Black Elk, Leader ( - )

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And when I breathed, my breath was lightning.~Black Elk

Inspirational Lightning

Grandfather, Great Spirit, once more behold me on earth and lean to hear my feeble voice.~Black Elk

Great Earth Me

You see, I had been riding with the storm clouds, and had come to earth as rain, and it was drought that I had killed with the power that the Six Grandfathers gave me.~Black Elk

Rain Power Storm

You remember that my great vision came to me when I was only nine years old, and you have seen that I was not much good for anything until after I had performed the horse dance near the mouth of the Tongue River during my eighteenth summer.~Black Elk

Good Dance Summer

Sometimes dreams are wiser than waking.~Black Elk

Dreams Sometimes Wiser

And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.~Black Elk

Together Live I Can

The soldiers did go away and their towns were torn down; and in the Moon of Falling Leaves (November), they made a treaty with Red Cloud that said our country would be ours as long as grass should grow and water flow.~Black Elk

Water Moon Red

I know now what this meant, that the bison were the gift of a good spirit and were our strength, but we should lose them, and from the same good spirit we must find another strength.~Black Elk

Strength Good Gift

There can never be peace between nations until there is first known that true peace which is within the souls of men.~Black Elk

Peace Men True

After the horse dance was over, it seemed that I was above the ground and did not touch it when I walked.~Black Elk

Dance Horse Over It

And as he spoke of understanding, I looked up and saw the rainbow leap with flames of many colors over me.~Black Elk

Rainbow Colors Me

And I say the sacred hoop of my people was one of the many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father.~Black Elk

Mother Children Father

And if the great fear had not come upon me, as it did, and forced me to do my duty, I might have been less good to the people than some man who had never dreamed at all, even with the memory of so great a vision in me.~Black Elk

Fear Good Great

I cured with the power that came through me.~Black Elk

Power Me Cured

I looked below and saw my people there, and all were well and happy except one, and he was lying like the dead - and that one was myself.~Black Elk

Myself Happy People

I think I have told you, but if I have not, you must have understood, that a man who has a vision is not able to use the power of it until after he has performed the vision on earth for the people to see.~Black Elk

Power Man Vision

I was four years old then, and I think it must have been the next summer that I first heard the voices.~Black Elk

Summer Think Old

My friend, I am going to tell you the story of my life, as you wish; and if it were only the story of my life I think I would not tell it; for what is one man that he should make much of his winters, even when they bend him like a heavy snow?~Black Elk

Life Man I Am

So I took the bright red stick and at the center of the nation's hoop I thrust it in the earth.~Black Elk

Earth Red Nation

The boys of my people began very young to learn the ways of men, and no one taught us; we just learned by doing what we saw, and we were warriors at a time when boys now are like girls.~Black Elk

Time Men People

They told me I had been sick twelve days, lying like dead all the while, and that Whirlwind Chaser, who was Standing Bear's uncle and a medicine man, had brought me back to life.~Black Elk

Life Man Me

To use the power of the bison, I had to perform that part of my vision for the people to see.~Black Elk

Power Vision People

I had a vision with which I might have saved my people, but I had not the strength to do it.~Black Elk

Strength Vision People

Grown men can learn from very little children for the hearts of little children are pure. Therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss.~Black Elk

Children Great May

If you will read again what is written, you will see how it was.~Black Elk

History You See

When I got back to my father and mother and was sitting up there in our tepee, my face was still all puffed and my legs and arms were badly swollen; but I felt good all over and wanted to get right up and run around.~Black Elk

Mother Father Good