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You shall have a handsome husband!"
Till the cornfields rang with laughter, Till from Hiawatha's wigwam Kahgahgee, the King of Ravens, Screamed and quivered in his anger, And from all the neighboring tree-tops Cawed and croaked the black marauders. "Ugh!" the old men all responded, From their seats beneath the pine-trees!
IN those days said Hiawatha,
"Lo! how all things fade and perish!
"Great men die and are forgotten,
"On the grave-posts of our fathers
Face to face we speak together,
Thus said Hiawatha, walking
From his pouch he took his colors,
Mitche Manito the Mighty, He the dreadful Spirit of Evil,
As a serpent was depicted,
Life and Death he drew as circles,
For the earth he drew a straight line,
Footprints pointing towards a wigwam
All these things did Hiawatha
And the Jossakeeds, the Prophets,
The Great Spirit, the Creator,
Such as these the shapes, they painted On the birch-bark and the deer-skin; Songs of war and songs of hunting, Songs of medicine and of magic, All were written in these figures, For each figure had its meaning, Each its separate song recorded.
Nor forgotten was the Love-Song, The most subtle of all medicine, The most potent spell of magic, Dangerous more than war or hunting! Thus the Love-Song was recorded,
Symbol and interpretatation.
First a human figure standing
Then the figure seated, singing, Playing on a drum of magic, And the interpretation, Listen! "T is my voice you hear, my singing!" Then the same red figure seated In the shelter of a wigwam, And the meaning of the symbol, "I will come and sit beside you In the mystery of my passion!"
Then two figures, man and woman, Standing hand in hand together With their hands so clasped together That they seem in one united, And the words thus represented Are, "I see your heart within you, And your cheeks are red with blushes!" Next the maiden on an island, In the centre of an island;
And the song this shape suggested
Sleeping, and the lover near her,
Right across the Big-Sea-Water Sprang with speed the deer before him. With the wind and snow he followed, O'er the treacherous ice he followed, Wild with all the fierce commotion And the rapture of the hunting.
But beneath, the Evil Spirits Lay in ambush, waiting for him, Broke the treacherous ice beneath him, Dragged him downward to the bottom, Buried in the sand his body. Unktahee, the god of water, He the god of the Dacotahs, Drowned him in the deep abysses Of the lake of Gitche Gumee.
From the headlands Hiawatha Sent forth such a wail of anguish, Such a fearful lamentation, That the bison paused to listen, And the wolves howled from the prairies, And the thunder in the distance Starting answered, “Baim-wawa!"
Then his face with black he painted,
"He is dead, the sweet musician!
And the melancholy fir-trees Waved their dark green fans above him, Waved their purple cones above him, Sighing with him to console him, Mingling with his lamentation Their complaining, their lamenting.
Came the Spring, and all the forest Looked in vain for Chibiabos; Sighed the rivulet, Sebowisha, Sighed the rushes in the meadow. From the tree-tops sang the bluebird, Sang the bluebird, the Owaissa, "Chibiabos! Chibiabos! He is dead, the sweet musician!"
From the wigwam sang the robin, Sang the robin, the Opechee, "Chibiabos! Chibiabos! He is dead, the sweetest singer!" And at night through all the forest Went the whippoorwill complaining, Wailing went the Wawonaissa, "Chibiabos! Chibiabos ! He is dead, the sweet musician! He the sweetest of all singers!) Then the medicine-men, the Medas,
The magicians, the Wabenos,
Called no more on Chibiabos;
There a magic drink they gave him,
"Hi-au-ha!" replied the chorus, Way-ha-way!" the mystic chorus.
"Friends of mine are all the serpents! Hear me shake my skin of hen-hawk! Mahng, the white loon, I can kill him; can shoot your heart and kill it! I can blow you strong, my brother, I can heal you, Hiawatha!"
"Hi-au-ha!" replied the chorus, "Way-ha-way!" the mystic chorus.
"I myself, myself! the prophet!
Then they shook their medicine-pouches O'er the head of Hiawatha. Danced their medicine-dance around him; And upstarting wild and haggard, Like a man from dreams awakened, He was healed of all his madness. As the clouds are swept from heaven, Straightway from his brain departed All his moody melancholy; As the ice is swept from rivers, Straightway from his heart departed All his sorrow and affliction.
Then they summoned Chibiabos From his grave beneath the waters, From the sands of Gitche Gumee Summoned Hiawatha's brother. And so mighty was the magic Of that cry and invocation, That he heard it as he lay there Underneath the Big-Sea-Water; From the sand he rose and listened, Heard the music and the singing, Came, obedient to the summons, To the doorway of the wigwam, But to enter they forbade him. Through a chink a coal they gave him,
Through the door a burning fire-brand;
Ruler o'er the dead, they made him,
From the village of his childhood,
Where he passed, the branches moved not,
Four whole days he journeyed onward Down the pathway of the dead men; On the dead-man's strawberry feasted, Crossed the melancholy river, On the swinging log he crossed it, Came unto the Lake of Silver, In the Stone Canoe was carried To the Islands of the Blessed, To the land of ghosts and shadows.
On that journey, moving slowly, Many weary spirits saw he, Panting under heavy burdens, Laden with war-clubs, bows and arrows, Robes of fur, and pots and kettles, And with food that friends had given For that solitary journey.
"Ay! why do the living," said they "Lay such heavy burdens on us! Better were it to go naked, Better were it to go fasting, Than to bear such heavy burdens On our long and weary journey!"
Forth then issued Hiawatha, Wandered eastward, wandered westward, Teaching men the use of simples And the antidotes for poisons, And the cure of all diseases.
Thus was first made known to mortals All the mystery of Medamin,
All the sacred art of healing.
You shall hear how Pau-Puk-Keewis
Whom the people called the Storm Fool,
On the shores of Gitche Gamee, On the dunes of Nagow Wudjoo, By the shining Big-Sea-Water Stood the lodge of Pau-Puk-Keewis. It was he who in his frenzy Whirled these drifting sands together, On the dunes of Nagow Wudjoo, When, among the guests assembled, He so merrily and madly Danced at Hiawatha's wedding, Danced the Beggar's Dance to please them. Now, in search of new adventures, From his lodge went Pau-Puk-Keewis, Came with speed into the village, Found the young men all assembled In the lodge of old Iagoo, Listening to his monstrous stories, To his wonderful adventures.
He was telling them the story,
Of Ojeeg, the Summer-Maker,
"Once he leaped," said old Iagoo, "Once he leaped, and lo! above him Bent the sky, as ice in rivers When the waters rise beneath it; Twice he leaped, and lo! above him Cracked the sky, as ice in rivers When the freshet is at highest! Thrice he leap ed, and lo! above him Broke the shattered sky asunder, And he disappeared within it, And Ojeeg, the Fisher Weasel, With a bound went in behind him!"
"Hark you!" shouted Pau-Puk-Keewis
As he entered at the doorway;
Then from out his pouch of wolf-skin Forth he drew, with solemn manner, All the game of Bowl and Counters, Pugasaing, with thirteen pieces. White on one side were they painted, And vermilion on the other; Two Kenabecks or great serpents, Two Ininewug or wedge-men, One great war-club, Pugamaugun, And one slender fish, the Keego, Four round pieces, Ozawabeeks, And three Sheshebwug or ducklings. All were made of bone and painted, All except the Ozawabeeks; These were brass, on one side burnished, And were black upon the other.
In a wooden bowl he placed them, Shook and jostled them together, Threw them on the ground before him. Thus exclaiming and explaining: "Red side up are all the pieces, And one great Kenabeek standing On the bright side of a brass piece, On a burnished Ozawabeek; Thirteen tens and eight are counted."
Then again he shook the pieces, Shook and jostled them together, Threw them on the ground before him, Still exclaiming and explaining: "White are both the great Kenabeeks, White the Ininewug, the wedge-men, Red are all the other pieces; Five tens and an eight are counted."
Thus he taught the game of hazard, Thus displayed it and explained it, Running through its various chances, Various changes, various meanings: Twenty curious eyes stared at him. Full of eagerness stared at him.
Many games," said old Iagoo, "Many games of skill and hazard Have I seen in different nations, Have I played in different countries. He who plays with old Iagoo Must have very nimble fingers; Though you think yourself so skilful
I can beat you, Pau-Puk-Keewis,
In your game of Bowl and Counters!"
Said the lucky Pau-Puk-Keewis :
All against the young man yonder!"
Red were both the great Kenabeeks,
Then the smiling Pau-Puk-Keewis
"Carry them," said Pau-Puk-Keewis, Pointing with his fan of feathers, "To my wigwam far to eastward, On the dunes of Nagow Wudjoo!"
Hot and red with smoke and gambling Were the eyes of Pau-Puk-Keewis As he came forth to the freshness Of the pleasant Summer morning. All the birds were singing gayly, All the streamlets flowing swiftly, And the heart of Pau-Puk-Keewis Sang with pleasure as the birds sing, Beat with triumph like the streamlets,
As he wandered through the village,
Silent was it and deserted;
By the neck he seized the raven,
With a stealthy step he entered, Round the lodge in wild disorder Threw the household things about him, Piled together in confusion Bowls of wood and earthen kettles, Robes of buffalo and beaver, Skins of otter, lynx, and ermine, As an insult to Nokomis, As a taunt to Minnehaha.
Then departed Pau-Puk-Keewis, Whistling, singing through the forest, Whistling gayly to the squirrels, Who from hollow boughs above him Dropped their acorn-shells upon him, Singing gayly to the wood birds, Who from out the leafy darkness Answered with a song as merry.
Then he climbed the rocky headlands, Looking o'er the Gitche Gumee, Perched himself upon their summit, Waiting full of mirth and mischief The return of Hiawatha.
Stretched upon his back he lay there; Far below him plashed the waters, Plashed and washed the dreamy waters; Far above him swam the heavens, Swam the dizzy, dreamy heavens; Round him hovered, fluttered, rustled, Hiawatha's mountain chickens, Flock-wise swept and wheeled about him, Almost brushed him with their pinions.
And he killed them as he lay there, Slaughtered them by tens and twenties, Threw their bodies down the headland, Threw them on the beach below him, Till at length Kayoshk, the sea-gull," Perched upon a crag above them, Shouted: It is Pau-Puk-Keewis! He is slaying us by hundreds ! Send a message to our brother, Tidings send to Hiawatha!"
THE HUNTING OF PAU-PUK-KEEWIS.
FULL of wrath was Hiawatha When he came into the village, Found the people in confusion,