« AnteriorContinuar »
“Do not shoot us, Hiawatha!” | Like the birch-leaf palpitated,
Up the oak -tree, close beside him, | As the deer came down the pathway. Sprang the squirrel, Adjidaumo,
Then, upon one knee uprising, In and out among the branches,
Hiawatha aimed an arrow; Coughed and chattered from the oak Scarce a twig moved with his motion, tree,
Scarce a leaf was stirred or rustled, Laughed, and said between his laughing, But the wary roebuck started, “Do not shoot me, Hiawatha !"
Stamped with all his hoofs together, And the rabbit from his pathway Listened with one foot uplifted, Leaped aside, and at a distance
Leaped as if to meet the arrow; Sat erect upon his haunches,
Ah! the singing, fatal arrow, Half in fear and half in frolic,
Like a wasp it buzzed and stung him. Saying to the little hunter,
Dearl he lay there in the forest, “Do not shoot me, Hiawatha !” By the ford across the river ;
But he heeded not, nor heard them, Beat his timid heart no longer,
As he bore the red deer homeward,
And lagoo and Nokomis
From the red deer's hide Nokomis
From the red deer's flesh Nokomis Saw two eyes look from the thicket, Made a banquet in his honour. Saw two nostrils point to windward, | All the village came and feasted, And a deer came down the pathway, | All the guests praised Hiawatha, Flecked with leafy light and shadow. Called him Strong-Heart, Soan-getaha! And his heart within him fluttered, Called him Loop-heart, Mahn-go-tayTrembled like the leaves above him,
HIAWATHA AND MUDJEKEEWIS.
Our of childhood into manhood
Magic mittens made of deer-skin; Now had grown my Hiawatha,
When upon his hands he wore them, Skilled in all the craft of hunters, He could smite the rocks asunder, Learned in all the lore of old men, He could grind them into powder. In all youthful sports and pastimes, He had moccasins enchanted, In all manly arts and labours.
Magic moccasins of deer-skin; Swift of foot was Hiawatha ;
When he bound them round his ankles He could shoot an arrow from him, When upon his feet he tied them, And run forward with such fleetness, At each stride a mile he measured ! That the arrow fell behind him!
Much he questioned old Nokomis Strong of arm was Hiawatha ;
Of his father Mudjekeewis ;
Of the falsehood of his father ; That the tenth had left the bow-string And his heart was hot within him, Ere the first to earth had fallen!
Like a living coal his heart was. He bad mittens, Minjekahwun,
Then he said to old Nokomis,
“I will go to Mudjekeewis,
When he looked on Hiawatha,
Saw his youth rise up before him
Saw the beauty of Wenonah
Youth is lovely, age is lonely Round his waist his belt of wampum, Youth is fiery, age is frosty; In his band his bow of ash-wood, You bring back the days departed, Strung with sinews of the reindeer; You bring back my youth of passion, In his quiver oaken arrows,
And the beautiful Wenonah !"? Tipped with jasper, winged with feathers; | Many days they talked together, With his mittens, Minjekahwun,
Questioned, listened, waited, answered; With his moccasins enchanted.
Much the mighty Mudjekeewis Warning, said the old Nokomis, Boasted of his ancient prowess, “Go not forth, O Hiawatha!
Of his perilous adventures,
His invulnerable body.
Patiently sat Hiawatha,
With a smile he sat and listened,
Neither word nor look betrayed him, At each stride a mile he measured ; But his heart was hot within him, Lurid seemed the sky above him,
Like a living coal his heart was. Larid seemed the earth beneath him, Then he said, “O Mudjekeewis, Hot and close the air around him, Is there nothing that can harm you? Filled with smoke and fiery vapours, Nothing that you are afraid of ?” As of burning woods and prairies, And the mighty Mudjekeewis, For his heart was hot within him, Grand and gracious in his boasting, Like a living coal bis heart was.
Answered, saying, “There is nothing, So he journeyed westward, westward, Nothing but the black rock yonder, Left the fleetest deer bebind him, Nothing but the fatal Wawbeek !" Left the antelope and bison ;
And he looked at Hiawatha Crossed the rushing Escopaba,
With a wise look and benignant,
With a countenance paternal,
But the wary Hiawatha
Paused awhile, as if uncertain, Ruler of the winds of heaven.
Held his peace, as if resolving, Filled with awe was Hiawatha And then answered, “There is nothing, At the aspect of his father.
Nothing but the bulrush yonder, On the air about him wildly
Nothing but the great Apukwa!" Tossed and streamed his cloudy tresses, And as Mudjekeewis, rising, Gleamed like drifting snow his tresses, Stretched his hand to pluck the bulrush, Glared like Ishkoodah, the comet, Hiawatha cried in terror, Like the star with fiery tresses.
Cried in well-dissembled terror, Filled with joy was Mudjekeewis 1 “Kago! kago! do not touch it!"
“Ah, kaween: said Mudjekeewis, And confusion of the battle,
Then they talked of other matters ; And the thunder of the mountains,
Starting, answered, “Baim-wawa !" First of Wabun, of the East-Wind, Back retreated Mudjekeewis, Of the South-Wind, Shawondasee, Rushing westward o'er the mountains, Of the North, Kabibonokka ;
Stumbling westward down the moun. Then of Hiawatha's mother,
tains, Of the beautiful Wenonah,
Three whole days retreated fighting, Of her birth upon the meadow,
| Still pursued by Hiawatha Of her death, as old Nokomis
To the doorways of the West-Wind, Tiad remembered and related.
To the portals of the Sunset,
Drops into her nest at nightfall,
“Hold !" at length cried MudjeAnd the mighty Mudjekeewis
For you cannot kill the immortal.
I have put you to this trial, And with threatening look and gesture, But to know and prove your courage; Laid his hand upon the black rock, Now receive the prize of valour! On the fatal Wawbeek laid it,
“Go back to your home and people, With his mittens, Minjekahwun,
Live among them, toil among them, Rent the jutting crag asunder,
Cleanse the earth from all that harms it, Smote and crushed it into fragments, Clear the fishing-grounds and rivers, Hurled them madly at his father, Slay all monsters and magicians, The remorseful Mudjekeewis,
All the Wendigoes, the giants, For his heart was hot within him, All the serpents, the Kenabeeks, Like a living coal his heart was.
As I slew the Mishe-Mokwa, But the ruler of the West-Wind | Slew the Great Bear of the mountains. Blew the fragments backward from him, “And at last when Death draws near With the breathing of his nostrils,
you, With the tempest of his anger,
When the awful eyes of Pauguk Blew them back at his assailant ; Glare upon you in the darkness, Seized the bulrush, the Apukwa,
I will share my kingdom with you, Dragged it with its roots and fibres Ruler shall you be thenceforward From the margin of the meadow, Of the Northwest Wind, Keewaydin, From its ooze, the giant bulrush; Of the home-wind, the Keewaydin." Long and loud laughed Hiawatha !
Thus was fought that famous battl Then began the deadly conflict, In the dreadful days of Shah-shah, Hand to hand among the mountains; In the days long since departed, From bis eyrie screamed the eagle, In the kingdom of the West-Wind. The Keneu, the great war-eagle;
Still the hunter sees its traces Sat upon the crags around them,
Scattered far o'er bill and valley; Wheeling flapped his wings above them. Sees the giant bulrush growing Like a tall tree in the tempest
By the ponds and water-courses, Bent and lashed the giant bulrash; Sees the masses of the Wawbeek And in masses huge and heavy
Lying still in every valley. Crasbing fell the fatal Wawbeek ;
Homeward now went Hiawatha ; Till the earth shook with the tumult Pleasant was the landscape round him,
Pleasant was the air above him, | And he named her from the river,
From the water-fall be named her,
Minnehaha, Laughing Water. From his brain the thought of ven Was it then for heads of arrows, geance,
Arrow-heads of chalcedony, From his heart the burning fever. Arrow-heads of flint and jasper,
Only once his pace he slackened, That my Hiawatha balted, Only once he paused or halted,
In the land of the Dacotahs ? Paused to purchase heads of arrows
Was it not to see the maiden, Of the ancient Arrow-maker,
See the face of Laughing Water In the land of the Dacotahs,
Peeping from behind the curtain, Where the Falls of Minnebaha
Hear the rustling of her garments Flash and gleam among the oak-trees, From behind the waving curtain, Laugh and leap into the valley.
As one sees the Minnehaha There the ancient Arrow-maker Gleaming, glancing through the branches, Made his arrow-heads of sandstone, As one hears the Laughing Water Arrow-beads of chalcedony,
From behind its screen of branches ? Arrow-heads of flint and jasper,
Who shall say what thoughts and Smoothed and sharpened at the edges,
visions Hard and polished, keen and costly. Fill the fiery brains of young men ? With him dwelt his dark - eyed | Who sball say what dreams of beauty daughter,
Filled the heart of Hiawatha ? Wayward as the Minnehaha,
All he told to old Nokomis, With her moods of shade and sunshine, When he reached the lodge at sunset, Eyes that smiled and frowned alternate, Was the meeting with his father, Feet as rapid as the river,
Was his fight with Mudjekeewis ; Tresses flowing like the water,
Not a word he said of arrows, And as musical a laughter;
| Not a word of Laughing Water !
You shall hear how Hiawatha
First he built a lodge for fasting,
On the first day of his fasting
Heard the pheasant, Bena, drumming,
On the next day of his fasting
Filling all the air with fragrance ! | Forth into the flush of sunset “ Master of Life!" he cried, desponding, Came, and wrestled with Mondamin; “Must our lives depend on these things?" At his touch he felt new courage On the third day of his fasting
Throbbing in his brain and bosom, By the lake he sat and pondered,
Felt new life and hope and vigour By the still, transparent water;
Run through every nerve and fibre. Saw the sturgeon. Nahma, leaping,
So they wrestled there together Scattering drops like beads of wampum, In the glory of the sunset, Saw the yellow perch, the Sahwa, And the more they strove and struggled, Like a sunbeam in the water,
Stronger still grew Hiawatha ; Saw the pike, the Maskenozha,
Till the darkness fell around them, And the herring, Okahahwis,
And the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah, And the Shawgashee, the craw-fish! From her nest among the pine-trees, “Master of Life!” he cried, desponding, Gave a cry of lamentation, “ Must our lives depend on these things?" Gave a scream of pain and fainine. On the fourth day of his fasting
" 'Tis enough!" then said Mondamin, In his lodge he lay exhausted ;
Smiling upon Hiawatha, From his couch of leaves and branches “But to-morrow, when the sun sets, Gazing with half-open eyelids,
I will come again to try you." Full of shadowy dreams and visions, And he vanished, and was seen not ; On the dizzy, swimming landscape, Whether sinking as the rain sinks, On the gleaming of the water,
Whether rising as the mists rise, On the splendour of the sunset.
Hiawatha saw not, knew not, And he saw a youth approaching, Only saw that he had vanished, Dressed in garments green and yellow, Leaving him alone and fainting, Coming through the purple twilight, With the misty lake below him, Through the splendour of the sunset; And the reeling stars above him. Plumes of green bent o'er his forehead, On the morrow and the next day, And his hair was soft and golden. When the sun through heaven descending, Standing at the open doorway,
Like a red and burning cinder, Long he looked at Hiawatha,
From the hearth of the Great Spirit, Looked with pity and compassion
Fell into the western waters, On his wasted form and features,
Came Mondamin for the trial, And, in accents like the sighing
For the strife with Hiawatha ;
From the empty air appearing,
Taking shape when earth it touches, Not for greater skill in hunting,
But invisible to all men Not for greater craft in fishing,
In its coming and its going. Not for triumph in the battle,
Thrice they wrestled there together Nor renown among the warriors,
In the glory of the sunset, But for profit of the people,
Till the darkness fell around them, For advantage of the nations.
Till the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah, “From the Master of Life descending, From her nest among the pine-trees, I, the friend of man, Mondamin, | Uttered her loud cry of famine, Come to warn you and instruct you, And Mondamin paused to listen. How by struggle and by labour
Tall and beautiful be stood there, You shall gain what you have prayed for. In his garments green and yellow; Rise up from your bed of branches, To and fro his plumes above him Rise, O youth, and wrestle with me!" Waved and nodded with his breathing, Paint with famine, Hiawatha
And the sweat of the encounter Started from his bed of branches, Stood like drops of dew upon him. From the twilight of his wigwam | And he cried, “O Hiawatha!