Formula for Obtaining Life

by Cherokee (Anonymous)

English version by James Mooney
Original Language Cherokee

Now, then!
Ha, now thou hast come to listen, thou Long Human Being, thou art staying, thou Helper of human beings.
Thou never lettest go thy grasp from the soul.
Thou hast, as if it were, taken a firmer grasp upon the soul.
I originated at the cataract, not so far away.
I will stretch out my hand to where thou art.
My soul has come to bathe itself in thy body.
The white foam will cling to my head as I walk along the path of life, the white staff will come into my extended hand.
The fire of the hearth will be left burning for me incessantly.
The soul has been lifted up successively to the seventh upper world.

-- from The Sky Clears: Poetry of the American Indians, Edited by A. Grove Day

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The Sky Clears: Poetry of the American Indians

Formula for Obtaining