Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Beginning of the World: An Excerpt of Love

An Excerpt of Love.

Long, long ago,
Before anything was,
Saving only the heavens,
From the seat of his golden throne,
The Sun-god looked out on the Moon-goddess,
And found her beautiful.

Hour after hour,
With hopeless love,
He watched the spot where, at evening,
She would sometimes come out to wander
Through her silver garden
In the cool of the dusk.

Far he sent his gaze across the heavens
Until the time came, one day,
When she returned his look of love
And she, too, sat lonely,
Turning eyes of wistful longing
Toward her distant lover.

Then their thoughts of love and longing,
Seeking each other,
Met halfway,
Mingled,
Hung suspended in space...


— Chief William Khalserten Sepass


Before they became lost forever, Chief Khalserten Sepass spent 1911-1915 meticulously translating 16 ancient poems of the Chilliwack people from the native Salish tongue to English with Sophia Jane White. The poems were then passed down to her daughter, Eloise Street Harries, who edited Indian Time magazine. Published as The Songs of Y-Ail-Mihth in 1958 — and long out of print — they are also known today as the Sepass Poems.

This excerpt from The Beginning of the World is the beginning of the poem — a tale of love and creation. The full text of this sacred poem was discovered in Native American Wisdom: A Spiritual Tradition at One with Nature. The accompanying artwork is from the hand of noted Native artist Paul Shilling.