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The Elson Readers, Book 5 by William H. Elson and Christine M. Keck

Part 6 out of 9

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Swung o'er the heaped-up harvest, from pitchforks in the mow, Shone
dimly down the lanterns on the pleasant scene below, The glowing pile
of husks behind, the golden ears before, And laughing eyes and busy
hands and brown cheeks glimmering o'er.

Half hidden in a quiet nook, serene of look and heart, Talking their
old times over, the old men sat apart; While up and down the unhusked
pile, or nestling in its shade, At hide-and-seek, with laugh and
shout, the happy children played.

Urged by the good host's daughter, a maiden young and fair, Lifting to
light her sweet blue eyes and pride of soft brown hair, The master of
the village school, sleek of hair and smooth of tongue, To the quaint
tune of some old psalm, a husking-ballad sung.


Discussion. 1. What is the difference between the sunshine of October
and that of May? 2. Why does it seem to the poet as if the sun wove
with golden shuttle the yellow haze? 3. What had the frost done that
made the woodlands gay? 4. What words in the second stanza make you
feel that the wood was some distance away? 5. To whom does "he" in the
third stanza refer? 6. What words in the second stanza explain
the word "haze" in the third stanza? 7. What gave the beeches the
appearance of being painted? 8. What are the colors of the woods
and sky in this poem? What colors are they in the poem "The Yellow
Violet"? Find the words and phrases that tell you. How many times, in
this poem, does the poet use the words golden and yellow, or speak of
things that suggest these colors? 9. What do you think was the reason
the boys laughed when they looked up to the sky? 10. What "summer
grain" is mentioned in line 11, page 304? 11. What crop was still
ungathered? 12. Where were the harvesters at work? 13. What was it
that set the sky "all afire beyond"? 14. Where did the husking take
place? What tells you this? 15.. How did the old men spend the
evening? 16. What things that we eat depend on the work of the
huskers? 17. Tell what you can about the author. 18. Find in the
Glossary the meaning of: shuttle; spire; sear; verdant; wain; lapsed.
19. Pronounce: autumnal; chastened; beneath; sphere; wrought;
radiance; tranquil; mow; serene; psalm.

Phrases for Study

hues of summer's rainbow, patient weathercocks, rayless disk of fire,
ripened charge, brightened as he sped; sphere of gold, glory fell
chastened, milder glory shone, softly pictured wood, mingled into one,
slow sloping to the night, hamlet without name, glorified the hill,
golden ears before, sunshine of sweet looks, glimmering o'er, looked
westerly, serene of look and heart.


Heap high the farmer's wintry hoard!
Heap high the golden corn!
No richer gift has Autumn poured
From out her lavish horn!

Let other lands, exulting, glean
The apple from the pine,
The orange from its glossy green,
The cluster from the vine;

We better love the hardy gift
Our rugged vales bestow,
To cheer us when the storm shall drift
Our harvest-fields with snow.

Through vales of grass and meads of flowers
Our plows their furrows made,
While on the hills the sun and showers
Of changeful April played.

We dropped the seed o'er hill and plain,
Beneath the sun of May,
And frightened from our sprouting grain
The robber crows away.

All through the long, bright days of June
Its leaves grew green and
fair, And waved in hot midsummer's noon
Its soft and yellow hair.

And now, with Autumn's moonlit eves,
Its harvest-time has come; We
pluck away the frosted leaves,
And bear the treasure home.

Then shame on all the proud and vain
Whose folly laughs to scorn
The blessing of our hardy grain,
Our wealth of golden corn!

Let earth withhold her goodly root,
Let mildew blight the rye,
Give to the worm the orchard's fruit,
The wheat-field to the fly;

But let the good old crop adorn
The hills our fathers trod;
Still let us, for his golden corn,
Send up our thanks to God!


Discussion. 1. In "A Forward Look," you read that poets help you to
see beauty in things that might otherwise seem common. The yellow
violet is less showy than the chrysanthemum, but the poet writes
of the violet. The pineapple, the orange, the grape, seem more
interesting than the yellow corn of the fields, but here is a poem
about one of the commonest of farm crops. To whom is the poet speaking
in the first two stanzas? Point out some of the poet's fancies in this
poem. 2. Is all corn "golden"? What other kinds have you seen? 3. Name
other gifts autumn brings us. 4. Why is the corn a "hardy gift"? What
other words or phrases in the poem suggest the same idea? 5. What do
we call the "apple from the pine"? 6. What clusters are picked from
vines? 7. In what "other lands" do these fruits grow? 8. Where was
Whittier's home? 9. What do you know of the soil and climate of New
England? 10. Find the line that tells when we plant the corn. 11. Find
the lines that tell when we harvest the corn. 12. What is the "yellow
hair" the corn waves in summer? 13. What does the poet mean by
"frosted leaves"? 14. What does he think of those who scorn the
blessing of the corn? 15. What wish does the poet express in the last
stanza? 16. What service did our farmers and boys and girls on the
farms perform during the World War? 17. On page 291 you were asked to
notice the way in which these American authors have expressed their
thoughts; does Whittier's use of rime add to the beauty of his "song"
about corn? Point out some of the lines that rime. 18. Find in the
Glossary the meaning of: glean; hardy; meads; furrows; frosted;
mildew; adorn.

Pronounce: hoard; lavish; glossy; root.

Phrases for Study

wintry hoard, rugged vales bestow, lavish horn, changeful April,
exulting, glean, folly laughs to scorn, hardy gift, goodly root.


Washington Irving (1783-1859) was a native of New York. He led a happy
life, rambling in his boyhood about every nook and corner of the city
and the adjacent woods, which at that time were not very far to seek.
New York, called New Amsterdam in early colonial times, was then the
capital of the country, and here the boy grew up happy, seeing many
sides of American life, both in the city and country.

Manhattan Island and the region about it, with its commanding position
at the entrance to a great inland waterway, was from the first a
prize for which the nations from across the sea had contended. Such
a mingling of different people must give rise to interesting
experiences, and when someone appears who can put the story of those
events into a pleasing sketch, then we begin to have real literature:
Irving had not only the experience and observation, but the ability
'to express what he had seen and felt. Therefore, when he grew to
manhood and gave his sketches of this region to the world, we had our
first real American literature.

Irving is best known as a humorist and a charming storyteller, but he
has also written serious and tender works. His life of Washington is a
tribute of loving reverence to the great American for whom he was named.
As a boy, Irving was of a rather mischievous turn, a trait which perhaps
helped to make him the "first American humorist." Indeed, it has been
said that "before Irving there was no laughter in the land." He is called
the "Father of American Literature," and also the "gentle humorist."
"Capturing the Wild Horse" is taken from A Tour of the Prairies, and
"The Adventure of the Mason" from The Alhambra.


We left the buffalo camp about eight o'clock and had a toilsome march
of two hours over ridges of hills covered with a ragged forest of
scrub-oaks and broken by deep gullies. Among the oaks I observed many
of the most diminutive size, some not above a foot high, yet bearing
abundance of small acorns.

About ten o'clock in the morning we came to where this line of rugged
hills swept down into a valley, through which flowed the north fork of
the Red River. A beautiful meadow about half a mile wide, colored with
yellow autumnal flowers, stretched for two or three miles along the
foot of the hills, bordered on the opposite side by the river, whose
bank was fringed with cottonwood trees.

The meadow was finely diversified by groves and clumps of trees, so
happily arranged that they seemed as if set out by the hand of art. As
we cast our eyes over this fresh and delightful valley, we saw a troop
of wild horses quietly grazing on a green lawn about a mile distant
to our right, while to our left, at nearly the same distance, were
several buffaloes--some feeding, others reposing and ruminating among
the high, rich herbage under the shade of a clump of cottonwood trees.
The whole had the appearance of a broad, beautiful tract of pasture
land on the estate of some gentleman farmer, with his cattle grazing
about the lawns and meadows. A council of war was now held, and it was
determined to profit by the present favorable opportunity and try our
hand at the grand hunting-maneuver which is called "ringing the wild
horse." This requires a large party of horsemen, well mounted.

They extend themselves in each direction, singly, at certain
distances apart, and gradually form a ring of two or three miles in
circumference, so as to surround the game. This has to be done
with extreme care, for the wild horse is the most readily alarmed
inhabitant of the prairie, and can scent a hunter at a great distance,
if to windward.

The ring being formed, two or three ride toward the horses, which
start off in an opposite direction. Whenever they approach the bounds
of the ring, however, a huntsman presents himself and turns them from
their course. In this way they are checked and driven back at every
point, and kept galloping round and round this magic circle, until,
being completely tired down, it is easy for the hunters to ride up
beside them and throw the lariat over their heads. The prime horses of
most speed and courage, however, are apt to break through and escape,
so that in general it is the second-rate horses that are taken.

Preparations were now made for a hunt of this kind. The packhorses
were taken into the woods and firmly tied to trees, lest in a rush of
the wild horses they should break away with them. Twenty-five men were
then sent, under the command of a lieutenant, to steal along the edge
of the valley within the strip of wood that skirted the hills. They
were to station themselves about fifty yards apart, within the edge of
the woods, and not advance or show themselves until the horses dashed
in that direction.

Twenty-five men were sent across the valley to steal in like manner
along the river bank that bordered the opposite side, and to station
themselves among the trees. A third party of about the same number was
to form a line stretching across the lower part of the valley, so as
to connect the two wings. Beatte and our other half-breed; Antoine,
together with the ever-officious Tonish, were to make a circuit
through the woods, so as to get to the upper part of the valley in the
rear of the horses, and to drive them forward into the kind of sack
that we had formed, while the two wings should join behind them and
make a complete circle.

The flanking parties were quietly extending themselves, out of sight,
on each side of the valley, and the rest were stretching themselves
like the links of a chain across it, when the wild horses gave signs
that they scented an enemy--snuffing the air, snorting, and looking

At length they pranced off slowly toward the river and disappeared
behind a green bank. Here, had the rules of the chase been observed,
they would have been quietly checked and turned back by the advance of
a hunter from among the trees; unluckily, however, we had our wildfire
Jack-o'-lantern little Frenchman to deal with.

Instead of keeping quietly up the right side of the valley to get
above the horses, the moment he saw them move toward the river he
broke out of the thicket of woods and dashed furiously across the
plain in pursuit of them, being, mounted on one of the led horses
belonging to the Count. This put an end to all system. The half-breeds
and half a score of rangers joined in the chase.

Away they all went over the green bank; in a moment or two the wild
horses reappeared and came thundering down the valley, with Frenchman,
half-breeds, and rangers galloping and yelling like mad behind them.
It was in vain that the line drawn across the valley attempted to
check and turn back the fugitives. They were too hotly pressed by
their pursuers; in their panic they dashed through the line and
clattered down the plain.

The whole troop joined in the headlong chase-some of the rangers
without hats or caps, their hair flying about their ears; others with
handkerchiefs tied round their heads. The buffaloes, which had been
calmly ruminating among the herbage, heaved up their huge forms, gazed
for a moment with astonishment at the tempest that came scouring down
the meadow, then turned and took to heavy-rolling flight. They were
soon overtaken; the mixed throng were pressed together by the sides of
the valley, and away they went, pell-mell, hurry-scurry, wild buffalo,
wild horse, wild huntsman, with clang and clatter, and whoop and
halloo, that made the forests ring.

At length the buffaloes turned into a green brake on the river bank,
while the horses dashed up a narrow defile of the hills, with their
pursuers close at their heels. Beatte passed several of them, having
fixed his eye upon a fine Pawnee horse that had his ears slit, and
saddle marks upon his back. He pressed him gallantly, but lost him in
the woods.

Among the wild horses was a fine black mare. In scrambling up the
defile she tripped and fell. A young ranger sprang from his horse and
seized her by the mane and muzzle. Another ranger dismounted and came
to his assistance. The mare struggled fiercely, kicking and biting,
and striking with her forefeet; but a noose was slipped over her head,
and her struggles were in vain. It was some time, however, before she
gave over rearing and plunging, and lashing out with her feet on
every side. The two rangers then led her along the valley by two long
lariats, which enabled them to keep at a sufficient distance on each
side to be out of the reach of her hoofs; and whenever she struck out
in one direction, she was jerked in the other. In this way her spirit
was gradually subdued.

As to little Tonish, who had marred the whole scene by his rashness,
he had been more successful than he deserved, having managed to catch
a beautiful cream-colored colt about seven months old, which had not
strength to keep up with its companions. The little Frenchman was
beside himself with joy. It was amusing to see him with his prize. The
colt would rear and kick and struggle to get free, when Tonish would
take him about the neck, wrestle with him, jump on his back, and cut
as many antics as a monkey with a kitten.

Nothing surprised me more, however, than to see how soon these poor
animals, thus taken from the unbounded freedom of the prairie, yielded
to the control of man. In the course of two or three days the mare and
colt went with the led horses and became quite docile.


Historical Note. In 1832 Irving made "a tour of the prairies"--that
is, of what was then the Far West, beyond the Mississippi, where, he
says, "there is neither to be seen the log house of the white man, nor
the wigwam of the Indian." Discussion. 1. What picture do the first
three paragraphs give you? 2. Tell how "ringing the wild horse" is
accomplished. 3. What preparations did Irving's party make for the
hunt? 4. Who broke the rules of the chase? 5. What was the effect of
this? 6. Tell all you can learn about Tonish, the little Frenchman. 7.
What does Irving say about the ease with which the wild horses were
tamed? 8. List the words that give ideas of thrilling action in the
paragraph beginning, "The whole troop joined in the headlong chase."
What words tell the difference between the buffaloes and the horses
in flight? 9. Tell what you can about the author. 10. Class readings:
Select the passages you like best. 11. Outline for testing silent
reading. Tell the story in your own words, using the following
topics: (a) the scene of action; (b) the method of approach; (c) the
preparations; (d) the mistake of Tonish; (e) the excitement of the
chase; (f) the two captures. 12. Find in the Glossary the meaning
of: toilsome; gullies; diversified; circumference; prime; skirted;
fugitives; brake; defile. 13. Pronounce: diminutive; ruminating;
herbage; maneuver; kept; lariat; circuit; reappeared; rangers;
handkerchiefs; rearing; marred.

Phrases for Study

swept down into a valley, wildfire Jack-o'-lantern, fringed with
trees, thundering down the valley, happily arranged,

hand of art, hotly pressed, council of war, scouring down the meadow,
well mounted, heavy-rolling flight, if to windward, spirit was
gradually subdued, approach the bounds,

ever-officious Tonish, marred the whole scene, flanking parties,
beside himself with joy, extending themselves, unbounded freedom,


There was once upon a time a poor mason, or bricklayer, in Granada,
who kept all the saints' days and holidays, and Saint Monday into the
bargain, and yet with all his devotion he grew poorer and poorer and
could scarcely earn bread for his numerous family. One night he was
roused from his first sleep by a knocking at his door. He opened it
and beheld before him a tall stranger.

"Hark ye, honest friend!" said the stranger; "I have observed that you
are a good Christian and one to be trusted. Will you undertake a job
this very night?"

"With all my heart, Senor, on condition that I am paid accordingly."

"That you shall be; but you must suffer yourself to be blindfolded."

To this the mason made no objection. So, being hoodwinked, he was led
by the stranger through various rough lanes and winding passages until
they stopped before the portal of a house. The stranger then applied a
key, turned a creaking lock, and opened what sounded like a ponderous
door. They entered; the door was closed and bolted, and the mason
was conducted through an echoing corridor and a spacious hall to an
interior part of the building. Here the bandage was removed from his
eyes, and he found himself in a court dimly lighted by a single lamp.
In the center was the dry basin of an old fountain, under which the
stranger requested him to form a small vault, bricks and mortar being
at hand for the purpose. He worked all night, but without finishing
the job. Just before daybreak the stranger put a piece of gold into
his hand, and having again blindfolded him, conducted him back to his

"Are you willing," said he, "to return and complete your work?"

"Gladly, Senor, provided I am so well paid."

"Well then, tomorrow at midnight I will call again."

He did so, and the vault was completed.

"Now," said the stranger, "you must help me to bring forth the bodies
that are to be buried in this vault."

The poor mason's hair rose on his head at these words; he followed the
stranger with trembling steps into a retired chamber of the mansion,
expecting to behold some ghastly spectacle of death, but was relieved
on seeing three or four jars standing in one corner. They were full of
money, and it was with great labor that he and the stranger carried
them forth and consigned them to their tomb.

The vault was then closed, the pavement replaced, and all traces of
the work were obliterated. The mason was again hoodwinked and led
forth by a route different from that by which he had come. After they
had wandered for a long time through a maze of lanes and alleys, they

The stranger then put two pieces of gold into his hand. "Wait here,"
said he, "until you hear the cathedral bell toll. If you uncover your
eyes before that time, evil will befall you." So saying, he departed.
The mason waited faithfully, amusing himself by weighing the gold
pieces in his hand and clinking them against each other. The moment
the cathedral bell rang its peals he uncovered his eyes and found
himself on the banks of the Xenil; whence he made the best of his way
home and reveled with his family for a whole fortnight on the profits
of his two nights' work; after which he was as poor as ever.

He continued to work a little and pray a good deal and keep saints'
days and holidays from year to year, while his family grew up gaunt
and ragged as a crew of gypsies. As he was seated one evening at the
door of his hovel, he was accosted by a rich old curmudgeon who was
noted for owning many houses and being a griping landlord. The man of
money eyed him for a moment from beneath a pair of anxious, shaggy

"I am told, friend, that you are very poor."

"There is no denying the fact, Senor--it speaks for itself."

"I presume then that you will be glad of a job and will work cheap?"

"As cheap, my master, as any mason in Granada."

"That's what I want. I have an old house fallen into decay, which
costs me more money than it is worth to keep in repair, for nobody
will live in it. So I must patch it up and keep it together at as
small expense as possible."

The mason was accordingly conducted to a large deserted house that
seemed going to ruin. Passing through several empty halls and
chambers, he entered an inner court, where his eye was caught by an
old fountain. He paused for a moment, for a dreamy recollection of
the place came over him. "Pray," said he, "who occupied this house

"A pest upon him!" cried the landlord; "it was an old miserly fellow
who cared for nobody but himself. He was said to be immensely rich.
He died suddenly, and nothing could they find but a few ducats in a
leathern purse. The worst luck has fallen on me, for since his death
the old fellow continues to occupy my house without paying rent. The
people pretend to hear the clinking of gold all night in the chamber
where the old fellow slept, as if he were counting over his money,
and sometimes a groaning and moaning about the court. Whether true or
false, these stories have brought a bad name on my house, and not a
tenant will remain in it."

"Enough," said the mason sturdily; "let me live in your house
rent-free until some better tenant appears, and I will put it in
repair and quiet the troubled spirit that disturbs it. I am a good
Christian and a poor man and am not to be daunted by the Devil
himself, even though he should come in the shape of a big bag of

The offer of the mason was gladly accepted. He moved with his family
into the house, and fulfilled all of his engagements. By little and
little he restored it to its former state; the clinking of gold was no
more heard at night in the chamber of the defunct tenant, but began
to be heard by day in the pocket of the living mason. In a word, he
increased rapidly in wealth, to the admiration of all his neighbors,
and became one of the richest men in Granada. He gave large sums to
the Church--by way, no doubt, of satisfying his conscience--and never
revealed the secret of the vault until on his deathbed to his son and


Discussion. 1. What condition led the mason to undertake the
stranger's task? 2. Why was the mason blindfolded? 3. How long did it
take him to complete the vault? 4. What was buried in it? 5. How did
the mason find his way home? 6. Was the mason's poverty relieved by
the pay he received from the stranger? 7. What work did the grasping
landlord propose to the mason? 8. What stories had brought a bad name
upon the landlord's house? 9. What was the "dreamy recollection"? 10.
How did the mason show his quick wit? 11. Why did he say that he was
not afraid of the Devil in the shape of a bag of money? 12. What
differences do you notice between this story of how the mason came
upon great wealth and the stories of Aladdin and Ali Baba? 13. Read
again pages 289-291 and tell what makes Irving a real author. Can you
tell why you enjoyed this story? 14. Class reading: The second part
of the story, page 318, line 20, to the end. 15. Outline for testing
silent reading. Tell the story in your own words, using the following
topics: (a) how the mason built the vault in the mysterious house;
(b) how he unexpectedly came into possession of this vault many years
later. 16. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: hoodwinked; vault;
maze; cathedral; pest; ducat. 17. Pronounce: Granada; Senor;
ponderous; ghastly; obliterated; route; gaunt; hovel; curmudgeon;

Phrases for Study

retired chamber, troubled spirit, ghastly spectacle, former state,
crew of gypsies, defunct tenant, griping landlord, by way of


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) was a native of Maine and
a graduate of Bowdoin College, in the same class with Nathaniel
Hawthorne. Longfellow came of early New England ancestry, his mother
being a daughter of General Wadsworth of the Revolutionary War.

After his graduation from college he spent several years abroad and
upon his return to America held professorships first in Bowdoin and
later in Harvard College. When he moved to Cambridge and began his
active work at Harvard, he took up his residence in the historic
Craigie House, overlooking the Charles River-a house in which
Washington had been quartered for some months when in 1775 he took
command of the Continental army.

Longfellow is the poet who has spoken most sincerely and
sympathetically to the hearts of the common people and to children.
His style is notable for its simplicity and grace. His Hiawatha is a
national poem that records the picturesque traditions of the American
Indian. Its charm and melody are the delight of all children, and
in years to come, when the race which it describes has utterly
disappeared, we shall value at even higher state; the clinking of gold
was no more heard at night in the chamber of the defunct tenant, but
began to be heard by day in the pocket of the living mason. In a
word, he increased rapidly in wealth, to the admiration of all his
neighbors, and became one of the richest men in Granada. He gave
large sums to the Church--by way, no doubt, of satisfying his
conscience--and never revealed the secret of the vault until on his
deathbed to his son and heir.


Discussion. 1. What condition led the mason to undertake the
stranger's task? 2. Why was the mason blindfolded? 3. How long did it
take him to complete the vault? 4. What was buried in it? 5. How did
the mason find his way home? 6. Was the mason's poverty relieved by
the pay he received from the stranger? 7. What work did the grasping
landlord propose to the mason? 8. What stories had brought a bad name
upon the landlord's house? 9. What was the "dreamy recollection"? 10.
How did the mason show his quick wit? 11. Why did he say that he was
not afraid of the Devil in the shape of a bag of money? 12. What
differences do you notice between this story of how the mason came
upon great wealth and the stories of Aladdin and Ali Baba? 13. Read
again pages 289-291 and tell what makes Irving a real author. Can you
tell why you enjoyed this story? 14. Class reading: The second part
of the story, page 318, line 20, to the end. 15. Outline for testing
silent reading. Tell the story in your own words, using the following
topics: (a) how the mason built the vault in the mysterious house;
(b) how he unexpectedly came into possession of this vault many years
later. 16. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: hoodwinked; vault;
maze; cathedral; pest; ducat. 17. Pronounce: Granada; Senor;
ponderous; ghastly; obliterated; route; gaunt; hovel; curmudgeon;

Phrases for Study

retired chamber, troubled spirit, ghastly spectacle, former state,
crew of gypsies, defunct tenant, griping landlord, by way of


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) was a native of Maine and
a graduate of Bowdoin College, in the same class with Nathaniel
Hawthorne. Longfellow came of early New England ancestry, his mother
being a daughter of General Wadsworth of the Revolutionary War.

After his graduation from college he spent several years abroad and
upon his return to America held professorships first in Bowdoin and
later in Harvard College. When he moved to Cambridge and began his
active work at Harvard, he took up his residence in the historic
Craigie House, overlooking the Charles River-a house in which
Washington had been quartered for some months when in 1775 he took
command of the Continental army.

Longfellow is the poet who has spoken most sincerely and
sympathetically to the hearts of the common people and to children.
His style is notable for its simplicity and grace. His Hiawatha is a
national poem that records the picturesque traditions of the American
Indian. Its charm and melody are the delight of all children, and
in years to come, when the race which it describes has utterly
disappeared, we shall value at even higher worth these stories of the
romantic past of America and of the brave people who inhabited these
mountains and plains before the white man came.

Besides Indian stories, Longfellow wrote many narratives in verse
dealing with old legends of America. "The Skeleton in Armor" is an
example of the legends about European explorers who came here before
the days of Columbus. Evangehne and The Courtship of Miles Standish
are longer poems which find their subjects in early colonial history.
He wrote also of legends of Europe, and was well acquainted with
stories and romances of older civilizations than ours. Equally
well-known poems, of a different type, are those in which household
joys and sorrows give the theme. Longfellow is the poet of the
home-life, of simple hopes, of true religious faith. His spirit was
the Spirit of a child, affectionate, loyal, eager for romance and
knightly adventure. He is the "Children's Poet," as the poem "The
Children's Hour" helps to show. There were sorrows as well as joys
in his life, and this is why we go to him in trouble and why so many
people know his poems by heart. Sorrow never took away his faith or
made him bitter. He is genial and kindly, the friend--of all Americans


I shot an arrow into the air;
It Fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a Song into the air;
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong
That it can follow the flight of Song?

Long, long afterwards, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.


Discussion: 1. What became of the arrow? Of the song? 2. Where was the
arrow found? When? 3. Where was the Song found? 4. Point out lines
that rime. 5. What is Longfellow's purpose in this poem? 6. Why is the
poet's song compared to the flight of an arrow? 7. A poet once said,
"Let me make the Songs of a nation, and I care not who makes the
laws." What did he mean? 8. What was the Song doing "in the heart of a

Phrases for Study

breathed a song, flight of Song.


Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day's occupations,
That is known as the Children's Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
The Sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I See in the lamplight,
Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra.
And Edith with golden hair.

A whisper, and then a silence;
Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together
To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall!

They climb up into my turret
O'er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;
They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses;
Their arms about me entwine;
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all?

I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
gut put you down into the dungeon
in the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And molder in dust away!


Discussion. 1. What is the time "Between the dark and the daylight"
usually called? 2. What do you suppose Longfellow had been doing in
his study before the children came down to him? 3. What reasons can
you give for the "pause in the day's occupations"? 4. Who were the
children whom the poet saw "Descending the broad hall stair" to enter
his "castle wall"? 5. What were these children whispering about? 6.
What does Longfellow mean by his "turret"? 7. To what does he compare
the rush made by the children? 8. What wall did they scale in order to
reach him? 9. Where does Longfellow say he will put the children now
that he has captured them? 10. Which stanza of this poem do you like
best? 11. Tell what you know about the life of Longfellow. 12. Find
in the Glossary the meaning of: raid; match. 13. Pronounce: lower;
banditti; dungeon.

Phrases for Study

Bishop of Bingen, round-tower of my heart, scaled the wall, forever
and a day, such an old mustache, molder in dust away, fast in my



Should you ask me, whence these stories,
Whence these legends and traditions,
With the odors of the forest,
With the dew and damp of meadows,
With the curling smoke of wigwams,
With the rushing of great rivers,
With their frequent repetitions,
And their wild reverberations,
As of thunder in the mountains.

I should answer, I should tell you:
"From the forests and the prairies,
From the great lakes of the Northland,
From the land of the Ojibways,
From the land of the Dacotahs,
From the mountains, moors, and fenlands,
Where the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah,
Feeds among the reeds and rushes.
I repeat them as I heard them
From the lips Of Nawadaha
The musician, the sweet singer."

Should you ask where Nawadaha
Found these songs, so wild and wayward,
Found these legends and traditions,

I should answer, I should tell you:
"In the birds'-nests of the forests,
In the lodges of the beaver,
In the hoof-prints of the bison,
In the aerie of the eagle!"
If still further you should ask me,
Saying, "Who was Nawadaha?
Tell us of this Nawadaha,"
I should answer your inquiries
Straightway in such words as follow:

"In the Vale of Tawasentha,
In the green and silent valley,
By the pleasant water-courses.
Dwelt the singer Nawadaha.
Round about the Indian village
Spread the meadows and the cornfields,
And beyond them stood the forest,
Stood the groves of singing pine-trees,
Green in summer, white in winter,
Ever sighing, ever singing.

"There he sang of Hiawatha,
Sang the Song of Hiawatha,
Sang his wondrous birth and being,
How he prayed and how he fasted,
How he lived, and toiled, and suffered,
That the tribes of men might prosper,
That he might advance his people!"

Ye who love the haunts of Nature,
Love the sunshine of the meadow,
Love the shadow of the forest,
Love the wind among the branches,
And the rain-shower and the snowstorm,
And the rushing of great rivers
Through their palisades of pine-trees,
And the thunder in the mountains,
Listen to this Indian Legend,
To this Song of Hiawatha!
Ye whose hearts are fresh and simple,
Who have faith in God and Nature,

Listen to this simple story,
To this Song of Hiawatha!


You have now begun to read parts of a long poem about Indian life and
tradition. The Indians, like all other races of men, have such songs.
Longfellow studied the Indian legends and put them into English verse
so that all of us may enjoy them. Such a poem, which is really a
collection of ballads or songs about heroes and about the beliefs and
superstitions of a race, is often called an epic. Notice that the poet
tells you that these stories in verse have the odors of the forest,
the curling smoke of wigwams; the rushing of great rivers, and the
roar of mountain thunder. This means that such stories are very
closely connected with the simple life of a simple people--there is
much of their thought about Nature, much of their love of the land
where they live. Next, notice that he got his knowledge of these songs
from a "sweet singer," a minstrel. All simple tribes have had such
singers, who went about from place to place telling in verse what
the people wanted to hear. There were no books, both boys and girls
learned their stories from older people, or from wandering singers.
Next, you observe that the theme of the stories is the life of
Hiawatha, their great hero. So the Greeks had stories about their hero
Ulysses, the early English about Beowulf and King Arthur, the French
about Roland. Every great race honors the memory of a hero who lived
when the race was young. Many stories cluster about the name of this
hero, and poets and minstrels love to sing, and the people to hear,
about these great characters. Finally, notice at the end of the
poet's Introduction, two things: First, Hiawatha lived and toiled and
suffered that the tribes might prosper, that he might advance his
people-thus an epic poem deals with the founding of a people or race.
Second, you notice that there is much about God and Nature in the
poem-the simple religious faith of the people. The hero, his deeds
that helped his people, the religion of the tribes-these are the
subjects. Find illustrations of these things as you read.

Discussion. 1. Where did these stories come from? Read lines which
tell. 2. Name the Great Lakes. 3. Who was Nawadaha? 4. What word tells
the sound of the pine-trees? 5. Read five lines that tell what the
singer sang of Hiawatha. 6. Find in the Glossary the meaning of:
reverberations. 7. Pronounce: legends; wigwams; aerie.

Phrases for Study

singing pine-trees, advance his people, wondrous birth and being,
haunts of Nature, tribes of men might prosper, palisades of


By the shores of Gitche Gumee,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
Stood the wigwam of Nokomis,
Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis.
Dark behind it rose the forest,
Rose the black and gloomy pine-trees,
Rose the firs with cones upon them;
Bright before it beat the water,
Beat the clear and sunny water,
Beat the shining Big-Sea-Water.

There the wrinkled, old Nokomis
Nursed the little Hiawatha;
Rocked him in his linden cradle,
Bedded soft in moss and rushes,
Safely bound with reindeer sinews;
Stilled his fretful wail by saying,
"Hush! The Naked Bear will get thee!"
Lulled him into slumber, singing,
"Ewa-yea! my little owlet!
Who is this that lights the wigwam,
With his great eyes lights the wigwam?
Ewa-yea! my little owlet!"

Many things Nokomis taught him
Of the stars that shine in heaven;
Showed the broad, white road in heaven,
Pathway of the ghosts, the shadows,
Running straight across the heavens,
Crowded with the ghosts, the shadows.

At the door on summer evenings
Sat the little Hiawatha;
Heard the whispering of the pine-trees,
Heard the lapping of the water,
Sounds of music, words of wonder;
"Minne-wawa!" said the pine-trees,
"Mudway-aushka! said the water.

Saw the firefly, Wah-wah-taysee,
Flitting through the dusk of evening,
With the twinkle of its candle
Lighting up the brakes and bushes;
And he sang the song of children,
Sang the song Nokomis taught him:

"Wah-wah-taysee, little firefly,
Little, flitting, white-fire insect,
Little, dancing, white-fire creature,
Light me with your little candle,
Ere upon my bed I lay me,
Ere in sleep I close my eyelids!"

Saw the moon rise from the water
Rippling, rounding from the water;
Saw the flecks and shadows on it;
Whispered, "What is that, Nokomis?"
And the good Nokomis answered
"Once a warrior, very angry,
Seized his grandmother, and threw her
Up into the sky at midnight;
Right against the moon he threw her;
Tis her body that you see there."

Saw the rainbow in the heaven,
In the eastern sky, the rainbow;
Whispered, "What is that, Nokomis?"
And the good Nokomis answered:
"'Tis the heaven of flowers you see there.
All the wild-flowers of the forest,
All the lilies of the prairie,
When on earth they fade and perish,
Blossom in that heaven above us."

When he heard the owls at midnight,
Hooting, laughing in the forest,
"What is that?" he cried in terror;
"What is that," he said, "Nokomis?"
And the good Nokomis answered:
"That is but the owl and owlet,
Talking in their native language,
Talking, scolding at each other."

Then the little Hiawatha
Learned of every bird its language,
Learned their names and all their secrets--
How they built their nests in summer,
Where they hid themselves in winter--
Talked with them whene'er he met them,
Called them "Hiawatha's Chickens."

Of all beasts he learned the language,
Learned their names and all their secrets--
How the beavers built their lodges,
Where the squirrels hid their acorns,
How the reindeer ran so swiftly,
Why the rabbit was so timid;
Talked with them whene'er he met then,
Called them "Hiawatha's Brothers."

Then Iagoo, the great boaster,
He the marvelous story-teller,
He the traveler and the talker,
He the friend of old Nokomis,
Made a bow for Hiawatha;
From a branch of ash he made it,
From an oak-bough made the arrows.
Tipped with flint, and winged with feathers,
And the cord he made of deerskin.

Then he said to Hiawatha:
"Go, my son, into the forest,
Where the red deer herd together;
Kill for us a famous roebuck,
Kill for us a deer with antlers!"

Forth into the forest straightway
All alone walked Hiawatha
Proudly, with his bow and arrows;
And the birds sang round him, o'er him,
"Do not shoot us, Hiawatha!",
Sang the robin, the Opechee,
Sang the bluebird, the Owaissa,
"Do not shoot us, Hiawatha!"

Up the oak-tree, close beside him,
Sprang the squirrel, Adjidaumo,
In and out among the branches,
Coughed and chattered from the oak-tree,
Laughed, and said between his laughing;
"Do not shoot-me, Hiawatha!"

And the rabbit from his pathway
Leaped aside, and at a distance
Sat erect upon his haunches,
Half in fear and half in frolic,
Saying to the little hunter,
"Do not shoot me, Hiawatha!"

But he heeded not, nor heard them,
For his thoughts were with the red deer;
On their tracks his eyes were fastened,
Leading downward to the river,
To the ford across the river;
And as one in slumber walked he.

Hidden in the alder-bushes,
There he waited till the deer came,
Till he saw two antlers lifted,
Saw two eyes look from the thicket,
Saw two nostrils point to windward,
And a deer came down the pathway,
Flecked with leafy light and shadow.
His heart within him fluttered,
Trembled like the leaves above him,
Like the birch-leaf palpitated,
As the deer came down the pathway.

Then, upon one knee uprising,
Hiawatha aimed an arrow;
Scarce a twig moved with his motion,
Scarce a leaf was stirred or rustled,
But the wary roebuck started,
Stamped with all his hoofs together,
Listened with one foot uplifted,
Leaped as if to meet the arrow,
Ah! the singing, fatal arrow;
Like a wasp it buzzed and stung him!

Dead he lay there in the forest,
By the ford across the river;
Beat his timid heart no longer.
But the heart of Hiawatha
Throbbed and shouted and exulted,
As he bore the red deer homeward;
And WOO and Nokomis coming with applauses.

From the red deer's hide Nokomis
Made a cloak for Hiawatha;
From the red deer's flesh Nokomis
Made a banquet in his honor.
All the village came and feasted;
All the guests praised Hiawatha,
Called him Strong-Heart, Soan-ge-taha!
Called him Loon-Heart, Mahn-go-taysee!


Discussion. 1. What body of water is called Gitche Gumee? 2. Where did
the wigwam of Nokomis stand? 3. What is meant by the "beat" of the
water? 4. Why does Longfellow call the pine trees "black and gloomy"?
5. Who was Nokomis? 6. Why did she call Hiawatha "my little owlet"? 7.
What do we call the "broad, white road in heaven"? 8. What word tells
the so sound of the water? 9. Read lines that tell what Hiawatha
learned of the birds and the beasts. 10. Of what was Hiawatha's bow
made? His arrows? The cord? 11. Why was a tip of flint used on the
arrows? 12. What is meant by "the ford across the river"? 13. Read
lines which tell that Hiawatha was excited when hunting. 14. Find in
the Glossary the meaning of linden; frolic; postrils. 15. Pronounce:
moss; sinews; warrior; haunches; alder; palpitated; exulted.

Phrases for Study

twinkle of its candle, famous roebuck, native language, point to
windward, tipped with flint, flecked with leafy light, winged with
feathers, hailed his coming.


Two good friends had Hiawatha,
Singled out from all the others,
Bound to him in closest union,
And to whom he gave the right hand
Of his heart, in joy and sorrow:
Chibiabos, the musician,
And the very strong man, Kwasind.

Most beloved by Hiawatha
Was the gentle Chibiabos,
We the best of all musicians,
He the sweetest of all singers.
Beautiful and childlike was he,
Brave as man is, soft as woman,
Pliant as a wand of willow,
Stately as a deer with antlers.

When he sang, the village listened;
All the warriors gathered round him,
All the women came to hear him;
Now he stirred their souls to passion,
Now he melted them to pity.

From the hollow reeds he fashioned
Flutes so musical and mellow
That the brook, the Sebowisha,
Ceased to murmur in the woodland,
That the wood-birds ceased from singing,
And the squirrel, Adjidaumo,
Ceased his chatter in the oak-tree,
Ceased his chatter in the oak-tree,
And the rabbit, the Wabasso,
Sat upright to look and listen.

Yes, the brook, the Sebowisha,
Pausing, said, "O Chibiabos,
Teach my waves to flow in music,
Softly as your words in singing!"

Yes, the bluebird, the Owaissa,
Envious, said, "O Chibiabos,
Teach me tones as wild and wayward,
Teach me songs as full of frenzy!"

Yes, the robin, the Opechee,
Joyous, said, "O Chibiabos,
Teach me tunes as sweet and tender,
Teach me songs as full of gladness!"

And the whippoorwill, Wawonaissa,
Sobbing, said, "O Chibiabos,
Teach me tones as melancholy,
Teach me songs as full of sadness!"

All the many sounds of nature
Borrowed sweetness from his singing;
All the hearts of men were softened
By the pathos of his music;
For he sang of peace and freedom,
Sang of beauty, love, and longing;
Sang of death, and life undying
In the Islands of the Blessed,
In the kingdom of Pond,
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.

"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 forbidding 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 lighted,
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 their 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 Ahmeek, 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-by to Kwasind!
We shall never more see Kwasind!"
But he reappeared triumphant,
And upon his 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.


Discussion. 1. What two friends had Hiawatha "Singled out from all the
others"? 2. What were they "contriving"? 3. Read lines that tell of
Chibiabos. 4. With what is he compared? Read lines that tell. 5. From
what did he make his flutes? 6. Read lines that tell how musical they
were. 7. What did the brook say to Chibiabos? The bluebird? The robin?
8. Of what did Chibiabos sing? 9. Why did Hiawatha love him more than
all others? 10. For what did Hiawatha love Kwasind? 11. What did
Kwasind's mother say to him? His father? 12. What is meant by the
line, "Every bow you touch is broken"? 13. Read lines that tell of
Kwasind and the beaver. 14. Which of Hiawatha's two friends do you
like the better? Why? 15. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: reeds;
frenzy; listless; cowering; clamber; ponder; sported. 16. Pronounce:
pliant; wand; pathos; allied; asunder; quoit; triumphant.

Phrases for Study

singled out, strength allied to goodness, bound to him, bring the
hunting homeward, pliant as a wand, stirred their souls to passion,
forbidding further passage, poised it in the air, melted them to pity,
sheer into the river, fashioned flutes, shining shoulders, flow in
music, spake with naked hearts, Islands of the Blessed, pondering
much, magic of his singing, much contriving.


"Give me of your bark, O Birch-Tree!
Of your yellow bark, O Birch Tree!
Growing by the rushing river,
Tall and stately in the valley!
I a light canoe will build me,
Build a swift Cheemaun for sailing,
That shall float upon the river,
Like a yellow leaf in autumn,
Like a yellow water-lily!

"Lay aside your cloak, O Birch-Tree!
Lay aside your white-skin wrapper,
For the summer-time is coming,
And the sun is warm in heaven,
And you need no white-skin wrapper!"
Thus aloud cried Hiawatha.

And the tree with all its branches
Rustled in the breeze of morning,
Saying, with a sigh of patience,
"Take my cloak, O Hiawatha!"

With his knife the tree he girdled,
Just beneath its lowest branches;
Just above the roots he cut it,
Till the sap came oozing outward;
Down the trunk, from top to bottom,
Sheer he cleft the bark asunder;
With a wooden wedge he raised it,
Stripped it from the trunk unbroken.

"Give me of your boughs, O Cedar!
Of your strong and pliant branches,
My canoe to make more steady,
Make more strong and firm beneath me!"
Through the summit of the Cedar
Went a sound, a cry of horror,
Went a murmur of resistance;
But it whispered, bending downward,
"Take my boughs, O Hiawatha!"

Down he hewed the boughs of cedar,
Shaped them straightway to a framework;
Like two bows he formed and shaped them,
Like two bended bows together.

"Give me of your roots, O Tamarack!
Of your fibrous roots, O Larch-Tree!
My canoe to bind together,
So to bind the ends together
That the water may not enter,
That the river may not wet me!"

And the Larch, with all its fibers,
Shivered in the air of morning,
Touched his forehead with its tassels,
Said, with one long sigh of sorrow,
"Take them all, O Hiawatha!"

From the earth he tore the fibers,
Tore the tough roots of the Larch-Tree,
Closely sewed the bark together,
Bound it closely to the framework.

"Give me of your balm, O Fir-Tree!
Of your balsam and your resin,
So to close the seams together
That the water may not enter,
That the river may not wet me!"

And the Fir-Tree, tall and somber,
Sobbed through all its robes of darkness,
Rattled like a shore with pebbles,
Answered wailing, answered weeping,
"Take my balm, 0 Hiawatha!"

And he took the tears of balsam,
Took the resin of the Fir-Tree,
Smeared therewith each seam and fissure,
Made each crevice safe from water.

"Give me of your quills, O Hedgehog!
All your quills, O Kagh, the Hedgehog!
I will make a necklace of them,
Make a girdle for my beauty,
And two stars to deck her bosom!"

From a hollow tree the hedgehog,
With his sleepy eyes looked at him,
Shot his shining quills, like arrows
Saying, with a drowsy murmur,
Through the tangle of his whiskers,
"Take my quills, O Hiawatha!"

From the ground the quills he gathered,
All the little shining arrows;
Stained them red and blue and yellow,
With the juice of roots and berries;
Into his canoe he wrought them,
Round its waist a shining girdle,
Round its bows a gleaming necklace,
On its breast two stars resplendent.

Thus the Birch-Canoe was builded
In the valley, by the river,
In the bosom of the forest;
And the forest's life was in it--
All its mystery and its magic,
All the lightness of the birch-tree,
All the toughness of the cedar,
All the larch's supple sinews;
And it floated on the river
Like a yellow leaf in autumn,
Like a yellow water-lily.

Paddles none had Hiawatha;
Paddles none he had or needed,
For his thoughts as paddles served him,
And his wishes served to guide him;
Swift or slow at will he glided,
Veered to right or left at pleasure.

Then he called aloud to Kwasind,
To his friend, the strong man, Kwasind,
Saying, "Help me clear this river
Of its sunken logs and sandbars."

Straight into the river Kwasind
Plunged as if he were an otter,
Dived as if he were a beaver,
Stood up to his waist in water,
To his armpits in the river,
Swam and shouted in the river,
Tugged at sunken logs and branches;
With his hands he scooped the sandbars,
With his feet the ooze and tangle.

And thus sailed my Hiawatha
Down the rushing Taquamenaw,
Sailed through all its bends and windings,
Sailed through all its deeps and shallows,
While his friend, the strong man, Kwasind,
Swam the deeps, the shallows waded.

Up and down the river went they,
In and out among its islands,
Cleared its bed of root and sandbar,
Dragged the dead trees from its channel,
Made its passage safe and certain,
Made a pathway for the people,
From its springs among the mountains
To the waters of Pauwating,
To the bay of Taquamenaw.


Discussion. 1. Of what did Hiawatha make his canoe? 2. Why does
Hiawatha call the bark of the birch-tree a cloak? 3. What other name
does he give the bark of the birch-tree? 4. What word tells the sound
made by the leaves of the birch-tree? 5. What word tells that Hiawatha
cut all around the birch-tree? 6. Why did Hiawatha ask the cedar tree
for its boughs? 7. Read lines that tell why he asked the larch-tree
for its roots. S. What other name does he give the larch tree? 9. Why
does Hiawatha call the drops of balsam "tears"? 10. Can the hedgehog
really shoot his quills "like arrows"? 11. What is meant by "my
beauty"? 12. Read lines that tell how Hiawatha decorated his canoe.
13. What did he use for paddles for the canoe? 14. What did Kwasind do
to aid the canoeing? 15. Why is the fir-tree spoken of as "somber"?
16. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: stately; larch; channel. 17.
Pronounce: horror; hewed; tamarack; fibrous; forehead; balm; balsam;
resin; fissure; crevice; bosom; resplendent; supple; veered; swam.

Phrases for Study

white-skin wrapper, robes of darkness, oozing outward, deck her bosom,
cleft the bark asunder, shot his shining quills, summit of the Cedar,
wrought them, shaped them to a framework, forest's life was in it,
ooze and tangle, close the seams together.


"As unto the bow the cord is,
So unto the man is woman
Though she bends him, she obeys him,
Though she draws him, yet she follows--
Useless each without the other!"

Thus the youthful Hiawatha
Said within himself and pondered
Much perplexed by various feelings--
Listless, longing, hoping, fearing,
Dreaming still of Minnehaha,
Of the lovely Laughing Water,
In the Land of the Dacotahs.

"Wed a maiden of your people,"
Warning said the old Nokomis;
"Go not eastward, go not westward,
For a stranger, whom we know not!
Like a fire upon the hearthstone
Is a neighbor's homely daughter;
Like the starlight or the moonlight
Is the handsomest of strangers!"

Thus dissuading spake Nokomis,
And my Hiawatha answered
Only this: "Dear old Nokomis,
Very pleasant is the firelight,
But I like the starlight better,
Better do I like the moonlight!"

Gravely then said old Nokomis:
"Bring not here an idle maiden,
Bring not here a useless woman,
Hands unskillful, feet unwilling;
Bring a wife with nimble fingers,

Heart and hand that move together,
Feet that run on willing errands!"

Smiling answered Hiawatha:
"In the Land of the Dacotahs
Lives the Arrow-maker's daughter,
Minnehaha, Laughing Water,
Handsomest of all the women.
I will bring her to your wigwam;
She shall run upon your errands,
Be your starlight, moonlight, firelight,
Be the sunlight of my people!"

Still dissuading, said Nokomis:
"Bring not to my lodge a stranger
From the Land of the Dacotahs!
Very fierce are the Dacotahs.
Often is there war between us;
There are feuds yet unforgotten,
Wounds that ache and still may open!"

Laughing answered Hiawatha:
"For that reason, if no other,
Would I wed the fair Dacotah,
That our tribes might be united,
That old feuds might be forgotten,
And old wounds be healed forever!"

Thus departed Hiawatha
To the land of the Dacotahs,
To the land of handsome women,
Striding over moor and meadow,
Through interminable forests,
Through uninterrupted silence.

With his moccasins of magic,
At each stride a mile he measured;
Yet the way seemed long before him,
And his heart outran his footsteps;
And he journeyed without resting,
Till he heard the cataract's laughter,
Heard the Falls of Minnehaha
Calling to him through the silence.

"Pleasant is the sound!" he murmured,
"Pleasant is the voice that calls me!"
On the outskirts of the forest,
'Twixt the shadow and the sunshine,
Herds of fallow deer were feeding,
But they saw not Hiawatha;
To his bow he whispered, "Fail not!"
To his arrow whispered, "Swerve not!"
Sent it singing on its errand,
To the red heart of the roebuck;
Threw the deer across his shoulder
And sped forward without pausing.

At the doorway of his wigwam
Sat the ancient Arrow-maker,
In the land of the Dacotahs,
Making arrow-heads of jasper,
Arrow-heads of chalcedony.
At his side, in all her beauty,
Sat the lovely Minnehaha,
Sat his daughter, Laughing Water,
Plaiting mats of flags and rushes;
Of the past the old man's thoughts were,
And the maiden's of the future.

He was thinking, as he sat there,
Of the days when with such arrows
He had struck the deer and bison,
On the Muskoday, the meadow;
Shot the wild goose, flying southward,
On the wing, the clamorous Wawa;
Thinking of the great war-parties,
How they came to buy his arrows,
Could not fight without his arrows.

She was thinking of a hunter,
From another tribe and country,
Young and tall and very handsome,
Who one morning, in the springtime,
Came to buy her father's arrows,
Sat and rested in the wigwam,
Lingered long about the doorway,
Looking back as he departed.
She had heard her father praise him,
Praise his courage and his wisdom;
Would he come again for arrows
To the Falls of Minnehaha?
On the mat her hands lay idle,
And her eyes were very dreamy.

Through their thoughts they heard a footstep,
Heard a rustling in the branches,
And with glowing cheek and forehead,
With the deer upon his shoulders,
Suddenly from out the woodlands
Hiawatha stood before them.

Straight the ancient Arrow-maker
Looked up gravely from his labor,
Laid aside the unfinished arrow,
Bade him enter at the doorway,
Saying, as he rose to meet him,
"Hiawatha, you are welcome!"

At the feet of Laughing Water
Hiawatha laid his burden,
Threw the red deer from his shoulders;
And the maiden looked up at him,
Looked up from her mat of rushes,
Said with gentle look and accent,
"You are welcome, Hiawatha!"
Very spacious was the wigwam,
Made of deerskin dressed and whitened,
With the gods of the Dacotahs
Drawn and painted on its curtains;
And so tall the doorway, hardly
Hiawatha stooped to enter,
Hardly touched his eagle-feathers
As he entered at the doorway.

Then up rose the Laughing Water;
From the ground fair Minnehaha
Laid aside her mat unfinished,
Brought forth food and set before them,
Water brought them from the brooklet,
Gave them food in earthen vessels,
Gave them drink in bowls of basswood,
Listened while the guest was speaking,
Listened while her father answered.
But not once her lips she opened,
Not a single word she uttered.

Yes, as in a dream she listened
To the words of Hiawatha,
As he talked of old Nokomis,
Who had nursed him in his childhood,
As he told of his companions, Chibiabos,
the musician, And the very strong man,
Kwasind, And of happiness and plenty In
the land of the Ojibways,

In the pleasant land and peaceful.
"After many years of warfare,
Many years of strife and bloodshed,
There is peace between the Ojibways
And the tribe of the Dacotahs."
Thus continued Hiawatha,
And then added, speaking slowly,
"That this peace may last forever,
And our hands be clasped more closely,
And our hearts be more united,
Give me as my wife this maiden,
Minnehaha, Laughing Water,
Loveliest of Dacotah women!"

And the ancient Arrow-maker
Paused a moment ere he answered,
Smoked a little while in silence,
Looked at Hiawatha proudly,
Fondly looked at Laughing Water,
And made answer very gravely:
"Yes, if Minnehaha wishes;
Let your heart speak, Minnehaha!"

And the lovely Laughing Water
Seemed more lovely, as she stood there,
Neither willing nor reluctant,
As she went to Hiawatha,
Softly took the seat beside him,
While she said, and blushed to say it,
"I will follow you, my husband!"

This was Hiawatha's wooing!
Thus it was he won the daughter
Of the ancient Arrow-maker,
In the land of the Dacotahs!

From the wigwam he departed,
Leading with him Laughing Water;
Hand in hand they went together,
Through the woodland and the meadow,
Left the old man standing lonely
At the doorway of his wigwam,
Heard the Falls of Minnehaha
Calling to them from the distance,
Crying to them from afar off,
"Fare thee well, O Minnehaha!"
And the ancient Arrow-maker
Turned again unto his labor,
Sat down by his sunny doorway,
Murmuring to himself, and saying:
"Thus it is our daughters leave us,
Those we love, and those who love us!
Just when they have learned to help us,
When we are old and lean upon them,
Comes a youth with flaunting feathers,
With his flute of reeds, a stranger,
Wanders piping through the village,
Beckons to the fairest maiden,
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 bluebird, 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.


Discussion. 1. Why did Nokomis wish Hiawatha to wed a maiden of his
own people? 2. Whom did Hiawatha say he would wed? 3. Find the Falls
of Minnehaha on your map. 4. Read lines that tell of Hiawatha's
journey "To the land of the Dacotahs." 5. Of what was the Arrow-maker
thinking when Hiawatha appeared? 6. Read lines that tell of what the
maiden was thinking. 7. Read the words of Hiawatha when he asked the
father for his daughter. 8. In what words did the Arrow-maker give his
consent? 9. What was Minnehaha's answer? 10. Read lines that tell of
the journey homeward. 11. Why did Hiawatha "check" his pace on this
journey? 12. What greeting did the bluebird give them? 13. What was
the greeting of the robin? The sun? The moon? 14. Read the lines that
you like best. 15. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: cord; nimble;
moor; fallow; swerve; jasper; flags; rushes; basswood; flaunting. 16.
Pronounce: dissuading; feuds; wounds; chalcedony; plaiting; bade;
spacious; benignant; mystic; imperious.

Phrases for Study

feet unwilling, neither willing nor reluctant, yet unforgotten,
interminable forests, wanders piping through the village, moccasins of
magic, heart outran his footsteps, heart's-ease, cataract's laughter,
sun benignant, deerskin dressed and whitened, hate is shadow, mystic


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!
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 tread, beneath 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,
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 the 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 woeful,
Like the cloud-rack of a tempest,
Like the withered leaves of autumn!"


Discussion. 1. Read lines that tell Iagoo's story of adventures. 2.
Where do you think he had seen these things? 3. What was the "bitter"
water Iagoo told about? 4. What were the "lightning" and the "thunder"
that came from the "canoe with pinions"? 5. Why was his story laughed
at as false by the Indians? 6. How did Hiawatha know it was all true?
7. How did Hiawatha say they should receive the White Man when he
came? 8. What secrets came to Hiawatha in the vision? 9. What "darker
vision" did he see? 10. Has Hiawatha's vision come true? 11. What do
you think of Hiawatha's character? 12. Which of all the stories in
this poem do you like best? 13. Give the reason for your answer. 14.
You no doubt enjoyed reading this poem; can you tell why? 15. Read "A
Forward Look," and tell why you think Longfellow was a real author.
16. You will enjoy reading Eastman's Indian Legends Retold. 17. Find
in the Glossary the meaning of: tittered; hither; counsels. 18.
Pronounce: pinions; derision; vision; regions; vague; warring.

Phrases for Study

regions of the morning, distant days that shall be, shining land of
Wabun, unknown, crowded nations, canoe with pinions, feeling but one
heart-beat, painted white, sweeping westward, heart's right hand of
friendship, cloud-rack of a tempest.


Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), a native of Salem, Massachusetts, had
the distinction of being born on the Fourth of July. He was graduated
from Bowdoin College in the class with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

When a mere boy, Nathaniel was crippled by an accident in playing
ball. This led him to a life of quiet and to the companionship of
books. His vivid imagination made him fond of inventing stories for
the entertainment of his friends. When he began to think of a career
it was quite natural that he should turn to literature, and that in
looking about him for material he should-choose his subjects-as Irving
did-from those stirring scenes of which he had an intimate, almost
personal, knowledge many of them of his native town, Salem.

Hawthorne pictured New England as Irving did New Amsterdam. He
popularized New England history in the form of stories for children,
one of which, Grandfather's Chair, contains "The Boston Tea Party." He
wrote a book, The House of the Seven Gables, about the house in which
he lived for many years. Soon after he wrote this tale, he wrote The
Wonder-Book, a volume of stories about Greek gods and heroes, from
which "The Paradise of Children" and "The Golden Touch" are taken.
Perhaps the best known of all Hawthorne's works is the volume called
Twice-Told Tales. In this book he collected a large number of legends
about colonial life in New England and retold them in such a way as to
give us one of the best pictures of early American life that we have.
Some of them deal with actual events; others are based on legendary
matter. But all of them do for early New England life what
Longfellow's Hiawatha does for the Indian legends: they preserve the
stories and also the spirit of early times. Like Longfellow, Hawthorne
was a lover of romance and of the early history of our country. He w
wrote in prose, not verse, but is prose is as careful and artistic as
Longfellow's verse.



Long, long ago, when this old world was in its tender infancy, there
was a child named Epimetheus who never had either father or mother;
and that he might not be lonely, another child, fatherless and
motherless like himself, was sent from a far country to live with him
and be his playfellow and helpmate. Her name was Pandora.

The first thing that Pandora saw when she entered the cottage where
Epimetheus dwelt was a great box. And almost the first question which
she put to him, after crossing the threshold, was this:

"Epimetheus, what have you in that box?"

"My dear little Pandora," answered Epimetheus, "that is a secret, and

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