! J|  .
And half she fainted with her fear,
And half with her disgrace.
Her, ere she fell or strove to speak,
With many words they seized:
"Dost thou flee also whom we seek-
Tsoqalem—him, the Beast?"
"Tsoqalem?   That could never be!"
She cried with eyes a-swim. ^^^^^^K
">Tis he!" said thejr/^fe'Never!" quoth she;
"Tsoqalem—what of him?"
"And what of thee to say us nay?
Is it for thee to stare?
Are all thy silly wits astray?
Hast thou no knowledge of this day
Of hunt and rape and scare?
Thirty-seven THE BALLAD OF
"Ulka,—Tsoqalem seized the youth,
And hales him to his lair   .|lf§
Between her terror and the truth,
She cried, "Not him!—not there!
«
"Ah, hear me!   I have seen a Thing
Which stirred my soul's alarm;
Which crouched and made as though to spring,
But feared to loose that living thing, |§§
Our Ulka 'neath its arm;—
"A horrid Beast, beyond compare
Of reason and disguise;       ^
A kind of Man, a kind of Bear,
With wolfish teeth and wolfish hair,
And claws, and dreadful eyes!"
And as she looked her brothers o'er
She stared about in woe—
Then shrank and shrieked in terror, for
She saw at her elbow
A vision, whether less or more,
I think she could not know:
Thirty-eight TSOQALEM
The vision of a ghastly feast,
Where smiling tense and grim,
Tsoqalem-^and the Hairy Beast
Tore Ulka limb from limb.
Her brothers—(was there none to feel
For her, nor understand?)—
Her brothers scoffed to see her kneel,
And scorned her as she scanned
The vacant air in vain appeal,
And beat it with her hand.
And down she sank upon the track,
And fell as though she died .^
To this poor stricken maid, alack
That death should be denied!—
Full roughly then they bore her back
That was Tsoqalem's bride.
Thirty-nine
► THE BALLAD OF
CANTO VII.
How the hunger of Tsoqalem's ceremonial fast hastened the moral break-down which passion had begun ; of his
own meeting with the Monster, and of his sudden and
complete degeneration in consequence of that association.
A
ND now the Fisher of the Night
Was trolling in the Sky;
His cloudy Craft was lapped in Light
Who sailed and fished on high.
There where no earthly Aspect mars
The heavenly Seas, whose Tides
Are flecked and decked with cresting Stars,
The crafty Fisher rides.
Forty TSOQALEM
And as he fides he softly sings
The magic Song of Sleep,
The while he deftly baits and flings
His Tackle in the Deep.
Not every Bait the same to him,
*Nor every Line as thin—
Oh! he had Baits for every W^him,
And Lines for every Sin;
For many are the Fish that swim
The Seas he fishes in?
And so to-night he had his Wish
Who had not long to wait;
Nor did he loose the briny Leash
Which hooked him to his Fate
Tsoqalem—was the Salmon-fish,
And Hunger—was the Bait!
*
*
*
Tsoqalem plunged into the shade
Of woods, where he could see
Forty-one THE BALLAD OF
A sunny finger down the glade
Was curled about a tree.
Oh!  many little spirits primed
To mischief of their moods
Beset his way, and minced and mimed
And muttered in their hoodsp
For many little spirits climbed
And beckoned in the woods.
A throng of elfin-shadows spread
Their nets from side to side;
And all the Spirits of the Dead
Muffled their arms about his head,
And clogged him in his stride.
Till dark was folded down on dark,
And he"* was lost to light,
Fast-weary and perplexed—but hark!
What other creature of remark
Was wandering in the night?
Forty-two TSOQALEM
Almost he feared!   He stood, nor stirred;
For, though he could not bring
His eyes to pierce the dark, he heard
Ka sound of ravening.
Some beast was feasting on its prey—
lSome animal he bore
No malice.   Onward from this day
All men should speak him well, and say
"Tsoqalem is no more!"
And he would take that other Name
Hjs spirit told him of, ypj
And he would stamp upon his Shipae,
And glory in his Love.
And Love alone should guide his feet,
And blood he would not spill)
Nay, hardly would he kill to eat,
Who once would eat to kill.
I
Forty-three THE BALLAD OF
And as he wandered, presently
He came upon the feast;
And marvelled greatly there to see
A man, and not a beast.
As tall as one and strong as three,
And clawed and fanged, he deemed-
Despite his hairy armory,—
In kindness and in charity
He deemed him Man; no Beast was lie,
But Man indeed he seemed.
■
For thus the gloom of bank and tree
And boulder did conspire
To mould their contours constantly
Upon his pure desire:
And yet he marvelled much to 'seem
A feast without a fire! mi
"Thou hast no fire," Tsoqalem cried,
"Who feastest in this wise?"—
"They need no fire," the Man replied,
"Who have the Wonder-Eyes!"
Forty-four TSOQALEM
"The Wonder-Eyes!" Tsoqalem cried
"Yea, eyes of wondrous sight,
Are Wonder-Eyes," the Man replied^
"The eyes which see by night!
"But now let be and eat!   Be wise
Who art an-hungered sore;
And we shall speak of Wonder-Eyes
Thereafter, not before."
And this he chanted in a lay:
• *       r ^'#$8       •       I '■■■ ^&t. .I       *
"The meat is raw before ye slay;
So eat it raw as well ye may;
For hungry folk can eat alway!"
Tsoqalem feared, but at the last
He ate, and found it sweet
Alack! to break his holy fast
Upon such horrid meat!
i
Forty-five
fii "And now—" the Monster said anon,
Growling in awful glee
To see Tsoqalem dote upon
Such hospitality—
"Arid now, according to our plan,—
Thine eyes !^  .   .   He did right well,
Did Qaiyakwetsten, medicine-man;
But there was more to tell.
"He gave thee eyes, and made thee wise,
And taught thee wrong from right;
But I shall give thee Wonder-Eyes—
The eyes which see by night!    |§|
"He gave thee much who gave thee both
The store-house and the store,
And did according to his oath;
But I shall give thee more,
Tsoqalem, who art nothing loth
To learn my Wonder-Lore."
Forty-six TSOQALEM
And so he pierced Tsoqalem's  eyes
With bill of humming-bird,
And drew the blood; and bade him rise,
And tell him if in any wise
He saw a figure of the skies,—
Or heard what should be heard.
"Yea," said Tsoqalem, "now I hear
What ne'er I heard before—
The Horror at the heart of Fear—
A thousand things, and more!"'
Then deeper yet he probed his eyes
To light upon the flaw,
And licked the blood; and bade him rise
Again, and say if anywise
He saw a figure of the skies,
And tell him what he saw.
"Yea," said Tsoqelem, "now I see
A figure of the skies;
And, broken 'thwart a rooted tree,
Lies Ulka,—whom thou gavest me,
And all to make me wise   .   .   .
Forty-seven THE BALLAD OF
"Yea," said Tsoqalem, " 'twas a snare
Of reason in disguise—
A foolish snare beyond compare
That taught me all the world was fair,
And sought to make me wise;
"For now I see both here and there
The Power that never dies,
For here and there and everywhere
All Love and Truth are Lies S
"Yea," said Tsoqelem, "now I see
The promise and the prize
Of slaughter are the gifts of thee!"
And thus he shouted in his glee
And praise, of Wonder-Eyes—
" 'Twas human meat thou gavest me
To do as I'd  devise;—
Oh! thus—and thus I now thank thee,
And smite thee in this wise  M .
jt
Forty-eight TSOQALEM
And in his hand he took a stone
And brast it into twain, Sm
And beat the Monster frown and crown,
And clove him to the brain  || . .J£
And came once more into his own
And scoured the woods again;
And when the wolves came howling down,
He howled them back amain!
And as he went he made this lay:
"The meat is raw before ye slay;
So eat it raw as well ye may,
For hungry folk can eat alway,-,-
"| O Ulka M  I   . iSt
Nor might nor right shall conquer m
As tall as one and strong as three;
And thus—oh! thus I now thank thee,
Q Ulka!    . ||| ."
And naught did he by night nor day-
But wrong and might would dare,
Chanting aloud that monstrous lay,
The Song of Human Fare!
■*-«
Forty-nine THE BALLAD OF
CANTO VIII.
How the girl's stress of mind as well as her inability
to rejoin Tsoqalem leads to her madness j and earns for her
at the last a traditional indulgence ; of her conduct^ apparently inspired ft and of the signs which Qaiyakwetsten mistakes for those of wisdom.
N
AY, but a tithe may I set down
Of this, howe'er I fail
To sink the memory and drown
**The thoughlfwithin the tale
Of how Tsoqalem loud in laud
| Of gracious things, par die!
'Twixt day and dawning, fanged and clawed
jj     In hairy armory,
Inhabited the Beast which gnawed
Its meat in infamy|§
Fifty TSOQALEM
Of how perfidious night betrayed
Her*vivid thought released
In speech of dreams, and how the maid
Called wildly on Tsoqalem's aid
To save her from the Beast;—
These hateful things, which are not food
But poison in the main,
I shall not tell, nor if I could
I would not tell again.
Not of these thirigs,—the less* that now
Pale Dawn is, overhead,
To whom in happiness we bow
When horrid Night hath fled,—
Less how these lovers died, than how
The Night gave up her dead.
*
*
The poor maid lay upon her bed.
Of plank beside the wall
Of cedar, bullrush for the head,
With goat-and-dogwool blanket spread
To keep and, cover all.
Fifty-one THE BALLAD OF
And when she waked in wandering mood
And told them all her rue, *
Of how she ranged the tangled wood
jjwAnd found Tsoqalem true,
And later met the Beast,—they stood
And mocked her for a shrew.
And, later, where the women wove
wm- The wool for blanketing,
They asked her would she weave, or rove?
Or sing a song of treasure-trove?
Or other ribald thing.       ,-■ j| 'mm
Till soon she cowered in disgrace,
And went in deadly fearS
Of their disport, and hid her face
And wept, and had no cheer.
Ah! many times the hapless maid
Had thought to flee her woe—
To flee and seek Tsoqalem's aid,
Who would not treat her so/
Fifty-two
II And as she went, and wept, and pined
From day to day, there came
A gentle madness in her mind
To mitigate her shame.
And she would dig for clams, and bring
Them one by one, and make
Remark on every trivial thing,
And weep for happiness, and sing
As though her heart would break.
Or, she would chase the running tide
1 ' To cull the briny yeast;
But when a wave upsprang she cried
Most fearfully and ran to hide,
As though she fled the Beast! ii
And now this folk who saw the dream
Of madness in her mind,
Indulged and held her in esteem,
According to their kind,.
Fifty-three THE BALLAD OF
And hearkened when in dreams she cried
Upon the Beast; or stood
And told as though she prophesied
Tsoqalem was grown good,
What time he prayed and purified
And fasted in the wood.
And oftentimes she sat to scan
The portents of the skies;
And Qaiyakwetsten, medicine-man,
Would nod his head upon his plan
And deem the maiden wise.
At last she told the shaman this:
"And is thy spirit dumb,
Who canst not read the signs amiss ?-
Lo! for my time is come!"
Wherefore he told her that his plan
With time was ripened too;
He, Qaiyakwetsten, medicine-man,
Would show what he would do.
Fifty-four TSOQALEM
And calling loud before all folk:
"This maid and I will go
And seek Tsoqalem now!"—he spoke
Of what he could not know.
And. after ward:   "Take down and bind
The mats, and build a feast
Against our coming when the wind
Is south and sun is east^^.   ."
Went maid and shaman forth to find
Tsoqalem—him, the Beast!
Fifty-five THE BALLAD OF
CANTO IX.
How Tsoqalem's mother chooses to make ready against
the return of her son# of the awe which her doings
inspire ; and of what grievous thing the occasion brings
forth.
AND now a woman took a stick—
III A clam-stick sharp and strong,
And smote as she woul$ drive a pick,
And dug both dee||and long.
And when some asked her what she did,
And why she never ceased
Digging at feast-time ^^^^ "Feast forbid!"
Quoth she.   "Said ye a feast?"
Fifty-six "A feast in plenty!   Hast not heard
The order of the day,
And how the shaman spake the word
For feast ?^And she said, "Nay—
"For I am deaf as deaf can be,J|j
Oh, deaf andtblind I am!
But dumb I am nfot yet," quoth she
"A shaman for his shamanry,
A eiam-stick for adam!";
"So-so!" cried one/pbut thou shouldst dig
For clams along the shore!"—
"I dig," quoth she, "where clams are bigr
For one, and not a score Vg(
And round the jokers turned to go,
And whispered, "Let her be!"
And fleered and jeered again? but lo!
They laughed not meirifj^
TSOQALEM
Fifty-seven THE BALLAD OF
For now, according^ her Jplan||i
Tsoqalem's mother, ^til|
Of QaiyakwetSteft, medicine-maft,
'Twas she who <dug his grave.
As well she knew the daj||and hour,
So well did she de^e^-*
Who more than she pbb||ad the Power-
That Power^vhich never diefefc
And bhjfshe sent her spirit forth
To bring her of the best;
And lo! the wind was in the north,
The sun was in tha west!
And half the night upon her bed
Theftpman sat arid whined||
"There^coming in the smoke," she said,
"And coming in the wind!|3
Fifty-eight TSOQALEM
Ever she crooned of coming come,
Who would" not show them more;
But made a sign of hush^md9jumb,
And jointed ttfjjfte door.
And many laughed who would not treat
Her wisely, but ip scorn ---M0-
Till distant pattering -which beat
Upon the wind was borne
Upon their ^caviljpg sense, to meet
A.nd sweep their laughter from its feet,
.And prove t^mJjBf forsworn.
And every gar was tuned to hear,
And every pulse to beat,
And every sense was live with fear
To heajf-those running feet.
And every ^p was on the door—
That square ^Sapphire-blue
Framed in the glare on wall and floor
The flaming logwood threw.
Fifty-nine THE BALLAD OF
And oh! in truth! think no shame
H     Of him who called the feast,
As from that door the shaman came
His length among them, torn and tame,
And after him—the Beast!
For there were others of a ring
Who had no thought of scare
To see so dread a happening,
Who cringed and cowered there;
And shrank to hear Tsoqalem sing
.The Song of Human Fare.
Though tongues were clamouring into speech,
And all was wild with strife,
Lo! not a brave had wit to reach
A bow, nor draw a knife   Jip£9
He crouched and, slouching^om the hips,
Caught up two flanging brands; :pp
And lo!  with blood upon his lips
And blood upon his hands,
Sixty 1
TSOQALEM
Tsoqalem stood beyond compare
Of reason or disguise
A kind of Man, a kind of Bear,  •
With wolfish teeth and wolfish hair,
And claws, and dreadful eyes!
And then he flung upon them all
And beat them where they stood,
Till fire was creeping up the wall—
The wall of cedar-wood,
Which burnt no fiercer than the call
Of fire within his blood.
He loomed a Monster in the smoke
Which murdered in its rage,
*What time he fired and fought and broke
Upon his heritage.
At last the heinous work was done,
For many now were fled;
And of the rest was left but one
Alive among the dead.
Sixty-one
V THE BALLAD OF
That one, according to her planS
Tsoqalem's mother, slave
Of Qaiyakwetsten, medicine-man,
Was she who'd dug his grave.
The Monster turned, and atMhat dread
Impulsive a^iphe sprang-^fe
Who lay as dead upon hea- bed-|||
And flung a clam-stick o'er his head
And bore him to the ground.
Quick as a cat, with ruth nor reck,
She caught him in his breath,
Clutching the stick about his neck,
And called upon^bs death.
And writhing thus and rolled about:
"Oh, kill himlp&en she cried ^^fe   .,
And there came those who lurked without,
And Smote him that he died.
Sixty-twcf TSOQALEM
At grievous dawn went folk who found
The maid Tsoqalem smote
To death—at-rest upon the ground,
Washed in the morning-dews iKand bound
Some grass
about the throat
And all about the sward was black
With stress of strife and stride
Full gently then they bore her back
That was Tsoqalem's bride.
Sixty-three
mummm* THE BALLAD OF
CANTO X.
Of the squawWho told this tale, and of the hatjj| of
my mind.      Wm
ND so she told the st°ry:v^M|p
For. all she might be brave
I liked her not, and went my way;
But as I went I heard that lay:
"The meat is raw before ye slay-—"
That hateful Song of Ulka ||ti
Nay,
But thus it went—and well it may,
As Christ my soul shall save:
"There was no feast to make us gay,
But there was many a stick that day
Which helped to dig a grave l||| Oh^jjut a tithe have I set down
Of this—hdwe'er I'fajp
To ease my memory, arid drown
The thought withinShe^le!
Sixty-five i NOTES
^feThose who may desireQp|refer to the original ptose^rer^
si on ot this story will find^^n the Report upon the Ifativej-
Tribes of the So||h Eastern Portion ^fVancouver^l^^^
|raCharles Hill-Tout F3LS.C, published p* the Proceedings g
of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and'
Ireland, London. ip
NOTE ON^^PRONOUNCIATIO^^ INDIAN NAMES
TSOQALEM;   accent the second pliable, and soun<j|l||&f
'a* as in" ftale'v; "-
QAIYAKWETSTEN :   accent the first and third s|§^j§^
the 'ai* to have the^ sound of ^tets in -like.*,
ULKA : sound the 'u' as in *dullj|
The *q' (not followed byft*) Jpused tai^pr^gi^^CTiriri||
the equivalent of a very guttural *k\
'HAIYAiCO'|§ Canto VI.y.ferse 2,|§foodbj|ig i
1 ISMSr rH
lift Vf tV^tl T'
■>t HH
HBBBa

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/cdm.chungpub.1-0114632/manifest

Comment

Related Items