‘I did not know then how much was ended. When I look back now
from this high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered
women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked
gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see
that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people’s dream died there. It was a beautiful dream.
And I, to whom so great a vision was given in my youth, –
you see now a pitiful old man who has done nothing, for the nation’s hoop is broken and scattered. There is no centre any longer, and the
sacred tree is dead.’
From Black Elk Speaks.