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Sing O Song of Hiawatha Of the happy days t

Sing O Song of Hiawatha
Of the happy days that followed
In the land of the Ojibways
In the pleasant land and peaceful!
Sing the mysteries of Mondamin
Sing the Blessing of the Cornfields!
Buried was the bloody hatchet
Buried was the dreadful war club
Buried were all warlike weapons
And the war cry was forgotten.
There was peace among the nations
Unmolested roved the hunters
Built the birch canoe for sailing
Caught the fish in lake and river
Shot the deer and trapped the beaver
Unmolested worked the women
Made their sugar from the maple
Gathered wild rice in the meadows
Dressed the skins of deer and beaver.
All around the happy village
Stood the maize fields green and shining
Waved the green plumes of Mondamin
Waved his soft and sunny tresses
Filling all the land with plenty.
`T was the women who in Spring time
Planted the broad fields and fruitful
Buried in the earth Mondamin
`T was the women who in Autumn
Stripped the yellow husks of harvest
Stripped the garments from Mondamin
Even as Hiawatha taught them.
Once when all the maize was planted
Hiawatha wise and thoughtful
Spake and said to Minnehaha
To his wife the Laughing Water
"You shall bless to night the cornfields
Draw a magic circle round them
To protect them from destruction
Blast of mildew blight of insect
Wagemin the thief of cornfields
Paimosaid who steals the maize ear
"In the night when all Is silence '
In the night when all Is darkness
When the Spirit of Sleep Nepahwin
Shuts the doors of all the wigwams
So that not an ear can hear you
So that not an eye can see you
Rise up from your bed in silence
Lay aside your garments wholly
Walk around the fields you planted
Round the borders of the cornfields
Covered by your tresses only
Robed with darkness as a garment.
"Thus the fields shall be more fruitful
And the passing of your footsteps
Draw a magic circle round them
So that neither blight nor mildew
Neither burrowing worm nor insect
Shall pass o'er the magic circle
Not the dragon fly Kwo ne she
Nor the spider Subbekashe
Nor the grasshopper Pah puk keena
Nor the mighty caterpillar
Way muk kwana with the bear skin
King of all the caterpillars!"
On the tree tops near the cornfields
Sat the hungry crows and ravens
Kahgahgee the King of Ravens
With his band of black marauders.
And they laughed at Hiawatha
Till the tree tops shook with laughter
With their melancholy laughter
At the words of Hiawatha.
"Hear him!" said they "hear the Wise Man
Hear the plots of Hiawatha!"
When the noiseless night descended
Broad and dark o'er field and forest
When the mournful Wawonaissa
Sorrowing sang among the hemlocks
And the Spirit of Sleep Nepahwin
Shut the doors of all the wigwams
From her bed rose Laughing Water
Laid aside her garments wholly
And with darkness clothed and guarded
Unashamed and unaffrighted
Walked securely round the cornfields
Drew the sacred magic circle
Of her footprints round the cornfields.
No one but the Midnight only
Saw her beauty in the darkness
No one but the Wawonaissa
Heard the panting of her bosom
Guskewau the darkness wrapped her
Closely in his sacred mantle
So that none might see her beauty
So that none might boast "I saw her!"
On the morrow as the day dawned
Kahgahgee the King of Ravens
Gathered all his black marauders
Crows and blackbirds jays and ravens
Clamorous on the dusky tree tops
And descended fast and fearless
On the fields of Hiawatha
On the grave of the Mondamin.
"We will drag Mondamin " said they
"From the grave where he is buried
Spite of all the magic circles
Laughing Water draws around it
Spite of all the sacred footprints
Minnehaha stamps upon it!"
But the wary Hiawatha
Ever thoughtful careful watchful
Had o'erheard the scornful laughter
When they mocked him from the tree tops.
"Kaw!" he said "my friends the ravens!
Kahgahgee my King of Ravens!
I will teach you all a lesson
That shall not be soon forgotten!"
He had risen before the daybreak
He had spread o'er all the cornfields
Snares to catch the black marauders
And was lying now in ambush
In the neighboring grove of pine trees
Waiting for the crows and blackbirds
Waiting for the jays and ravens.
Soon they came with caw and clamor
Rush of wings and cry of voices
To their work of devastation
Settling down upon the cornfields
Delving deep with beak and talon
For the body of Mondamin.
And with all their craft and cunning
All their skill in wiles of warfare
They perceived no danger near them
Till their claws became entangled
Till they found themselves imprisoned
In the snares of Hiawatha.
From his place of ambush came he
Striding terrible among them
And so awful was his aspect
That the bravest quailed with terror.
Without mercy he destroyed them
Right and left by tens and twenties
And their wretched lifeless bodies
Hung aloft on poles for scarecrows
Round the consecrated cornfields
As a signal of his vengeance
As a warning to marauders.
Only Kahgahgee the leader
Kahgahgee the King of Ravens
He alone was spared among them
As a hostage for his people.
With his prisoner string he bound him
Led him captive to his wigwam
Tied him fast with cords of elm bark
To the ridge pole of his wigwam.
"Kahgahgee my raven!" said he
"You the leader of the robbers
You the plotter of this mischief
The contriver of this outrage
I will keep you I will hold you
As a hostage for your people
As a pledge of good behavior!"
And he left him grim and sulky
Sitting in the morning sunshine
On the summit of the wigwam
Croaking fiercely his displeasure
Flapping his great sable pinions
Vainly struggling for his freedom
Vainly calling on his people!
Summer passed and Shawondasee
Breathed his sighs o'er all the landscape
From the South land sent his ardor
Wafted kisses warm and tender
And the maize field grew and ripened
Till it stood in all the splendor
Of its garments green and yellow
Of its tassels and its plumage
And the maize ears full and shining
Gleamed from bursting sheaths of verdure.
Then Nokomis the old woman
Spake and said to Minnehaha
`T is the Moon when leaves are falling
All the wild rice has been gathered
And the maize is ripe and ready
Let us gather in the harvest
Let us wrestle with Mondamin
Strip him of his plumes and tassels
Of his garments green and yellow!"
And the merry Laughing Water
Went rejoicing from the wigwam
With Nokomis old and wrinkled
And they called the women round them
Called the young men and the maidens
To the harvest of the cornfields
To the husking of the maize ear.
On the border of the forest
Underneath the fragrant pine trees
Sat the old men and the warriors
Smoking in the pleasant shadow.
In uninterrupted silence
Looked they at the gamesome labor
Of the young men and the women
Listened to their noisy talking
To their laughter and their singing
Heard them chattering like the magpies
Heard them laughing like the blue jays
Heard them singing like the robins.
And whene'er some lucky maiden
Found a red ear in the husking
Found a maize ear red as blood is
"Nushka!" cried they all together
"Nushka! you shall have a sweetheart
You shall have a handsome husband!"
"Ugh!" the old men all responded
From their seats beneath the pine trees.
And whene'er a youth or maiden
Found a crooked ear in husking
Found a maize ear in the husking
Blighted mildewed or misshapen
Then they laughed and sang together
Crept and limped about the cornfields
Mimicked in their gait and gestures
Some old man bent almost double
Singing singly or together
"Wagemin the thief of cornfields!
Paimosaid who steals the maize ear!"
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!.

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