Imágenes de páginas

With a staff she tottered onward,
Wasted, wrinkled, old, and ugly!
And the sisters and their husbands
Langhed until the echoing forest
Rane with their uuseemly laughter.

"Bnt Osseo turned not from her,
Walked with slower step beside her.
Took her hand, as brown and withered
As an oak-leaf is in Winter,
Called ker sweetheart, Nencmoosha,
Soothed her with soft words of kinduess,
Till they reached the lodge of feasting,
Till they sat down in the wigwam,
Sacred to the Star of Evemng,
To the tender Star of Woman.

"Wrapt in visious, lost in dreaming,
At the banqnet sat Osseo;
All were merry, all were happy,
All were joyons bnt Ossca.
Neither food nor drink he tasted,
Neither did he speak nor listen,
Bnt as one bewildered sat he,
Looking dreamily and sadly.
Flrst at Oweenee, then upward
At the gleaming sky above them.

"Then a voice was heard, a whisper,
Coming from the starry distance.
Coming from the empty vastness,
Low, and umsical, and tender;
And the voice said: 'O Osseo!
O my son, my best beloved!
Broken are the spells that bonnd yon,
All the charms of the magiciaus,
All the magic powers of evil;
Come tome; ascend, Osseo!

"' Taste the food that stands before yon;
It is blessed and enchanted,
It has magic virtnes in it.
It will change yon to a spirit.
Ail yonr bowls and all yonr kettles
Shall be wood and clay no longer;
Bnt the bowls be changed to wampum,
And the kettles shall be silver;
They shall shine like shells of scarlet,
Like the fire shall gleam and glimmer.

", And the women shall no longer
Bear the dreary doom of labonr.
Bnt be changed to birds, and glisten
With the beanty of the starlight,
Painted with the dusky splendonrs
Of the skies and clonds of evening I'

"What Osseo heard as whispers,
What as words he comprehended,
Was bnt umsic to the others,
Music as of birds afar off.
Of the Whippoorwill afar off,
Of the lonely Wawonaissa
Singing in the darksome forest.

"Then the lodge began to tremble,
Straight began to shake and tremble,
And they felt it rising, rising,
Slowly throngh the air ascending,
From the darkness of the tree-tops
Forth into the dewy starlight,
Till it past the topmost branches;
And behold I the wooden dishes
All were changed to shells of scarlet I
And behold! the earthen kettles
All were changed to bowls of silvor
And the roof-poles of the wigwam
Were as glittering rods of silver,
And the roof of bark upon them
As the shining shards of beetles.

"Then Osseo gazed aronnd him,
And he saw the nine fair sisters,
All the sisters and their husbands,
Changed to birds of varions plumage.
Some were jays and some were magpies,
Others thrushes, others blackbirds;
And they hopped, and sang, and twittered,
Perked and flnttered all their feathers,
Strntted in their shining plumage,
And their tails like faus unfolded.

"Ouly Oweenee. the yonngest.
Was not changed, bnt sat in silen.r.
Wasted, wrinkled, old, and uglv.
Looking sadly at the others;
Till Osseo, gazing upward,
Gave another cry of anguish,
Snch a cry as he had nttered
By the oak-tree in the forest.

"Then returned her yonth and beanty,
And her soiled and tattered garments
Were trausformed to robes of ermine,
And her staff became a feather,
Yes, a shining silver feather!

"And again the wigwam trembled.
Swayed and rushed throngh airy currents,
Throngh trausparent clond and vaponr.
And amid celestial splendonrs
On the Evening Star alighted.
As a suow-flake falls on suow-flake,
As a leaf drops on a river.
As the thistle-down on water.

"Forth with cheerful words of welcome
Came the father of Osseo,
He with radiant locks of silver.
He with eyes serene and tender.
And he said: 'My son, Osseo,
Hang the cage of birds yon bring there,
Hang the cage with rods of silver,
And the birds with glistening feathers,
At the doorway of my wigwam.'

"At the door he hung the bird-cage,
And they entered in and gladly
Listened to Osseo's father,
ltuler of the Star of Evening,
As he said: 'O my Osseo!
I have had compassion on yon.
Given yon back yonr yonth and beanty,
Into birds of varions plumage
Changed yonr sisters and their husbands;
Changed them thus because they mocked yon,
In the figure of the old man,
in that aspeet sad and wrinkled,
Conld not see yonr heart of passion,
Conld not see yonr yonth immortal;
Ouly Oweenee, the faithful,
Saw yonr naked heart and loved yon.

"'In the lodge that glimmers yonder,
In the little star that twinkles
Throngh the vaponrs, on the left hand,
Lives the envions Evil Spirit,
The Wabeno, the magician,
Who trausformed yon to an old man.
Take heed lest his beams fall on yon,
For the rays he darts aronnd him
Are the power of his enchantment,
Are the arrows that he uses.'

"Many years, in peace and quiet,
On the peaceful Star of Evening
Dwelt Osseo with his father;
Many years, in song and flntter,
At the doorway of the wigwam.
Hung the cage with rods of silver.
And fair Oweenee, the faithful,
Bore a son unto Osseo,
With the beanty of his mother,
With the conrage of his father,

"And the boy grew up and prospered,
And Osseo, to delight him,
Made him little bows and arrows,
Opened the great cage of silver.
And let loose his aunts and uncles,
And those birds with glossy feathers,
For his little son to shoot at.

"Ronnd and ronnd they wheeled and darted,
Fllled the Evening Star with umsie,
With their songs of joy and freedom;
Fllled the Evening Star with splendonr,
With the flnttering ot their plumage:
Till the boy, the little hunter,
Bent his bow and shot an arrow,
Shot a swift and fatal arrow.
And a bird, with shining feathers.
At his feet fell wonnded sorely.

"Bnt, O wondrons trausformation! Twas no bird lie saw before him, 'Twas a beantiful yonng woman. With the arrow In her bosom!

'• When her blood fell on the planet,
On the sacred -Star of Evening,
Broken was the spell of magie,
Powerless was the strange enchantment,
And the yonth, the fearless bowman,
Snddeuly felt himself descending,
Held by uuseen hands, bnt sinking
Downward throngh the empty spaces,
Downward throngh the clonds and vaponrs,
Till he rested on an island,
On an island green and grassy,
Yonder in the Big-Sea-Water.

"After him he saw descending
All the birds with shining feathers,
Flnttering, falling, wafted downward,
Like the painted leaves of Antuum.
And the lodge with poles of silver,
With its root like wings of beetles,
Like the shining shards of beetles,
By the winds of heaven uplifted
Slowly sank upon the island,
Bringing back the good Osseo,
Bringing Oweenee, the faithful.

"Then the birds again trausfigured,
Reassumed the shape of mortals,
Took their shape, bnt not their stature.
They remained as Little People,
Like the pigmies, the Puk-Wndjies,
And on pleasant nights of Summer,
When the Evening Star was shining,
Hand in hand they danced together
On the island's craggy head-lands,
On the sand-beach low and level.

"Still their glittering lodge is seen there,
On the tranquil Summer evenings,
And upon the shore the flsher
Sometimes hears their happy voices.
Sees them dancing in the starlight!"

When the story was completed. When the wondrons tale was ended, Looking ronnd upon his listeners, Solemuly Iagoo added: "There are great men, I have known snch, Whom their people understand not, Whom they even make a jest of, Scoff and jeer at in derision. From the story of Osseo Let them learn the fate of jesters."

All the wedding gnests delighted
Listened to the marvellous story.
Listened laughing und applanding,
And they whispered to each other:
"Does he mean himself, I wonder?
And are we the aunts and uncles?"

Then again sang Chibiabos,
Sang a song of love and longing.
In those aecents sweet and tender,
In those tones of peusive saduess,
Sang a maiden's lamentation,
For her lover, her Algonquin!

When I think of my beloved,
"Ah me! think of my beloved,
When my heart is thinking of him,
Omy sweetheart, ray Algonquin!

i' Ah me! when I parted from him.
Ronnd my neck he hung the waiupum,
As a pledge, the suow-white wampum,
O ray sweetheart, my Algonquin,

"I will go with yon, he whispered,
Ah me! to yonr native conntry;
Let me go with yon, he whispered,
O my sweetheart, my Algonquin!

"Far away, away, I auswered,
Very far away, I auswered,
Ah me! is my native conntry,
O my sweetheart, my Algonquin!

"When 1 looked back to behold him,
Where we parted, to behold him,
After me he still was gazing,

O my sweetheart, my Algonquin!

"When I think of my beloved, Ah me! think of my beloved, When my heart is thinking of him, O my sweetheart, my Algonquin!"

Snch was Hiawatha's Wedding, Snch the dance of Pan-Puk-Keewis, Snch the story of Iagoo, Snch the song of Chibiabos; Thus the wedding banquet ended, And the wedding gnests departed, Leaving Hiawatha hapi'y With the night and Miunehaha.


Sino, O song of Hiawatha,

Of the happy days that followed,

In the land of the Ojibways,

In the pleasant land and peaceful!

Sing the mysteries of Mondamin.

Sing the Blessing of the Cornfields!

Buried was the bloody hatchet.
Buried was the dreadful war-cluh,
Buried were all warlike weapous.
And the war-cry was forgotten
There was peace among the natious;
Uumolested roved the hunters,
Built the bireh-canoe for sailing,
Caught the fish in lake und river,
Shot the deer and trapped the beaver
Uumolested worked the women,
Made their sugar from the maple,
(lathered wild rice in the meadows,
Dressed the skius of deer and beaver.

All aronnd the happy village
Stood the maize-fields, green and shining,
Waved the green plumes of Mondamin,
Waved his soft and suuny tresses,
Fllling all the land with plenty,
'Twas the women who in Spring-thno
Planted the broad fields and fruitful,
Buried in the earth Mondamin;
'Twas the women who in Antuum
Stripped the yellow husks of harvest.
Stripped the garments from Mondamin,
Even as Hiawatha taught them.

Once, when all the maize was planted,
Hiawatha, wise and thonghtful,
Spake and said to Miunehaha,
To his wife, the Laughing Water:
"Yon shall bless to-night the corn-fields,
Draw a magic cirele ronnd them,
To proteet them from destruetion,
Blast of mildew, blight of iuseet,
Wagemin, the thief of corn-fields,
Paimosaid. who steals the maize-ear!

"In the night, when all is silence,
When the Spirit of Sleep, Nephamuln,
Shnts the door of all the wigwams,
So that not an ear can hear yon,
So that not an eye can see yon,
Rise up from yonr bed in silence,
Lay aside yonr garments wholly,
Walk aronnd the fields yon planted.
Ronnd the borders of the corn-fields,
Covered by yonr tresses ouly.
Robed with darkness as a garment.

"Thus the fields shall be more fruitful,
And the passing of yonr footsteps
Draw a magic cirele ronnd them,
So that neither blight nor mildew.
Neither burrowing worm nor iuseet,
Shall pass o'er the magic cirele;
Not the dragon-fly, Kwo-ne-she,
Nor the spider, Subbekashe,
Nor the grasshopper, Pan-puk-koena,
Nor the mighty caterpillar,
Way-umk-kwana, with the bear-skin,
King of all the caterpillars!"

On the tree-tops near the corn-fields
S"t the imngry crows and raveus,
Kahgahgee, the King of Raveus,
Wilh his hand of black maranders,
And they langhed at Hiawatha,
Till the tree-tops shook with langhter,
With their melancholy langhter
At the words of Hiawatna.
"Hear him !" said they; "hear the Wise Man!
Hear the plots of Hiawatha!"

When the noiseless night descended
Broad and dark o'er field and forest,
When the monrnfnl Wawonalssa,
Sorrowing sang among the hemiocks,
And the Spirit of Sleep, Nepahwin,
Shnt the doors of all the wigwams,
From her bed rose Langhing Water,
Laid aside her garments wholly,
And with darkness clothed and gnarded,
Unashamed and nnaffrighted.
Walked secnrely ronnd the corn-fields.
Drew the sacred, magic cirele
Of her footprints ronnd the corn-fields.

No one bnt the Midnight only
Saw her beanty in the darkness,
No one hnt the Wawonalssa
Heard the panting of her bosom;
Gnskewan, the darkness, wrapped her
Closely in his sacred mantle,
So that none might see her beanty.
So that none might boast, " l saw her!"

On the morrow, as the day dawned,
Kahgahgee, the King of Raveus,
Gathered all his black maranders,
Crows and black-birds, lays and ravens,
Clamorons on the dnsky tree-tops,
And descended, fast and fearless,
On the fields of Hiawatha,
On the grave of the Mondamin.

"We will drag Mondamin," said they
"From the grave where he is bnried,
Spite of all the magic cireles
Langhing Water draws aronnd it,
Spite of all the sacred footprints
Miunehaha stamps upon it,

Bat the wary Hiawatha,
Ever thonghtfnl, carefnl, watchfnl,
Had o'erheard the scornfnl langhter
When they mocked him from the tree-tops.
"Kaw !" lie said, "my friends the raveus!
Kahgahgee, my King'of Raveus!
l will teach yon all a lesson
That shall not be soon forgotten!"

He had risen before the daybreak.
He had spread o'er all the corn-fields
Snares to catch the black maranders,
And was lying now in ambnsh
ln the neighbonring grove of pine-trees,
Waiting for the crows and black birds,
Waiting for the lays and raveus.
Soon they came with caw and clamonr,
Rnsh of wings and cry of voices,
To their work of devastation.
Settling down npon the corn-fields.
Delving deep with beak and talon,
For the body of Mondamin.
And with all their craft and cnuning,
All their skill in wiles and warfare,
Thev pereeived no danger near them,
Till their claws became entangled.
Till they fonnd themselves imprisoned
In the suares of Hiawatha.

From his place of ambnsh came ho,
Striding terrible among them,
And so awfnl was his aspect
That the bravest qnailed with terror.
Withont merey he destroyed them
Right and left, by teus and twenties,
And their wretched, lifeless bodies
Hong aloft on poles for scareecrows
'Ronnd the cousecrated corn-Acids,
As a signal of his vengeance,
As a warning to maranders.

Only Kahgahgee, the lender,
Kahgahgee, the King of Raveus,
He alone was -spared among thein
As a hostage for his people.
With his prisoner-string he honnd him,
Led him captivn to his wigwam,
Tied him fast with cords of elm-bark
To the ridge-pole of his wigwam.

"Kahgahgee, my raven! ' said he,
"Yon the leader of the robbers.
Yon the plotter of this mischief,
The contriver of this ontrage,
I will keep yon, I will hold yon,
Asa hostage for yonr people,
As a pledge of good behavionr!"

And he left him, grim and snlky,
Sitting in the morning snushine
On the snmmit of the wigwam.
Croaking fiereely his displeasnre,
Flapping his great sable pinious,
Vainly strnggling for his freedom.
Vainly calling on his people {

Snmmer passed, and Shawondasee
Breathed his sighs o'er all the landscape.
From the Sonth-land sent his odonrs,
Wafted kisses warm and tender;
And the maize-field grew and ripened,
Till it stood in all the splendonr
Of its garments green and yellow,
Of its tassels and its plnmage,
And the maize-ears fnll and shining
Gleamed from bnrsting sheets of verdnre.

Then Nokomis, the old woman. Spake, and said to Miunehaha: "Ti* the moon when leases are falling;' All the wild-rice has been gathered, And the maize is ripe and ready; Let ns gather in the harvest, Let ns wrestle with Mondamin, Strip him of his plnmes and tassels. Of his garments green and yellow!"

And the merry Langhing Water Went reloicing from the wigwam. With Nokomis, old and wrinkled, And they called the women ronnd them, Called the yonng men and the maideus, To the harvest of the corn-fields. To the imsking of the maize-ear.

On the border of the forest,
Underneath the fragrant pine-trees,
Sat the old man and the warriors
Smoking in the pleasant shadow.
ln nninterrnpted silence
Looked they at the gamesome labonr
Of the yonng men and the women;
Listened to thafr noisy talking,
To their langhter and their singing,
Heard them chattering like the magpies,
Heard them langhing like the blne-lays,
Heard them singing like the robius.

And whene'er some lncky maiden
Fonnd a red ear in the imsking,
Fonnd a maize-ear red as blood is,
"Noska!" cried they nil together,
"Noska! yon shall have a sweetheart.
Yon shall have a handsome lmsband!"
"Ugh!" the old men all responded
From their seats beneath the pine-trees.

And whene'er a yonth or maiden
Fonnd a crooked ear in lmsking,
Fonnd a maize-ear in the imsking
Blighted, mildewed, or misshapen.
Then they langhed and sang together.
Crept and limped abont the corn-fields,
Mimicked in their gait and gestnres
Some old man, bent almost double,
Singing singly or together:
"Wagemin, the thief of corn-fields!
Pafmosaid, who steals the maize-ear. l"

Till the corn-fields rang with langhtor
Till from Hiawatha's wigwam
Kahgahgee, the King of lUveus,
Screamed and qnivered in his anger,


Next the maiden on an island, In the centre of an island; And. the song this shape suggested Was, " Thongh yon were at a distance, Were upon some far-off island, Snch the spell I cast upon yon, Snch -the magic power of passion, I conid straightway draw yon to me!"

Then the figure of the maiden
•Sleeping', and the lover near her
Whispering to her in her slumbers,
Saying. "Thongh yon were far from me
In the land of Sleep and Silence,
Stilt the voice of love wonld reach yon!"

And the last of all the figures
Was a heart within a cirele:
Brawn within a magic cirele:
And the image had this meaning:
"Naked lies yonr heart before me,
To Voar naked heart I whisper!"

Thus it was that Hiaw itha,
In his wisdom, taught the people
All the mysteries of painting.
All the art of Pieture-Writing,
On the smooth bark of the bireh-tree,
On the white skin of the reindeer,
On the grave-posts of the village.


In- those davs the Evil Spirits,
All the Manltos of mischief,
rearing Hiawatha's wisdom,
And his love for Chibiabos,
Jealons of their faithful friendship.
And their noble words and aetious.
Made at length a leagne agaiust them.
To molest them and destroy them.

Hiawatha, wise and wary,
Often said to Chibiabos,
"O my brother! do not leave me.
Lest the Evil Spirits harm yon 1"
Chibiabos, voting and heedless.
Laughing shook his coal-black tresses.
Auswered ever sweet and childlike,
"Do not fear for me, O brother!
Harm and evil come not near me!'

Once when Peboan, the Winter,
Roofed with ice the Big-Sea-Water.
When the suow-flakes hurling downward,
Hissed among the/withered oak-leaves.
Changed the pine-trees into wigwams,
Covered all the earth with silence,
Armed with arrows, shod with suow-shoes
Heeding not his brother's warning,
Fearing not the Evil Spirits,
Forth to hunt the deer with antlers
All alone went Chibiabos.

Right across the llig-Sea-Water
Sprang with speed the deer before him.
With the wind and suow he followed,
O'er the treacherons ice he followed,
Wild with all the fieree commotion,
And the rapture of the hunting.

Bnt beneath, the Evil Spirits
Lay in ambush, waiting for him,
Broke the treacherons ice beneath him,
Dragged him downward to the bottom,

Buried in the sand his body.
Unktahee, the god of water,
He the god of the Dacotahs,
Drowned him in the deep abysses,
Of the lake of Gltche Gumee.

From the headlands Hiawatha
Sent forth snch a wail of anguish,
Snch a fearful lamentation,
That the bison paused to listen,
And the wolves howled from the prairies,
And the thunder in the distance
Woke and auswered " Baim-wawa V

Then his face with black h'- painted.
With Iiis robe his head lie covered,
lu Ius wigwam sat lamenting.
Seven loug weeks he sat lamenting.
Uttering still his moan of sorrow:

"He is dead, the sweet umsician I
Ho the sweetest of all slagsrs.
He has gone from us for ever.
He has moved a little nearer
To the Master of all umsie,
To the Master of all singing I

O my brother, Chibiabos!"
And the melancholy fir-trees

Waved their dark green faus above him.
Waved their purple cones above liim.
Sighing with him to cousole him,
Mingling with his lamentation
Their complaining, their lamenting.

Came the Spring, and all the forest
Looked in vain for Chibiabos;
Sighed the rivulet, Sehowislia,
Sighed the rushes in the meadow.

From the tree-tops sang the blne-bird,
Sang the bine-bird, the Owaissa,
"Chibiabos! Chibiabos!
He is dead, the sweet umsician!"

From the wigwam sang the robin,
Sang the robin, the Opechee,
"ChibiabosI Chibiabos!
He is dead, the sweetest singer!"

And at night throngh all the forest
Went the whipnoorwill complaining.
Wailing went the Wnwonaissa,
"Chibiabos! Chibiabos!
He is dead, the sweet umsician.
He the sweetest of all singers!"

Then the medicine-men, the Medas, ,

The magiciaus, the Wabenos, ,

And the Jossakeeds, the prophets,
Came to visit Hiawatha;
Built a Sacred Lodge beside him, ,

To appease him, to cousole him.
Walked in silent, grave procession
Bearing each a ponch of healing,
Skin of beaver, lynx, or otter,
Fllled with magic roots and simples,
Fllled with very potent medicines.

When he heart! their steps approaching,
Hiawatha ceased lamenting,
Called no more on Chibiabos;
Naught he qnestioned, naught he auswered,
Bnt his monrnful head uncovered.
From his face the monrning colours
Washed he slowly and in silence,
Slowly and in silence followed
Onward to the Sacred Wigwam.
There a magic drink they gave him,
Made of Nahma-wusk. the spearmint,
And Wabeno-wust, the yarrow,
Boots of power, and herbs of healing;
Beat their drums, and shook their rattles;
Chanted singly and in chorus,
Mvstic songs like these, they chanted.

iI myself, myself! behold me!
Tis the great Grey Eagle talking:
Come, ye white crows, come and hear hi.u
The lond-speaking thunder helps me;
All the uuseen spirits help me;

1 can hear their voices calling.
All aronnd the sky I hear them!

I can blow yon strong, my brother,
I can heal yon, Hiawatha!"

"Hi-an-ha!" replied the chorus,
"Way-ha-way!" the mystic chorus.

"Friends of mine are all the seipenls,
Hear me shake my skin of hen-hawk!
Mating, the white loon, 1 can kill him;
I can shoot yonr heart and kill it!
I can blow yon strong, my brother!
I can heal yon, Hiawatha!"

"Hi-an-ha!" replied the chorus,
"Wav-ha-way!" the mystic chorus
• I myself, myself! the prophet!

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