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The Song Of Hiawatha by Henry W. Longfellow

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Hiawatha's Departure

By the shore of Gitche Gumee,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
At the doorway of his wigwam,
In the pleasant Summer morning,
Hiawatha stood and waited.
All the air was full of freshness,
All the earth was bright and joyous,
And before him, through the sunshine,
Westward toward the neighboring forest
Passed in golden swarms the Ahmo,
Passed the bees, the honey-makers,
Burning, singing In the sunshine.

Bright above him shone the heavens,
Level spread the lake before him;
From its bosom leaped the sturgeon,
Sparkling, flashing in the sunshine;
On its margin the great forest
Stood reflected in the water,
Every tree-top had its shadow,
Motionless beneath the water.

From the brow of Hiawatha
Gone was every trace of sorrow,
As the fog from off the water,
As the mist from off the meadow.
With a smile of joy and triumph,
With a look of exultation,
As of one who in a vision
Sees what is to be, but is not,
Stood and waited Hiawatha.

Toward the sun his hands were lifted,
Both the palms spread out against it,
And between the parted fingers
Fell the sunshine on his features,
Flecked with light his naked shoulders,
As it falls and flecks an oak-tree
Through the rifted leaves and branches.

O'er the water floating, flying,
Something in the hazy distance,
Something in the mists of morning,
Loomed and lifted from the water,
Now seemed floating, now seemed flying,
Coming nearer, nearer, nearer.

Was it Shingebis the diver?
Or the pelican, the Shada?
Or the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah?
Or the white goose, Waw-be-wawa,
With the water dripping, flashing,
From its glossy neck and feathers?

It was neither goose nor diver,
Neither pelican nor heron,
O'er the water floating, flying,
Through the shining mist of morning,
But a birch canoe with paddles,
Rising, sinking on the water,
Dripping, flashing in the sunshine;
And within it came a people
From the distant land of Wabun,
From the farthest realms of morning
Came the Black-Robe chief, the Prophet,
He the Priest of Prayer, the Pale-face,
With his guides and his companions.

And the noble Hiawatha,
With his hands aloft extended,
Held aloft in sign of welcome,
Waited, full of exultation,
Till the birch canoe with paddles
Grated on the shining pebbles,
Stranded on the sandy margin,
Till the Black-Robe chief, the Pale-face,
With the cross upon his bosom,
Landed on the sandy margin.

Then the joyous Hiawatha
Cried aloud and spake in this wise:
"Beautiful is the sun, O strangers,
When you come so far to see us!
All our town in peace awaits you,
All our doors stand open for you;
You shall enter all our wigwams,
For the heart's right hand we give you.

"Never bloomed the earth so gayly,
Never shone the sun so brightly,
As to-day they shine and blossom
When you come so far to see us!
Never was our lake so tranquil,
Nor so free from rocks, and sand-bars;
For your birch canoe in passing
Has removed both rock and sand-bar.

"Never before had our tobacco
Such a sweet and pleasant flavor,
Never the broad leaves of our cornfields
Were so beautiful to look on,
As they seem to us this morning,
When you come so far to see us!"

And the Black-Robe chief made answer,
Stammered In his speech a little,
Speaking words yet unfamiliar:
"Peace be with you, Hiawatha,
Peace be with you and your people,
Peace of prayer, and peace of pardon,
Peace of Christ, and joy of Mary!"

Then the generous Hiawatha
Led the strangers to his wigwam,
Seated them on skins of bison,
Seated them on skins of ermine,
And the careful old Nokomis
Brought them food in bowls of basswood,
Water brought in birchen dippers,
And the calumet, the peace-pipe,
Filled and lighted for their smoking.

All the old men of the village,
All the warriors of the nation,
All the Jossakeeds, the Prophets,
The magicians, the Wabenos,
And the Medicine-men, the Medas,
Came to bid the strangers welcome;
"It is well", they said, "O brothers,
That you come so far to see us!"

In a circle round the doorway,
With their pipes they sat In silence,
Waiting to behold the strangers,
Waiting to receive their message;
Till the Black-Robe chief, the Pale-face,
From the wigwam came to greet them,
Stammering in his speech a little,
Speaking words yet unfamiliar;
"It Is well," they said, "O brother,
That you come so far to see us!"

Then the Black-Robe chief, the Prophet,
Told his message to the people,
Told the purport of his mission,
Told them of the Virgin Mary,
And her blessed Son, the Saviour,
How in distant lands and ages
He had lived on earth as we do;
How he fasted, prayed, and labored;
How the Jews, the tribe accursed,
Mocked him, scourged him, crucified him;
How he rose from where they laid him,
Walked again with his disciples,
And ascended into heaven.

And the chiefs made answer, saying:
"We have listened to your message,
We have heard your words of wisdom,
We will think on what you tell us.
It is well for us, O brothers,
That you come so far to see us!"

Then they rose up and departed
Each one homeward to his wigwam,
To the young men and the women
Told the story of the strangers
Whom the Master of Life had sent them
From the shining land of Wabun.

Heavy with the heat and silence
Grew the afternoon of Summer;
With a drowsy sound the forest
Whispered round the sultry wigwam,
With a sound of sleep the water
Rippled on the beach below it;
From the cornfields shrill and ceaseless
Sang the grasshopper, Pah-puk-keena;
And the guests of Hiawatha,
Weary with the heat of Summer,
Slumbered in the sultry wigwam.

Slowly o'er the simmering landscape
Fell the evening's dusk and coolness,
And the long and level sunbeams
Shot their spears into the forest,
Breaking through its shields of shadow,
Rushed into each secret ambush,
Searched each thicket, dingle, hollow;
Still the guests of Hiawatha
Slumbered In the silent wigwam.

From his place rose Hiawatha,
Bade farewell to old Nokomis,
Spake in whispers, spake in this wise,
Did not wake the guests, that slumbered.

"I am going, O Nokomis,
On a long and distant journey,
To the portals of the Sunset.
To the regions of the home-wind,
Of the Northwest-Wind, Keewaydin.
But these guests I leave behind me,
In your watch and ward I leave them;
See that never harm comes near them,
See that never fear molests them,
Never danger nor suspicion,
Never want of food or shelter,
In the lodge of Hiawatha!"

Forth into the village went he,
Bade farewell to all the warriors,
Bade farewell to all the young men,
Spake persuading, spake in this wise:

"I am going, O my people,
On a long and distant journey;
Many moons and many winters
Will have come, and will have vanished,
Ere I come again to see you.
But my guests I leave behind me;
Listen to their words of wisdom,
Listen to the truth they tell you,
For the Master of Life has sent them
From the land of light and morning!"

On the shore stood Hiawatha,
Turned and waved his hand at parting;
On the clear and luminous water
Launched his birch canoe for sailing,
From the pebbles of the margin
Shoved it forth into the water;
Whispered to it, "Westward! westward!"
And with speed it darted forward.

And the evening sun descending
Set the clouds on fire with redness,
Burned the broad sky, like a prairie,
Left upon the level water
One long track and trail of splendor,
Down whose stream, as down a river,
Westward, westward Hiawatha
Sailed into the fiery sunset,
Sailed into the purple vapors,
Sailed into the dusk of evening:

And the people from the margin
Watched him floating, rising, sinking,
Till the birch canoe seemed lifted
High into that sea of splendor,
Till it sank into the vapors
Like the new moon slowly, slowly
Sinking in the purple distance.

And they said, "Farewell forever!"
Said, "Farewell, O Hiawatha!"
And the forests, dark and lonely,
Moved through all their depths of darkness,
Sighed, "Farewell, O Hiawatha!"
And the waves upon the margin
Rising, rippling on the pebbles,
Sobbed, "Farewell, O Hiawatha!"
And the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah,
From her haunts among the fen-lands,
Screamed, "Farewell, O Hiawatha!"

Thus departed Hiawatha,
Hiawatha the Beloved,
In the glory of the sunset,
In the purple mists of evening,
To the regions of the home-wind,
Of the Northwest-Wind, Keewaydin,
To the Islands of the Blessed,
To the Kingdom of Ponemah,
To the Land of the Hereafter!


Adjidau'mo, the red squirrel
Ahdeek', the reindeer
Ahmeek', the beaver
Annemee'kee, the thunder
Apuk'wa. a bulrush
Baim-wa'wa, the sound of the thunder
Bemah'gut, the grape-vine
Chemaun', a birch canoe
Chetowaik', the plover
Chibia'bos, a musician; friend of Hiawatha;
ruler of the Land of Spirits
Dahin'da, the bull frog
Dush-kwo-ne'-she or Kwo-ne'-she,
the dragon fly
Esa, shame upon you
Ewa-yea', lullaby
Gitche Gu'mee, The Big-Sea-Water,
Lake Superior
Gitche Man'ito, the Great Spirit,
the Master of Life
Gushkewau', the darkness
Hiawa'tha, the Prophet. the Teacher,
son of Mudjekeewis, the West-Wind and Wenonah,
daughter of Nokomis
Ia'goo, a great boaster and story-teller
Inin'ewug, men, or pawns in the Game of the Bowl
Ishkoodah', fire, a comet
Jee'bi, a ghost, a spirit
Joss'akeed, a prophet
Kabibonok'ka, the North-Wind
Ka'go, do not
Kahgahgee', the raven
Kaw, no
Kaween', no indeed
Kayoshk', the sea-gull
Kee'go, a fish
Keeway'din, the Northwest wind, the Home-wind
Kena'beek, a serpent
Keneu', the great war-eagle
Keno'zha, the pickerel
Ko'ko-ko'ho, the owl
Kuntasoo', the Game of Plumstones
Kwa'sind, the Strong Man
Kwo-ne'-she, or Dush-kwo-ne'-she, the dragon-fly
Mahnahbe'zee, the swan
Mahng, the loon
Mahnomo'nee, wild rice
Ma'ma, the woodpecker
Me'da, a medicine-man
Meenah'ga, the blueberry
Megissog'won, the great Pearl-Feather,
a magician, and the Manito of Wealth
Meshinau'wa, a pipe-bearer
Minjekah'wun, Hiawatha's mittens
Minneha'ha, Laughing Water; wife of Hiawatha;
a water-fall in a stream running into the
Mississippi between Fort Snelling and the
Falls of St. Anthony
Minne-wa'wa, a pleasant sound, as of the wind
in the trees
Mishe-Mo'kwa, the Great Bear
Mishe-Nah'ma, the Great Sturgeon
Miskodeed', the Spring-Beauty, the Claytonia Virginica
Monda'min, Indian corn
Moon of Bright Nights, April
Moon of Leaves, May
Moon of Strawberries, June
Moon of the Falling Leaves, September
Moon of Snow-shoes, November
Mudjekee'wis, the West-Wind; father of Hiawatha
Mudway-aush'ka, sound of waves on a shore
Mushkoda'sa, the grouse
Nah'ma, the sturgeon
Nah'ma-wusk, spearmint
Na'gow Wudj'oo, the Sand Dunes of Lake Superior
Nee-ba-naw'-baigs, water-spirits
Nenemoo'sha, sweetheart
Nepah'win, sleep
Noko'mis, a grandmother, mother of Wenonah
No'sa, my father
Nush'ka, look! look!
Odah'min, the strawberry
Okahha'wis, the fresh-water herring
Ome'mee, the pigeon
Ona'gon, a bowl
Opechee', the robin
Osse'o, Son of the Evening Star
Owais'sa, the blue-bird
Oweenee', wife of Osseo
Ozawa'beek, a round piece of brass or copper
in the Game of the Bowl
Pah-puk-kee'na, the grasshopper
Pau'guk, death
Pau-Puk-Kee'wis, the handsome Yenadizze,
the son of Storm Fool
Pe'boan, Winter
Pem'ican, meat of the deer or buffalo
dried and pounded
Pezhekee', the bison
Pishnekuh', the brant
Pone'mah, hereafter
Puggawau'gun, a war-club
Puk-Wudj'ies, little wild men of the
woods; pygmies
Sah-sah-je'wun, rapids
Segwun', Spring
Sha'da, the pelican
Shahbo'min, the gooseberry
Shah-shah, long ago
Shaugoda'ya, a coward
Shawgashee', the craw-fish
Shawonda'see, the South-Wind
Shaw-shaw, the swallow
Shesh'ebwug, ducks; pieces in the Game
of the Bowl
Shin'gebis, the diver, or grebe
Showain'neme'shin, pity me
Shuh-shuh-gah', the blue heron
Soan-ge-ta'ha, strong-hearted
Subbeka'she, the spider
Sugge'me, the mosquito
To'tem, family coat-of-arms
Ugh, yes
Ugudwash', the sun-fish
Unktahee', the God of Water
Wabas'so, the rabbit, the North
Wabe'no, a magician, a juggler
Wabe'no-wusk, yarrow
Wa'bun, the East-Wind
Wa'bun An'nung, the Star of the East,
the Morning Star
Wahono'win, a cry of lamentation
Wah-wah-tay'see, the fire-fly
Waubewy'on, a white skin wrapper
Wa'wa, the wild goose
Waw-be-wa'wa, the white goose
Wawonais'sa, the whippoorwill
Way-muk-kwa'na, the caterpillar
Weno'nah, the eldest daughter; Hiawatha's mother,
daughter of Nokomis
Yenadiz'ze, an idler and gambler; an
Indian dandy

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