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HIAWATHA'S FASTING.

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Bravely have you wrestled with me, For the coming of Mondamin,
Thrice have wrestled stoutly with me, Till the shadows, pointing eastward,
And the Master of Life, who sees us, Lengthened over field and forest,
He will give to you the triumph !" Till the sun dropped from the heaven,

Then he smiled, and said, “To-morrow Floating on the waters westward,
Is the last day of your conflict,

As a red leaf in the Autumn Is the last day of your fasting.

Falls and floats upon the water, You will conquer and o'ercome me ; Falls and sinks into its bosom. Make a bed for me to lie in,

And behold ! the young Mondamin, Where the rain may fall upon me, With his soft and shining tresses, Where the sun may come and warm me; With his garments green and yellow, Strip these garments, green and yellow, with his long and glossy plumage, Strip this nodding plumage from me, Stood and beckoned at the doorway. Lay me in the earth, and make it And as one in slumber walking, Soft and loose and light above me. Pale and haggard, but undaunted,

“Let no hand disturb my slumber, From the wigwam Hiawatha Let no weed or worm molest me,

Came and wrestled with Mondainin. Let not Kabgahgee, the raven,

Round about him spun the landscape, Come to haunt me and molest me, Sky and forest reeled together, Only come yourself to watch me,

And his strong heart leaped within him, Till I wake, and start, and quicken, As the sturgeon leaps and struggles Till I leap into the sunshine."

In a net to break its meshes. And thus saying, he departed; Like a ring of fire around him Peacefully slept Hiawatha,

Blazed and flared the red horizon, But he heard the Wawonaissa,

And a hundred suns seemed looking Heard the whippoorwill complaining, At the combat of the wrestlers. Perched upon his lonely wigwam ;

Suddenly upon the greensward Heard the rushing Sebowisha,

All alone stood Hiawatha, Heard the rivulet rippling near him, Panting with his wild exertion, Talking to the darksome forest;

Palpitating with the struggle ; Heard the sighing of the branches, And before him, breathless, lifeless, As they lifted and subsided

Lay the youth, with hair dishevelled, At the passing of the night-wind, Plumage torn, and garments tattered, Heard them, as one hears in slumber Dead he lay there in the sunset. Par-off murmurs, dreamy whispers : And victorious Hiawatha Peacefully slept Hiawatha.

Made the grave as he commanded, On the morrow came Nokomis,

Stripped the garments from Mondamin, On the seventh day of his fasting, Stripped his tattered plumage from him, Came with food for Hiawatha,

Laid him in the earth, and made it Came imploring and bewailing,

Soft and loose and light above him ; Lest his hunger should o'ercome him, And the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gab, Lest his fasting should be fatal.

From the melancholy moorlands,
But he tasted not, and touched not, Gave a cry of lamentation,
Only said to her, “Nokomis,

Gave a cry of pain and anguish!
Wait until the sun is setting,

Homeward then went Hiawatha
Till the darkness falls around us,

To the lodge of old Nokomis,
Till the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah, And the seven days of his fasting
Crying from the desolate marshes, Were accomplished and completed,
Tells us that the day is ended."

But the place was not forgotten Homeward weeping went Nokomis, Where he wrestled with Mondamin; Sorrowing for her Hiawatha,

Nor forgotten nor neglected Fearing lest his strength should fail him, Was the grave where lay Mondamin, Lest bis fasting should be fatal.

Sleeping in the rain and sunshine, He meanwhile sat weary waiting | Where his scattered plumes and garments Faded in the rain and sunshine.

Day by day did Hiawatha
Go to wait and watch beside it ;
Kept the dark mould soft above it,
Kept it clean from weeds and insects,
Drove away, with scoffs and shoutings,
Kahgabgee, the king of ravens.

Till at length a small green feather
From the earth shot slowly upward,
Then another and another,
And before the Summer ended
Stood the maize in all its beauty,
With its shining robes about it,
And its long, soft, yellow tresses ;
And in rapture Hiawatha
Cried aloud, “It is Mondamin!
Yes, the friend of man, Mondamin!”

Then he called to old Nokomis

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HIAWATHA'S FRIENDS. Two good friends haa Hiawatha,

From the hollow reeds he fashioned Singled out from all the others,

Flutes so musical and mellow,
Bound to him in closest union,

That the brook, the Sebowisha,
And to whom he gave the right hand Ceased to murmur in the woodland,
Of his heart, in joy and sorrow;

That the wood-birds ceased from singing, Chibiabos, the musician,

And the squirrel, Adjidaumo,
And the very strong man, Kwasind. Ceased his chatter in the oak-tree,
Straight between them ran the path And the rabbit, the Wabasso,
way,

Sat upright to look and listen.
Never grew the grass upon it;

Yes, the brook, the Sebowisha, Singing-birds, that utter falsehoods, Pausing, said, “O Chibiabos, Story-tellers, mischief-makers,

Teach my waves to flow in music, Found no eager ear to listen,

Softly as your words in singing !" Could not breed ill-will between them, Yes, the blue-bird, the Owaissa, For they kept each other's counsel, Envious, said, “O) Chibiabos, Spake with naked hearts together, Teach me tones as wild and wayward, Pondering much, and much contriving Teach me songs as full of frenzy !" How the tribes of men might prosper. Yes, the Opechee, the robin, Most beloved by Hiawatha

Joyous said, “O Chibiabos, Was the gentle Chibiabos,

Teach me tones as sweet and tender, He the best of all musicians,

Teach me songs as full of gladness !" He the sweetest of all singers.

And the whippoorwıll, Wawonaissa, Beautiful and childlike was he,

Sobbing, said, “0 Chibiabos, Brave as man is, soft as woman,

Teach me tones as melancholy, Pliant as a wand of willow,

Teach me songs as full of sadness!" Stately as a deer with antlers.

All the many sounds of nature When he sang, the village listened ; | Borrowed sweetness from his singing, All the warriors gathered round him, All the hearts of men were softened All the women came to hear bim ; | By the pathos of his music ; Now he stirred their souls to passion,

For he sang of peace and freedom, Now he melted them to pity.

Sang of beauty, love, and longing ;

Sang of death, and life undying
In the Islands of the Blessed,
In the kingdom of Ponemah,
In the land of the Hereafter.

Very dear to Hiawatha
Was the gentle Chibiabos,
He the best of all musicians,
He the sweetest of all singers ;
For his gentleness he loved him,
And the magic of his singing.

Dear, too, unto Hiawatha
Was the very strong man, Kwasind,
He the strongest of all mortals,
He the mightiest among many;
For his very strength he loved him,
For his strength allied to goodness.

Idle in his youth was Kwasind,
Very listless, dull, and dreamy,
Never played with other children,
Never fished and never hunted,
Not like other children was he;
But they saw that much he fasted,
Much his Manito entreated,
Much besought bis Guardian Spirit.

" Lazy Kwasind !" said his mother,
"In my work you never help me!
In the Summer you are roaming
Idly in the fields and forests;
In the Winter you are cowering
O'er the firebrands in the wigwam
In the coldest days of Winter
I must break the ice for fishing ;
With my nets you never help me!
At the door my nets are hanging,
Dripping, freezing with the water;
Go and wring them, Yenadizze!
Go and dry them in the sunshine !"

Slowly, from the ashes, Kwasind Rose, but made no angry answer; From the lodge went forth in silence, Took the nets that hung together, Dripping, freezing at the doorway, Like a wisp of straw he wrung them, Like a wisp of straw he broke them, Could not wring them without breaking, Such the strength was in his fingers.

“Lazy Kwasind !" said his father, “In the hunt you never help me; Every bow you touch is broken, Snapped asunder every arrow; Yet come with me to the forest, You shall bring the hunting homeward."

Down a narrow pass they wandered, Where a brooklet led them onward,

Where the trail of deer and bison
Marked the soft mud on the margin,
Till they found all further passage
Shut against them, barred securely
By the trunks of trees uprooted,
Lying lengthwise, lying crosswise,
And for bidding further passage.

“We must go back," said the old man,
“O'er these logs we cannot clamber;
Not a woodchuck could get through them,
Not a squirrel clamber o'er them!”
And straightway his pipe he ligbted,
And sat down to smoke and ponder.
But before his pipe was finished,
Lo! the path was cleared before him;
All the trunks had Kwasind lifted,
To the right hand, to the left hand,
Shot the pine-trees swift as arrows,
Hurled the cedars light as lances.

Lazy Kwasind !” said the young men, As they sported in the meadow, “Why stand idly looking at us, Leaning on the rock behind you ? Come and wrestle with the others, Let us pitch the quoit together!”

Lazy Kwasind made no answer,
To the challenge made no answer,
Only rose, and, slowly turning,
Seized the huge rock in his fingers,
Tore it from its deep foundation,
Poised it in the air a moment,
Pitched it sheer into the river,
Sheer into the swift Pauwating,
Where it still is seen in Summer.

Once as down that foaming river,
Down the rapids of Pauwating,
Kwasind sailed with his companions,
In the stream he saw a beaver,
Saw Abmeek, the King of Beavers,
Struggling with the rushing currents,
Rising, sinking in the water.

Without speaking, without pausing,
Kwasind leaped into the river,
Plunged beneath the bubbling surface,
Through the whirlpools chased the beaver,
Followed him among the islands,
Stayed so long beneath the water,
That his terrified companions
Cried, “ Alas! good-bye to Kwasind!
We shall never more see Kwasind!"
But he reappeared triumphant,
And upon bis shining shoulders
Brought the beaver, dead and dripping,
Brought the King of all the Beavers.

And these two, as I have told you,
Were the friends of Hiawatha,
Chibiabos, the musician,
And the very strong man, Kwasind.

Long they lived in peace together,
Spake with naked hearts together,

Pondering much and much contriving
| How the tribes of men might prosper.

VII.

HIAWATHA'S SAILING. “Give me of your bark, O Birch-Tree!, Down he hewed the boughs of cedar, Of your yellow bark, O Birch-Tree! Shaped them straightway to a framework, Growing by the rushing river,

Like two bows he formed and shaped Tall and stately in the valley !

them, I a light canoe will build me,

Like two bended bows together. Build a swift Cheemaun for sailing, “Give me of your roots, Tamarack ! That shall float upon the river,

of your fibrous roots, O Larch-Tree! Like a yellow leaf in Autumn,

My canoe to bind together,
Like a yellow water-lily!

So to bind the ends together,
“ Lay aside your cloak, 0 Birch-Tree! That the water may not enter,
Lay aside your wbite-skin wrapper, That the river may not wet me !"
For the Summer-time is coming,

And the Larch, with all its fibres,
And the sun is warm in heaven,

Shivered in the air of morning, And you need no white-skin wrapper !". Touched its forehead with its tassels, Thus aloud cried Hiawatha

Said, with one long sigh of sorrow, In the solitary forest,

“ Take them all, O Hiawatha!” By the rushing Taquamenaw,

From the earth he tore the fibres, When the birds were singing gaily, Tore the tough roots of the Larch-Tree, In the Moon of Leaves were singing, Closely sewed the bark together, And the sun, from sleep awaking, Bound it closely to the framework. Started up and said, “Behold me!

“ Give me of your balm, O Fir-Tree! Geezis, the great Sun, behold me!" Of your balsam and your resin,

And the tree with all its branches So to close the seams together Rustled in the breeze of morning, That the water may not enter, Saying, with a sigh of patience,

That the river may not wet me !" “ Take my cloak, O Hiawatha !"

And the Fir-Tree, tall and sombre, With his knife the tree he girdled; Sobbed through all its robes of darkness, Just beneath its lowest branches,

Rattled like a shore with pebbles, Just above the roots, he cut it,

Answered wailing, answered weeping, Till the sap came oozing outward ; “ Take my balm, Hiawatha ! " Down the trunk, from top to bottom, And he took the tears of balsam, Sheer he cleft the bark asunder,

Took the resin of the Fir-Tree, With a wooden wedge he raised it, | Smeared therewith each seam and fissure, Stripped it from the trunk unbroken. | Made each crevice safe from water.

“Give me of your boughs, O Cedar ! “Give me of your quills, 0 Hedgehog! Of your strong and pliant branches All your quills, o Kagh, the Hedgehog ! My canoe to make more steady,

I will make a necklace of them, Make more strong and firm beneath me!" | Make a girdle for my beauty,

Through the summit of the Cedar And two stars to deck her bosom!" Went a sound, a cry of horror,

From a hollow tree the Hedgehog Went a murmur of resistance ;

With bis sleepy eyes looked at him, But it whispered, bending downward, Shot his shining quills like arrows, “ Take my boughs, O Hiawatha!" | Saying, with a drowsy murmur,

Through the tangle of his whiskers, To his friend, the strong man, Kwasind, "Take my quills, O Hiawatha!”. Saying, “Help me clear this river

From the ground the quills he gathered, of its sunken logs and sand bars."
All the little shining arrows,

| Straight into the river Kwasind
Stained them red and blue and yellow Plunged as if he were an otter,
With the juice of roots and berries; Dived as if be were a beaver,
Into his canoe he wrought them,

Stood up to his waist in water,
Round its waist a shining girdle,

To his arm-pits in the river, Round its bows a gleaming necklace, Swam and shouted in the river, On its breast two stars resplendent. Tugged at sunken logs and branches,

Thus the Birch Canoe was builded With his hands he scooped the sand-bars, In the valley, by the river,

With his feet the ooze and tangle. In the bosomn of the forest;

And thus sailed my Hiawatha, And the forest's life was in it,

Down the rushing Taquamenaw, All its mystery and its magic,

Sailed through all its bends and windAll the lightness of the birch-tree,

ings, All the toughness of the cedar,

Sailed through all its deeps and shallows, All the larch's supple sinews;

While hisfriend, the strong man, Kwasind, And it floated on tbe river

Swam the deeps, the shallows waded. Like a yellow leaf in Autumn,

Up and down the river went they, Like a yellow water-lily.

In and out among its islands, Paddles none had Hiawatha

Cleared its bed of root and sand-bar, Paddles none he had or needed,

Dragged the dead trees from its channel, For his thoughts as paddles served him, Made its passage safe and certain, And his wishes served to guide him; Made a pathway for the people, Swift or slow at will he glided,

From its springs among the mountains, Veered to right or left at pleasure. To the waters of Pauwating,

Then he called aloud to Kwasind, To the bay of Taquamenaw.

VIII.

HIAWATHA'S FISHING. FORTH upon the Gitche Gumee,

On the bows, with tail erected, On the sbining Big-Sea-Water,

Sat the squirrel, Adjidaumo; With his fishing-line of cedar,

In his fur the breeze of morning Of the twisted bark of cedar,

Played as in the prairie grasses. Forth to catch the sturgeon Nahma, On the white sand of the bottom Mishe-Nahma, King of Fishes,

Lay the monster Mishe-Nahma, In his birch canoe exulting

Lay the sturgeon, King of Fishes; All alone went Hiawatha.

Through his gills he breathed the water, Through the clear, transparent water With his fins be fanned and winnowed, He could see the fishes swimming With his tail he swept the sand-floor. Far down in the depths below him:

There he lay in all his armour ; See the yellow perch, the Sahwa, On each side a shield to guard him, Like a sunbeam in the water

Plates of bone upon his forehead, See the Shawgashee, the craw-fish, Down his sides and back and shoulders Like & spider on the bottom,

Plates of bone with spines projecting! On the white and sandy bottom.

Painted was he with his war-paints, At the stern sat Hiawatha,

Stripes of yellow, red, and azure, With his fishing-line of cedar ;

Spots of brown and spots of sable ; In his plumes the breeze of morning | And he lay there on the bottom, Played as in the hemlock branches ;. Fanning with his fins of purple,

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