Be not quass of nika…

Frederick Whymper

Frederick Whymper‘s contribution to the Chinook Jargon doggerel canon!

In “The Sea: Its Stirring Story of Adventure, Peril & Heroism” (London: Cassell, 1883), this knowledgeable Northwest hand discourses sagely on Chinuk Wawa, including a sample (p. 168) of a supposedly widely known verse he attributes to a naval officer:

Oh! be not quass of nika;
Thy seahoose turn on me;
For thou must but hyas cumtux,
That I hyas tikkee thee!
Nika potlatch hyu ictas;
Nika makook sappalell[;] 
Of persicees and la biscuit,
I will give thee all thy fill!

I’d like to know if this is an adaptation of a poem that was already famous at the time (first half of the 1860s) when Whymper was in BC and Alaska.

Vocabulary help, for any who want it: 

quass afraid; nika me
seahoose eyes
hyas cumtux well know
hyas tikkee love
Nika potlatch hyu ictas I’ll give [you] many things
Nika makook sappalell I’ll buy [you] bread
persicee blanket, la biscuit biscuits/hardtack

The man himself:

Frederick Whymper by Bradley and Rulofson, San Francisco

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