They have converged for a brief interval
on this small section of sea and shoreline,
and now the aliens are sailing away:
one episode, one month in a four year
voyage, and highly consequential for both
the people of this coast and these sailors
who are leaving this place at last,
the ships moving towards the open sea,
their great canvas sails filling with wind
while dozens of canoes follow them,
the occupants chanting farewell songs,
and Tsaxawasip making his final,
eloquent though uninterpretable, appeal.
As we hove up anchor
all the canoes in the cove
and sung us a parting song,
flourishing the saws, swords, hatchets,
and other things they got from us.
One man was mounted on a stage
of loose boards
supported by the Indians nearest it
and danced to the singing
with different masks on,
at one time resembling a man
and at others a bird or a beast.
These people importuned us much
to return to them again,
and by way of encouragement promised
to lay in a good stock of skins for us
and I have not the least doubt
but they will.
many things worthy of imitation,
few of blame;
would to God they could say the same of us,
but we have left them
an incurable disorder.