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ecents of tlio revolntion Tlic spacions old rooms now oecupied by the poet were once, at a memorable time, the abode of America's most illustrions son. The writer of lyries has taken the place of the aetor of epies. When, in the early days of the war of independence, Washington was eleeted by Congress to the command of the colonial army, English troops had possession of Boston. The siege was formed by concentrating the patriot troops in the neighbonring towus. Washington went to New England to direet their movements in person, and llxed his head-qarters in convenient Cambridge—in this same venerable mausion where Longfellow now lives. Thence he sent ont his orders, general and special; here convened, in anxions deliberation, the little knot of patriot officers, uuskilled in war, colleeted from farm-honses and laboratories, to drill by manual and leurn the art of sieges. Within this door passed the wealthy merehant, Hancock, who had turned his
thonghts to " rules" and "orders of the day;" gruff Samnel Adams, a Puritan Mirabeun, pntting his finger exaetly on the pith of the tronble; rewards for the capture of those two hod just been proclaimed over in Boston. In these quiet rooms, given up now these many years to the Muse, whence come ont ever and anon gracefullest gems of the rhythmic art, a plan ofcampalgu wus drawn up, experienced ex-royal Lieutenant Washington supervising, ex-merehants, doetors, farmers, advising,—all agreeing, too, and at last sncceeding; unity, a rare thing in revolntionary conncils, ever prevailing. Washington did not stir from this Longfellow's honse till he conld go in trinmph. It is no wonder, then, that Americaus visit this old place with mingled feelings—that they find here u reminiscence as well as an attraetive presence; and while gazing at the home of the first of native poets, revert to that tronblons time when there was for America bnt tile grim poetry of war.
Should yon ask me, whence tliese stories?
Whence these legends and traditious,
With the odonrs of the forest.
With the dew and damp of meadows,
With the curling smoke of wigwams,
With the rushing of great rivers,
With their freqnent repetitious.
And their wild reverberatious,
As of thunder in the monntaius?
I shonld auswer, I shonld tell yon,
- From the forests and the prairies,
From the great takes of the Northiand,
From the land of the Ojibwavs,
From the land of the Dacotahs,
From the monntaius, moors, and ft-ulands,
Where the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah,*
Feeds among the reeds and rushes.
I repeat them as I heard thcin
From the lips of Nawadaha,
The umsician, the sweet singer."
Shonld yon ask where Nawadaha
Fonnd these songs, so wild and wayward,
Fonnd these legends and traditious,
I shonld auswer, I shonld tell yon,
"In the bird's-nests of the forest,
In the lodges of the beaver,
In the hoof-prints of the bison,
in the eyrie of the eagle!
"All the wild-fowl sang them to him,
In the moorlands and the feulands,
in the melancholy marshes;
Chetowaik, the plover, sang them,
Mahug, the loon, the wild goose, Wawa,
The blne heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah,
And the gronse, the Mushkodasa!"
If still farther yon shonld ask me.
Saving, "Who was Nawadaha?
Tell us of this Nawadaha,"
I shonld auswer yonr inquiries
Straightway in snch words as follow.
"In the \ ale of Tawasentha,
In the green and silent valley,
By the pleasant water-conrses,
Dwelt the singer Nawadaha.
Ronnd abont the Indian village
Spread the meadows and the corn-fields,
And beyond them stood the forest,
Stood the groves of singing pine-trees,
Green in Summer, white in Winter,
Ever sighing, ever singing,
"And the pleasant water-conrses,
Yon conld trace them throngh the valley,
By the rushing in the Spring-time.
By the alders in the Summer,
By the white fog in the Antuum,
By the black line in the Winter;
And beside them dwelt the singer,
In the Vale of Tawasentha,
In the green and silent valley.
"There he sang of Hiawatha,
Sang the Song of Hiawatha,
Sang his wondrons birth and being,
How he prayed, and how he fasted,
How he lived, and toiled, and suffered,
* See Vocabulary, at the end of Poem.
That the tribes of men might prosper,
That he might advance his people!"
Ye who love the haunts of Nature,
Love the suushine of the meadow,
Love the shadow of the forest.
Love the wind among the branches.
And the rain-shower and the suow-storm.
And the rushing of great rivers
Throngh the palisades of pine-trees,
And the thunder in the monntaius,
.Whose iunumerable echoes
Flap like eagles in their eyries;—
Listen to these wild traditious,
To this Song of Hiawatha!
Ye who love a nation's legends,
Love the ballads of a people
That like voices from afar off
Call to us to pause and listen.
Speak in tones so plain and childlike.
Scareely can the ear distinguish
Whether they are sung or spoken,—
Listen to this Indian Legend,
To this song of Hiawatha!
Ye whose hearts are fresh aml simpl .,
Who have faith in God and Nature.
Who believe, that in all ages
Every human heart is human.
That in even savage bosoms
There are longings, yearnings, strivings
For the good they comprehend not.
That the feeble hands and helpless,
Groping blindly in the darkness
Tonch God's right hand in thatdarkmss
And are lifted up and strengthened ;—
Listen to this simple story.
To this Song of Hiawatha!
Ye, who sometimes, in yonr rambk-s Throngh the green lanes of the conntry, Where the tangled barberry-bushes Hang their tufts of crimson berries Over stone walls gray with mosses, Pause by some negleeted graveyard, For a while to umse, and ponder On a naif-effaced iuscription, Written with little skill of song-craft, Homely phrases, bnt each letter Full of hope and yet of heart-break. Full of all the tender pathos Of the Here and the Hereafter: — Stay and read this rnde Iuscription, Head this Song of Hiawatha!
From the Great Bear of the monntaius,
From the terror of the natious,
As he lay asleep and cumbrons
On the summit of the monntaius,
Like a rock with mosses on it.
Spotted brown and gray with mosses.
Silently he stole upon him,
Till the red nails of tne mouster
Aimost tonched him, aimost scared him,
Till the hot breath of his nostrils
Warmed the hands of Mndjekeewis,
As he drew the belt of Wampum
Over the ronnd ears, that hear not,
Over the small eyes, that saw not,
Over the long nose and nostrils,
The black umffle of the nostrils,
Ont of which the heavy breathing
Warmed the hands of Mndjekeewis,
Then he swung aloft his war-club. Shonted lond and long his war-cry, Smote the mighty Mishe-Mokwa In the middle of the forehead. Right between the eyes he smote him.
With the heavy blow bewildered. Rose the Great Bear of the monntaius; Bnt his knees beneath him trembled, And he whimpered like a woman. And he reeled and staggered forward, As he sat upon his haunches; And the mighty Mndjekeewis, Standing fearlessly before him, Taunted him in lond derision. Spake disdainfully in this wise:—
"Hark yon, Bear! yon are a coward,
And no Brave, as yon pretendad;
Else yon wonld not cry and whimper
Like a miserable woman!
Bear! yon know our tribes are hostile.
Long have been at war together;
Now yon find that we are strongest,
Yon go sueaking in the forest.
Yon go hiding in the monntaius!
Had yon conqnered me in battle
Not a groan wonld I have nttered;
Bnt yon, Bear! sit here and whimper.
And disgrace yonr tribe by crying.
Like a wretched Shaugodaya,
Like a cowardly old woman!"
Then again he raised his war-club,
Smote again the Mishe-Mokwa
In the middle of his forehead.
Broke his skull, as ice is broken
When one goes to fish in Winter.
Thus was slain the Mishe-Mokwa,
He the Great Bear of the Monntaius,
He the terror of the natious.
"Hononr be to Mndjekeewis!"
Henceforth he shall be the West-Wind,
And hereafter and for ever
Shall he hold supreme dominion
Over all the winds of heaven.
Call him no more Mndjekeewis,
Call him Kabeyun the West-Wind!"
Thus was Mndjekeewis chosen
Father of the Winds of Heaven.
For himself he kept the West-WInd,
Gave the others to his children;
Unto Wabuu gave the East-Wind,
Gave the Sonth to Shawondasee,
And the North-Wind, wild and crnel.
To the fieree Kabibonokka.
Yonng and beantiful was Wabun;
He it was who bronght the morning.
He it was whose silver arrows
Chased the dark o'er hill and valley;
He it was whose cheeks were painted
With the brightest streaks of crimson,
And whose voice awoke the village.
Called the deer, and called the hunter.
Lonely in the sky was Wabun: Thongh the birds sang gaily to him, Thongh the wild-flowers of the meadow, Killed the air with odonrs lor him,
Thongh the forests and the rivers
Sang and shonted at his coming.
Still his heart was sad within him.
For he was alone in heaven
Bnt one morning, gazing earthward.
While the village still was sleeping,
And the fog lay on the river.
Like a ghost that goes at suurise,
He beheld a maiden walking
All alone upon a meadow.
Gathering water-dags and rushes
By a river in the meadow.
Every morning, gazing earthward,
Still the first thing he beheld there
Was her blne eyes looking at him,
Two blne lakes among the rushes.
And he loved the lonelv maiden.
Who thus waited for his coming;
For they both were solitary, -
She on earth and he in heaven.
And he wooed her with caresses.
Wooed her with his smile of suushine.
With his flattering words he wooed her,
With his sighing and his singing.
Gentlest whispers in the branches,
Softest umsie, sweetest odonrs.
Till he drew her to his bosom.
Folded in his robes of crimson,
Till into a star he changed her,
Trembling still upon ids bosom;
And for ever in the heaveus
They are seen together walking,
Wabun and the Wabun-Anuung,
Wabun and the Star of Morning.
Bnt the fieree Kabibonokka
Had his dwelling among icebergs.
In the everlasting suow-drifts,
In the kingdom of Wabasso,
In the land of the White Rabbit.
He it was whose hand in Antuum
Painted all the trees with scarlet,
Stained the leaves with red and yellow;
He it was who sent the suow-flakes,
Sifting, hissing throngh the forest.
Froze the ponds, the lakes, the rivers.
Drove the loon and sea-gull sonthward
Drove the cormorant and heron
To their nests of sedge and sea-tang
In the reaims of Shawondasee.
Once the fieree Kabibonokka
Issned from his lodge of suow-drifts,
From his home among the icebergs,
And his hair, with suow besprinkled,
Streamed behind him like a river,
Like a black and wintry river,
As he howled and hurried sonthward,
Over frozen lakes and moorlands.
There among the reeds and rushes
Fonnd he Shingebis, the diver.
Trailing strings of fish behind him,
O'er the frozen feus and moorlands,
Lingering still among the moorlands.
Thongh his tribe had long departed
To the land of Shawondasee.
Cried the fieree Kabibonokka,
"Who is this that dares to brave me?
Dares to stay in my dominious
When the \\ awa has departed,
When the wild-goose has gone sonthward,
And the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah,
Long ago departed sonthward?
I will go into his wigwam,
1 will pnt his smonldering fire ont!"
And at night Kabibonokka
To the lodge came wild and wailing,
Heaped the suow in drifts abont it,
Shonted down into the smoke-fine,
Shook the lodge-poles in his fury,
Flapped the curtain of the doorway,
Shingebis, the diver, feared sot,
Shingebis, the diver, cared not;
Fonr great logs had he for fire-wood,
One for each moon of the winter,