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As above him Hiawatha
In his birch canoe caine sailing,
With his fishing-line of cedar.
“Take my bait !” cried Hiawatha
Down into the depths beneath him,
“Take my bait, 0 Sturgeon, Nahma
Come up from below the water,
Let us see which is the stronger !"
And he dropped his line of cedar
Through the clear, transparent water,
Waited vainly for an answer,
Long sat waiting for an answer,
And repeating loud and louder,
“ Take my bait, 0 King of Fishes !”

Quiet lay the sturgeon, Nahma,
Fanning slowly in the water,
Looking up at Hiawatha,
Listening to his call and clamour,
His unnecessary tumult,
Till he wearied of the shouting ;
And he said to the Kenozha,
To the pike, the Maskenozha,
“Take the bait of this rude fellow,
Break the line of Hiawatha !”

In his fingers Hiawatha
Felt the loose line jerk and tighten ;
As he drew it in, it tugged so
That the birch canoe stood end wise,
Like a birch log in the water,
With the squirrel, Adjidaumo,
Perched and frisking on the su mmit.

Full of scorn was Hiawatha
When he saw the fish rise upward,
Saw the pike, the Maskenozha,
Coming nearer, nearer to him,
And he shouted through the water,
“Esa! esa ! shame upon you !
You are but the pike, Kenozha,
You are not the fish I wanted,
You are not the King of Fishes !"

Reeling downward to the bottom
Sank the pike in great confusion,
And the mighty sturgeon, Nahma,
Said to Ugudwash, the sun-fish,
“ Take the bait of this great boaster,
Break the line of Hiawatha !"

Slowly upward, wavering, gleaming Like a white moon in the water, Rose the Ugudwash, the sun-fish, Seized the line of Hiawatha, Swung with all his weight upon it, Made a whirlpool in the water, Whirled the birch canoe in circles, Round and round in gurgling eddies,

Till the circles in the water
Reached the far-off sandy beaches,
Till the water-flags and rushes
Nodded on the distant margins.

But when Hiawatha saw him
Slowly rising through the water,
Lifting his great disc of whiteness,
Loud he shouted in derision,
“Esa! esa ! shame upon you !
You are Ugudwash, the san-fish,
You are not the fish I wanted,
You are not the King of Fishes !"

Slowly downward, wavering, gleaming,
Sank the Ugudwash, the sun-fish,
And again the sturgeon, Nahma,
Heard the shout of Hiawatha,
Heard his challenge of defiance,
The unnecessary tumult,
Ringing far across the water.

From the white sand of the bottom
Up he rose with angry gesture,
Quivering in each nerve and fibre,
Clashing all his plates of armour,
Gleaming bright with all his war-paint;
In his wrath he darted upward,
Flashing leaped into the sunshine,
Opened his great jaws, and swallowed
Both canoe and Hiawatha.

Down into that darksome cavern
Plunged the headlong Hiawatha,
As a log on some black river
Shoots and plunges down the rapids,
Found himself in utter darkness,
Groped about in helpless wonder,
Till he felt a great heart beating,
Throbbing in that utter darkness.

And he smote it in his anger,
With his fist, the heart of Nahma,
Felt the mighty King of Fishes
Shudder through each nerve and fibre,
Heard the water gurgle round him
As he leaped and staggered through it,
Sick at heart, and faint and weary.

Crosswise then did Hiawatha Drag his birch canoe for safety, Lest from out the jaws of Nahma, In the turmoil and confusion, Forth he might be hurled and perish. And the squirrel, Adjidagmo, Frisked and chattered very gaily, Toiled and tugged with Hiawatha Till the labour was completed,

Then said Hiawatha to him, “O my little friend, the squirrel,

Bravely have you toiled to help me; I He was standing near his wigwam, Take the thanks of Hiawatha,

| On the margin of the water, And the name which now he gives you ; And be called to old Nokomis, For hereafter and for ever

Called and beckoned to Nokomis, Boys shall call you Adjidaumo,

Pointed to the sturgeon, Nahma, Tail-in-air the boys sball call you !” Lying lifeless on the pebbles, And again the sturgeon, Nahma, With the sea-gulls feeding on him. Gasped and quivered in the water, “I have slain the Mishe-Nahma, Then was still, and drifted landward Slain the King of Fishes !" said he ; Till he grated on the pebbles,

“Look! the sea-gulls feed upon him, Till the listening Hiawatha

Yes, my friends Kayoshk, the sea-gulls; Heard him grate upon the margin, Drive them not away, Nokomis, Felt bim strand upon the pebbles, They have saved me from great peril Knew that Nahma, King of Fishes, In the body of the sturgeon, Lay there dead upon the margin.

Wait until their meal is ended, Then he heard a clang and flapping, Till their craws are full with feasting, As of many wings assembling,

Till they homeward fly, at sunset, Heard a screaming and confusion,

To their nests among the marshes; As of birds of prey contending,

Then bring all your pots and kettles. Saw a gleam of light above him,

And make oil for us in Winter." Shining through the ribs of Nahma,

And she waited till the sunset, Saw the glittering eyes of sea-gulls, Till the pallid moon, the Night-sun, Of Kayoshk, the sea-gulls, peering, Rose above the tranquil water, Gazing at him through the opening, Till Kayoshk, the sated sea-gulls, Heard them saying to each other, From their banquet rose with clamour, “'Tis our brother, Hiawatha ! "

And across the fiery sunset And he shouted from below them, Winged their way to far-off islands, Cried exulting from the caverns,

To their nests among the rushes. “() ye sea-gulls ! O my brothers !

To his sleep went Hiawatha, I have slain the sturgeon, Nahma ; And Nokomis to her labour, Make the rifts a little larger,

Toiling patient in the moonlight, With your claws the openings widen, Till the sun and moon changed places, Set me free from this dark prison, Till the sky was red with sunrise, And henceforward and for ever

And Kayoshk, the hungry sea-gulls,
Men shall speak of your achievements, Came back from the reedy islands,
Calling you Kayoshk, the sea-gulls, Clamorous for their morning banquet.
Yes, Kayoshk, the Noble Scratchers !” | Three whole days and nights alter-

And the wild and clamorous sea-gulls nate
Toiled with beak and claws together, Old Nokomis and the sea-gulls
Made the rifts and openings wider Stripped the oily flesh of Nahma,
In the mighty ribs of Nahma,

Till the waves washed through the ribAnd from peril and from prison,

bones, Prom the body of the sturgeon,

Till the sea-gulls came no longer, From the peril of the water,

And upon the sands lay nothing Was released my Hiawatha.

| But the skeleton of Nahma.

IX.

HIAWATHA AND THE PEARL-FEATHER. On the shores of Gitche Gumee,

Pointing with her finger westward Of the shining Big-Sea-Water,

O'er the water pointing westward, Stood Nokomis, the old woman.

To the purple clouds of sunset.

T

Fiercely the red sun descending | Forward leaped Cheemaun exulting, Burned his way along the heavens, And the noble Hiawatha Set the sky on fire behind him,

Sang his war-song wild and woeful, As war-parties, when retreating, | And above hin the war-eagle, Burn the prairies on their war-trail; The Keneu, the great war-eagle, And the moon, the Night-Sun, eastward, Master of all fowls with feathers, Suddenly, starting from bis ambush, Screamed and hurtled through the Followed fast those bloody footprints,

heavens. Followed in that fiery war-trail,

Soon he reached the fiery serpents, With its glare upon his features.

The Kenabeek, the great serpents, And Nokomis, the old woman,

Lying huge upon the water, Pointing with her finger westward, Sparkling, rippling in the water, Spake these words to Hiawatha:

Lying coiled across the passage, “ Yonder dwells the great Pearl-Feather, With their blazing crests uplifted, Megissogwon, the Magician,

Breathing fiery fogs and vapours, Manito of Wealth and Wampum, So that none could pass beyond them. Guarded by his fiery serpents,

But the fearless Hiawatha
Guarded by the black pitch-water; Cried aloud, and spake in this wise:
You can see his fiery serpents,

“Let me pass my way, Kenabeek, The Kenabeek, the great serpents, Let me go upon my journey!Coiling, playing in the water;

And they answered, hissing fiercely,
You can see the black pitch-water With their fiery breath made answer:
Stretching far away beyond them, “ Back, go back ! 0 Shaugodaya !
To the purple clouds of sunset !

Back to old Nokomis, Faint-beart!"
“He it was who slew my father, | Then the angry Hiawatha
By his wicked wiles and cunning, Raised his mighty bow of ash-tree,
When he from the moon descended, Seized his arrows, jasper-headed,
When he came on earth to seek me. Shot them fast among the serpents;
He, the mightiest of Magicians,

Every twanging of the bow-string
Sends the fever from the marshes, Was a war-cry and a death-cry,
Sends the pestilential vapours,

Every whizzing of an arrow Sends the poisonous exhalations,

Was a death-song of Kenabeek. Sends the white-fog from the fenlands, Weltering in the bloody water, Sends disease and death among us ! Dead lay all the fiery serpents,

“Take your bow, O Hiawatha, And among them Hiawatha Take your arrows, jasper-headed, Harmless sailed, and cried exulting: Take your war-club, Puggawaugun, Onward, O Cheemaun, my darling! And your mittens, Minjekahwun, Onward to the black pitch-water!" And your birch canoe for sailing,

Then he took the oil of Nahima, And the oil of Mishe. Nahma,

And the bows and sides anointed, So to smear its sides, that swiftly Smeared them well with oil, that swiftly You may pass the black pitch-water; He might pass the black pitch-water. Slay this merciless magician,

All night long he sailed upon it, Save the people from the fever

Sailed upon that sluggish water, That he breathes across the fenlands, Covered with its mould of ages, And avenge my father's murder!” Black with rotting water-rushes,

Straightway then my Hiawatha Rank with flags and leaves of lilies, Armed himself with all his war-gear, Stagnant, lifeless, dreary, dismal, Launched his birch canoe for sailing; Lighted by the shimmering moonlight, With his palm its sides be patted, | And by will-o'-the-wisps illumined, Said with glee, “Cheemaun, my darling, Fires by ghosts of dead men kindled, O my Birch-Canoe ! leap forward, In their weary night encampments. Where you see the fiery serpents, 1 All the air was white with moonlight Where you see the black pitch-water !” All the water black with shadow,

And around him the Suggema,

1 “Well I know you, Hiawatha !"
The mosquitos, sang their war-song, | Cried he in a voice of thunder,
And the fire-flies, Wah-wah-taysee, In a tone of loud derision.
Waved their torches to mislead him ; “Hasten back, O Shaugodaya !
And the bull-frog, the Dahinda,

Hasten back among the women,
Thrust his head into the moonlight, Back to old Nokomis, Faint heart!
Fixed his yellow eyes upon him,

I will slay you as you stand there,
Sobbed and sank beneath the surface, As of old I slew her father !"
And anon a thousand whistles

But my Hiawatha answered,
Answered over all the fenlands,

Nothing daunted, fearing nothing : And the heron, the Shuh-shub-gab, “ Big words do not smite like war.clubs, Far off on the reedy margin,

Boastful breath is not a bow-string, Heralded the hero's coming.

| Taunts are not so sbarp as arrows. Westward thus fared Hiawatha, Deeds are better things than words are, Toward the realm of Megissogwon, Actions mightier than boastings !” Toward the land of the Pearl-Feather, Then began the greatest battle Till the level moon stared at him, That the sun had ever looked on, In his face stared pale and haggard, That the war-birds ever witnessed. Till the sun was hot behind him,

All a Summer's day it lasted,
Till it burned upon his shoulders, From the sunrise to the sunset;
And before him on the upland

For the shafts of Hiawatha
He could see the Shining Wigwam Harmless hit the shirt of wampum,
Of the Manito of Wampum,

Harmless fell the blows he dealt it
Of the mightiest of Magicians.

With his mittens, Minjekahwun, Then once more Cheemaun he patted, Harmless fell the heavy war-club; To his Birch-Canoe said, “Onward !" It could dash the rocks asunder, And it stirred in all its fibres,

But it could not break the meshes
And with one great bound of triumph | Of that magic shirt of wampum.
Leaped across the water-lilies,

Till at sunset Hiawatha,
Leaped through tangled flags and rushes, Leaning on his bow of ash-tree,
And upon the beach beyond them Wounded, weary, and desponding,
Dryshod landed Hiawatha.

With his mighty war-club broken,
Straight he took his bow of ash-tree, With his mittens torn and tattered,
One end on the sand he rested,

And three useless arrows only, With his knee he pressed the middle, Paused to rest beneath a pine-tree, Stretched the faithful bow-string tighter, From whose branches trailed the mosses, Took an arrow, jasper-headed,

And whose trunk was coated over Shot it at the Shining Wigwam, With the Dead-man's Moccasin-leather, Sent it singing as a herald,

With the fungus white and yellow. As a bearer of his message,

Suddenly from the boughs above him Of his challenge loud and lofty : Sang the Mama, the woodpecker : Come forth from your lodge, Pearl “ Aim your arrows, Hiawatha, Peather!

At the head of Megissogwon, Hiawatha waits your coming!"

Strike the tuft of hair upon it, Straightway from the Shining Wigwam At their roots the long black tresses ; Came the mighty Megissogwon,

There alone can he be wounded !" Tall of stature, broad of shoulder, Winged with feathers, tipped with jasDark and terrible in aspect,

per, Clad from head to foot in wampum, Swiftly flew Hiawatha's arrow, Armed with all bis warlike weapons, | Just as Megissogwon, stooping, Painted like the sky of morning, Raised a heavy stone to throw it. Streaked with crimson, blue, and yellow, Full upon the crown it struck him, Crested with great eagle-feathers, | At the roots of his long tresses, Streaming upward, streaming outward. And he reeled and staggered forward,

Plunging like a wounded bison,
Yes, like Pezhekee, the bison,
When the snow is on the prairie.

Swifter flew the second arrow,
In the pathway of the other,
Piercing deeper than the other,
Wounding sorer than the other;
And the knees of Megissogwon
Shook like windy reeds beneath him,
Bent and trembled like the rushes.

But the third and latest arrow
Swiftest flew and wounded sorest,
And the mighty Megissogwon
Saw the fiery eyes of Pauguk,
Saw the eyes of Death glare at him,
Heard his voice call in the darkness ;
At the feet of Hiawatha
Lifeless lay the great Pearl-Feather,
Lay the mightiest of Magicians.

Then the grateful Hiawatha
Called the Mama, the woodpecker,
From his perch among the branches
Of the melancholy pine-tree,
And, in honour of his service,
Stained with blood the tuft of feathers
On the little head of Mama;
Even to this day he wears it,
Wears the tuft of crimson feathers,
As a symbol of his service.

Then he stripped the shirt of wampum From the back of Megissogwon, As a trophy of the battle, As a signal of his conquest. On the shore he left the body, Half on land and half in water, In the sand his feet were buried, And his face was in the water, And above him wheeled and clamoured The Keneu, the great war-eagle, Sailing round in narrower circles,

Hovering nearer, nearer, nearer.

From the wigwam Hiawatha Bore the wealth of Megissogwon, All his wealth of skins and wampum, Furs of bison and of beaver, Furs of sable and of ermine, Wampum belts and strings and pouches, Quivers wrought with beads of wampum, Filled with arrows, silver-headed.

Homeward then he sailed exulting, Homeward through the black pitch-water, Homeward through the weltering ser.

pents,
With the trophies of the battle,
With a shout and song of triumph.
On the sbore stood old Nokomis,
On the shore stood Chibiabos,
And the very strong man, Kwasind,
Waiting for the hero's coming,
Listening to his song of triumph.
And the people of the village
| Welcomed bim with songs and dances,
Made a joyous feast, and shouted:
“Honour be to Hiawatha !
He has slain the great Pearl-Feather,
Slain the mightiest of Magicians,
Him who sent the fiery fever,
Sent the white-fog from the fenlands,
Sent disease and death among us!”

Ever dear to Hiawatha
Was the memory of Mama !
And in token of his friendship,
As a mark of his remembrance,
He adorned and decked his pipe-stem
With the crimson tuft of feathers,
With the blood-red crest of Mama.
But the wealth of Megissogwon,
| All the trophies of the battle,
He divided with his people,
Shared it equally among them.

HIAWATHA'S WOOING " As unto the bow the cord is,

Listless, longing, hoping, fearing, So unto the man is woman,

Dreaming still of Minnebaha, Though she bends him she obeys him, Of the lovely Laughing Water, Though she draws him, yet she follows, In the land of the Dacotahs. Useless each without the other ! "

“Wed a maiden of your people," Thus the youthful Hiawatha

Warning said the old Nokomis; Said within himself and pondered, “Go not eastward, go not westward, Much perplexed by various feelings, | For a stranger, whom we know not!

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