I Will Fight No More Forever

Hinmahtoo Yahlatkekeht of the Nez Perce
("Thunder Rolling in the Mountains." or "Chief Joseph")


Surrender Speech In the Bear Paw Mountains
- October 5th, 1877


I am tired of fighting.

Our chiefs are killed.
Looking Glass is dead.
Toohulhulsote is dead.
The old men are all dead.
It is the young men who say no and yes.
He who led the young men is dead.

It is cold and we have no blankets.
The little children are freezing to death.
My people, some of them,
Have run away to the hills
And have no blankets, no food.
No one knows where they are-
Perhaps they are freezing to death.
I want to have time to look for my children
And see how many of them I can find.
Maybe I shall find them among the dead.

Hear me, my chiefs, I am tired.
My heart is sad and sick.
From where the sun now stands
I will fight no more forever...

 

Back to Poetry Page
Home