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“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,
For his thoughts were with the red-deer; But the heart of Hiawatha
On their tracks his eyes were fastened, Throbbed and shouted and exulted,
Leading downward to the river,

As he bore the red deer homeward,
To the ford across the river,

And lagoo and Nokomis
And as one in slumber walked he. Hailed his coming with applauses.
Hidden in the alder-bushes,

From the red deer's hide Nokomis
There he waited till the deer came, Made a cloak for Hiawatha,
Till he saw two antlers lifted,

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,

see !



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 ;
He could shoot ten arrows upward, Learned from her the fatal secret
Shoot them with such strength and of the beauty of his mother,

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,
See how fares it with my father,

Saw his youth rise up before him
At the doorways of the West-Wind, In the face of Hiawatha,
At the portals of the Sunset !"

Saw the beauty of Wenonah
From his lodge went Hiawatha, From the grave rise up before him.
Dressed for travel, armed for hunting; “Welcome!” said he, “ Hiawatha,
Dressed in deer-skin shirt and leggings, "To the kingdom of the West-Wind !
Richly wrought with quills and wampum; Long bave I been waiting for you!
On his head his eagle-feathers,

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,
To the kingdom of the West-Wind, His indomitable courage,
To the realms of Mudjekeewis,

His invulnerable body.
Lest he harm you with his magic,

Patiently sat Hiawatha,
Lest he kill you with his cunning!” Listening to his father's boasting ;
But the fearless Hiawatha

With a smile he sat and listened,
Heeded not her woman's warning; Uttered neither threat nor menace,
Forth he strode into the forest,

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,
Crossed the mighty Mississippi,

With a countenance paternal,
Passed the Mountains of the Prairie, Looked with pride upon the beauty
Passed the land of Crows and Foxes, Of his tall and graceful figure,
Passed the dwellings of the Blackfeet, | Saying, “O my Hiawatha !
Came unto the Rocky Mountains, Is there anything can harm you ?
To the kingdom of the West-Wind, Anything you are afraid of ?”
Where upon the gusty summits

But the wary Hiawatha
Sat the ancient Mudjekeewis,

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,
“No, indeed, I will not touch it!” And the air was full of shoutings,

Then they talked of other matters ; And the thunder of the mountains,
First of Hiawatha's brothers,

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,
And he cried, “O Mudjekeewis, To the earth's remotest border,
It was you who killed Wenonah, Where into the empty spaces
Took her young life and her beauty, Sinks the sun, as a flamingo
Broke the Lily of the Prairie,

Drops into her nest at nightfall,
Trampled it beneath your footsteps ; In the melancholy marshes.
You confess it! you confess it !".

“Hold !" at length cried MudjeAnd the mighty Mudjekeewis

Tossed upon the wind his tresses, “Hold, my son, my Hiawatha !
Bowed his hoary head in anguish, 'Tis impossible to kill me,
With a silent nod assented.

For you cannot kill the immortal.
Then up started Hiawatha,

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,
For the bitterness of anger

From the water-fall be named her,
Had departed wholly from him,

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
Prayed and fasted in the forest,
Not for greater skill in hunting,
Not for greater craft in fishing,
Not for triumphs in the battle,
And renown among the warriors,
But for profit of the people,
For advantage of the nations.

First he built a lodge for fasting,
Built a wigwam in the forest,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
In the blithe and pleasant Spring-time,
In the Moon of Leaves he built it,
And, with dreams and visions many,
Seven whole days and nights he fasted.

On the first day of his fasting
Through the leafy woods he wandered ;
Saw the deer start from the thicket,
Saw the rabbit in his burrow,

Heard the pheasant, Bena, drumming,
Heard the squirrel, Adjidaumo,
Rattling in his board of acorns,
Saw the pigeon, the Omeme,
Building nests among the pine-trees,
And in flocks the wild goose, Wawa,
Flying to the fen-lands northward,
Whirring, wailing far above him.
“Master of Life!” he cried, desponding,
“Must our lives depend on these things ?"

On the next day of his fasting
By the river's brink he wandered,
Through the Muskoday, the meadow,
Saw the wild rice, Mahnomonee,
Saw the blueberry, Meenahga,
And the strawberry, Odahmin,
And the gooseberry, Shabbomin,
And the grape-vine, the Bemahgut,
| Trailing o'er the alder-branches,

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 ;
Of the South-Wind in the tree-tops, Came as silent as the dew comes,
Said he, “O my Hiawatha !

From the empty air appearing,
All your prayers are heard in heaven, Into empty air returning,
For you pray not like the others,

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!

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