Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

And she follows where he leads her,
Leaving all things for the stranger!”

Pleasant was the journey homeward,
Through interminable forests,
Over meadow, over mountain,
Over river, hill, and hollow.
Short it seemed to Hiawatha,
Though they journeyed very slowly,
Though his pace he checked and slackened
To the steps of Laughing Water.

Over wide and rushing rivers
In his arms he bore the maiden;
Light he thought her as a feather,
As the plume upon his head-gear;
Cleared the tangled pathway for her,
Bent aside the swaying branches,
Made at night a lodge of branches,
· And a bed with boughs of hemlock,
And a fire before the doorway
With the dry cones of the pine-tree.

All the traveling winds went with them,
O’er the meadow, through the forest;
All the stars of night looked at them,
Watched with sleepless eyes their slumber;
From his ambush in the oak-tree
Peeped the squirrel, Adjidaumo,
Watched with eager eyes the lovers;
And the rabbit, the Wabasso,
Scampered from the path before them,
Peering, peeping from his burrow,
Sat erect upon his haunches,
Watched with curious eyes the lovers.

Pleasant was the journey homeward ! All the birds sang loud and sweetly Songs of happiness and heart's-ease; Sang the blue-bird, the Owaissa,

"Happy are you, Hiawatha,
Having such a wife to love you !"
Sang the robin, the Opechee,
“Happy are you, Laughing Water,
Having such a noble husband !”

From the sky the sun benignant
Looked upon them through the branches,
Saying to them, “O my children,
Love is sunshine, hate is shadow,
Life is checkered shade and sunshine;
Rule by love, O Hiawatha !”

From the sky the moon looked at them,
Filled the lodge with mystic splendors,
Whispered to them, “O my children,
Day is restless, night is quiet,
Man imperious, woman feeble;
Half is mine, although I follow;
Rule by patience, Laughing Water!”

Thus it was they journeyed homeward;
Thus it was that Hiawatha
To the lodge of old Nokomis
Brought the moonlight, starlight, firelight,
Brought the sunshine of his people,
Minnehaha, Laughing Water,
Handsomest of all the women
In the land of the Dacotahs,
In the land of handsome women.

25

THE WHITE MAN'S FOOT

30

From his wanderings far to eastward,
From the regions of the morning,
From the shining land of Wabun,
Homeward now returned Iagoo,
The great traveler, the great boaster,

Full of new and strange adventures,
Marvels many and many wonders.

And the people of the village
Listened to him as he told them
Of his marvelous adventures,
Laughing answered him in this wise :
“Ugh! it is indeed Iagoo!
No one else beholds such wonders !"

He had seen, he said, a water
Bigger than the Big-Sea-Water,
Broader than the Gitche Gumee,
Bitter so that none could drink it!
At each other looked the warriors,
Looked the women at each other,
Smiled, and said, “It cannot be so !
Kaw!” they said, "it cannot be so !"

O’er it, said he, o’er this water
Came a great canoe with pinions,
A canoe with wings came flying,
Bigger than a grove of pine-trees,
Taller than the tallest tree-tops !
And the old men and the women
Looked and tittered at each other;
“Kaw!” they said, "we don't believe it !”

From its mouth, he said, to greet him,
Came Waywassimo, the lightning,
Came the thunder, Annemeekee!
And the warriors and the women
Laughed aloud at poor Iagoo;
“Kaw!" they said, “what tales you tell us !”

In it, said he, came a people,
In the great canoe with pinions
Came, he said, a hundred warriors;
Painted white were all their faces,
And with hair their chins were covered !

35

10

15

And the warriors and the women
Laughed and shouted in derision,
Like the ravens on the tree-tops,
Like the crows upon the hemlocks.
“Kaw!" they said, "what lies you tell us.
Do not think that we believe them !"

Only Hiawatha laughed not,
But he gravely spake and answered
To their jeering and their jesting:
“True is all Iagoo tells us;
I have seen it in a vision,
Seen the great canoe with pinions,
Seen the people with white faces,
Seen the coming of this bearded
People of the wooden vessel
From the regions of the morning,
From the shining land of Wabun.

“Gitche Manito, the Mighty,
The Great Spirit, the Creator,
Sends them hither on his errand,
Sends them to us with his message.
Wheresoe'er they move, before them
Swarms the stinging fly, the Ahmo,
Swarms the bee, the honey-maker;
Wheresoe’er they tread, beneath them
Springs a flower unknown among us,
Springs the White-man's Foot in blossom.

“Let us welcome, then, the strangers,
Hail them as our friends and brothers,
And the heart's right hand of friendship
Give them when they come to see us.
Gitche Manito, the Mighty,
Said this to me in my vision.

“I beheld, too, in that vision,
All the secrets of the future,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Of the distant days that shall be.
I beheld the westward marches
Of the unknown, crowded nations.
All the land was full of people,
Restless, struggling, toiling, striving,
Speaking many tongues, yet feeling
But one heart-beat in their bosoms.
In the woodlands rang their axes,
Smoked their towns in all their valleys,
Over all the lakes and rivers
Rushed their great canoes of thunder.

“Then a darker, drearier vision,
Passed before me, vague and cloud-like.
I beheld our nations scattered,
All forgetful of my counsels,
Weakened, warring with each other;
Saw the remnants of our people
Sweeping westward, wild and woful,
Like the cloud-rack of a tempest,
Like the withered leaves of autumn !"

HELPS TO STUDY

(Introduction)

Notes and Questions Where did these stories come l What word tells the sound of the

from? Read lines which tell. I pine-trees? Name the Great Lakes.

Read five lines which tell what Read lines which tell where the the singer sang of Hiawatha. singer found these songs.

Whom does Longfellow call upon Who was Nawadaha ?

to listen to this Indian legend Words and Phrases for Study PRONUNCIATION: păl-i-sādes'

wig'-wams (wôms) mů-si-cian (zish'-ăn) rěp-é-ti'-tions (shủns) mõrs

lodge (lõj) re-ver-bēr-ä'-tion (vur) fěn'-lănds

ey-ry (7'-ri)

« AnteriorContinuar »