Imágenes de páginas


ONCE, on a glittering ice-field, ages and ages

ago, Ung, a maker of pictures, fashioned an image of

snow. Fashioned the form of a tribesman-gaily he

whistled and sung, Working the snow with his fingers. Read ye the

Story of Ung!

Pleased was his tribe with that image-came in

their hundreds to scanHandled it, smelt it, and grunted: “Verily, this is

a man! Thus do we carry our lances—thus is a war-belt

slung. Ay, it is even as we are. Glory and honour to


Later he pictured an aurochs-later he pictured a

bearPictured the sabre-tooth tiger dragging a man to

his lairPictured the mountainous mammoth, hairy, ab

horrent, aloneOut of the love that he bore them, scribing them

clearly on bone.

Swift came the tribe to behold them, peering and

pushing and still Men of the berg-battered beaches, men of the

boulder-hatched hill, Hunters and fishers and trappers-presently whis

pering low; “Yea, they are like—and it may be . . . . But how

does the Picture-man know?

“Ung—hath he slept with the Aurochs—watched

where the Mastodon roam ? Spoke on the ice with the Bow-head-followed

the Sabre-tooth home? Nay! These are toys of his fancy! If he have

cheated us so, How is there truth in his image—the man that he

fashioned of snow ?"

Wroth was that maker of pictures-hotly he an

swered the call: “Hunters and fishers and trappers, children and

fools are ye all! Look at the beasts when ye hunt them!" Swift

from the tumult he broke, Ran to the cave of his father and told him the

shame that they spoke.

And the father of Ung gave answer, that was old

and wise in the craft, Maker of pictures aforetime, he leaned on his lance

and laughed: "If they could see as thou seest they would do

what thou hast done, And each man would make him a picture, and

what would become of my son ?

“There would be no pelts of the reindeer, flung

down at thy cave for a gift, Nor dole of the oily timber that strands with the

Baltic drift; No store of well-drilled needles, nor ouches of

amber pale; No new-cut tongues of the bison, nor meat of the Thou hast not toiled at the fishing when the sod

stranded whale.

den trammels freeze, Nor worked the war-boats outward, through the

rush of the rock-staked seas, Yet they bring thee fish and plunder—full meal

and an easy bedAnd all for the sake of thy pictures." And Ung

held down his head.

Thou hast not stood to the aurochs when the

red snow reeks of the fight; Men have no time at the houghing to count his

curls aright: And the heart of the hairy mammoth thou sayest

they do not see, Yet they save it whole from the beaches and broil

the best for thee.

“And now do they press to thy pictures, with

open mouth and eye, And a little gift in the doorway, and the praise no

gift can buy: But-sure they have doubted thy pictures, and

that is a grievous stainSon that can see so clearly, return them their gifts


And Ung looked down at his deerskins- their

broad shell-tasselled bandsAnd Ung drew downward his mitten and looked

at his naked hands; And he gloved himself and departed, and he heard

his father, behind: “Son that can see so clearly, rejoice that thy tribe

is blind!”

Straight on that glittering ice-field, by the caves of

the lost Dordogne, Ung, a maker of pictures, fell to his scribing on

boneEven to mammoth editions. Gaily he whistled

and sung, Blessing his tribe for their blindness. Heed ye the

Story of Ung!

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