The Myth of Hiawatha, and Other Oral Legends, Mythologic and Allegoric, of the North American Indians
by Henry R. Schoolcraft
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"I have told you the way," he said; "now tell me again of the country you have left; for I committed dreadful ravages while I was there: does not the country show marks of it? and do not the inhabitants tell of me to their children? I came to this place to mourn over my bad actions, and am trying, by my present course of life, to relieve my mind of the load that is on it." They told him that their fathers spoke often of a celebrated personage called Manabozho, who performed great exploits. "I am he," said the Spirit. They gazed with astonishment and fear. "Do you see this pointed house?" said he, pointing to one that resembled a sugar-loaf; "you can now each speak your wishes, and will be answered from that house. Speak out, and ask what each wants, and it shall be granted." One of them, who was vain, asked with presumption, that he might live forever, and never be in want. He was answered, "Your wish shall be granted." The second made the same request, and received the same answer. The third asked to live longer than common people, and to be always successful in his war excursions, never losing any of his young men. He was told, "Your wishes are granted." The fourth joined in the same request, and received the same reply. The fifth made an humble request, asking to live as long as men generally do, and that he might be crowned with such success in hunting as to be able to provide for his parents and relatives. The sixth made the same request, and it was granted to both, in pleasing tones, from the pointed house.

After hearing these responses they prepared to depart. They were told by Manabozho, that they had been with him but one day, but they afterward found that they had remained there upward of a year. When they were on the point of setting out, Manabozho exclaimed, "Stop! you two, who asked me for eternal life, will receive the boon you wish immediately." He spake, and one was turned into a stone called Shin-gauba-wossin,[100] and the other into a cedar tree. "Now," said he to the others, "you can go." They left him in fear, saying, "We were fortunate to escape so, for the king told us he was wicked, and that we should not probably escape from him." They had not proceeded far, when they began to hear the sound of the beating sky. It appeared to be near at hand, but they had a long interval to travel before they came near, and the sound was then stunning to their senses; for when the sky came down, its pressure would force gusts of wind from the opening, so strong that it was with difficulty they could keep their feet, and the sun passed but a short distance above their heads. They however approached boldly, but had to wait sometime before they could muster courage enough to leap through the dark veil that covered the passage. The sky would come down with violence, but it would rise slowly and gradually. The two who had made the humble request, stood near the edge, and with no little exertion succeeded, one after the other, in leaping through, and gaining a firm foothold. The remaining two were fearful and undecided: the others spoke to them through the darkness, saying, "Leap! leap! the sky is on its way down." These two looked up and saw it descending, but fear paralyzed their efforts; they made but a feeble attempt, so as to reach the opposite side with their hands; but the sky at the same time struck on the earth with great violence and a terrible sound, and forced them into the dreadful black chasm.

The two successful adventurers, of whom Iosco now was chief, found themselves in a beautiful country, lighted by the moon, which shed around a mild and pleasant light. They could see the moon approaching as if it were from behind a hill. They advanced, and an aged woman spoke to them; she had a white face and pleasing air, and looked rather old, though she spoke to them very kindly: they knew from her first appearance that she was the moon: she asked them several questions: she told them that she knew of their coming, and was happy to see them: she informed them that they were half way to her brother's, and that from the earth to her abode was half the distance. "I will, by and by, have leisure," said she, "and will go and conduct you to my brother, for he is now absent on his daily course: you will succeed in your object, and return in safety to your country and friends, with the good wishes, I am sure, of my brother." While the travellers were with her, they received every attention. When the proper time arrived, she said to them, "My brother is now rising from below, and we shall see his light as he comes over the distant edge: come," said she, "I will lead you up." They went forward, but in some mysterious way, they hardly knew how: they rose almost directly up, as if they had ascended steps. They then came upon an immense plain, declining in the direction of the sun's approach. When he came near, the moon spake—"I have brought you these persons, whom we knew were coming;" and with this she disappeared. The sun motioned with his hand for them to follow him. They did so, but found it rather difficult, as the way was steep: they found it particularly so from the edge of the earth till they got halfway between that point and midday: when they reached this spot, the sun stopped, and sat down to rest. "What, my children," said he, "has brought you here? I could not speak to you before: I could not stop at any place but this, for this is my first resting-place—then at the centre, which is at midday, and then halfway from that to the western edge.[101] Tell me," he continued, "the object of your undertaking this journey and all the circumstances which have happened to you on the way." They complied, Iosco told him their main object was to see him. They had lost four of their friends on the way, and they wished to know whether they could return in safety to the earth, that they might inform their friends and relatives of all that had befallen them. They concluded by requesting him to grant their wishes. He replied, "Yes, you shall certainly return in safety; but your companions were vain and presumptuous in their demands. They were Gug-ge-baw-diz-ze-wug.[102] They aspired to what Manitoes only could enjoy. But you two, as I said, shall get back to your country, and become as happy as the hunter's life can make you. You shall never be in want of the necessaries of life, as long as you are permitted to live; and you will have the satisfaction of relating your journey to your friends, and also of telling them of me. Follow me, follow me," he said, commencing his course again. The ascent was now gradual, and they soon came to a level plain. After travelling some time he again sat down to rest, for we had arrived at Nau-we-qua.[103] "You see," said he, "it is level at this place, but a short distance onwards, my way descends gradually to my last resting-place, from which there is an abrupt descent." He repeated his assurance that they should be shielded from danger, if they relied firmly on his power. "Come here quickly," he said, placing something before them on which they could descend; "keep firm," said he, as they resumed the descent. They went downward as if they had been let down by ropes.

In the mean time the parents of these two young men dreamed that their sons were returning, and that they should soon see them. They placed the fullest confidence in their dreams. Early in the morning they left their lodges for a remote point in the forest, where they expected to meet them. They were not long at the place before they saw the adventurers returning, for they had descended not far from that place. The young men knew they were their fathers. They met, and were happy. They related all that had befallen them. They did not conceal anything; and they expressed their gratitude to the different Manitoes who had preserved them, by feasting and gifts, and particularly to the sun and moon, who had received them as their children.

[93] The East—i.e. place of light.

[94] Ship and boat. These terms exhibit the simple and the diminutive forms of the name for ship or vessel. It is also the term for a woman's needlework, and seems to imply a tangled thready mass, and was perhaps transferred in allusion to a ship's ropes.

[95] Wewaquonidjig, a term early and extensively applied to white men, by our Indians, and still frequently used.

[96] Odawbon comprehends all vehicles between a dog train and a coach, whether on wheels or runners. The term is nearest allied to vehicle.

[97] Massive silver.

[98] My father.

[99] A rattle.

[100] A hard primitive stone, frequently found along the borders of the lakes and watercourses, generally fretted into image shapes. Hardness and indestructibility are regarded as its characteristics by the Indians. It is often granite.

[101] This computation of time separates the day into four portions of six hours each—two of which, from 1 to 6, and from 6 to 12 A.M. compose the morning, and the other two, from 1 to 6, and from 6 to 12 P.M. compose the evening.

[102] This is a verbal form, plural number, of the transitive adjective—foolish.

[103] Midday, or middle line.



There once lived a little boy, all alone with his sister, in a very wild uninhabitable country. They saw nothing but beasts, and birds, the sky above them, and the earth beneath them. But there were no human beings besides themselves. The boy often retired to think, in lone places, and the opinion was formed that he had supernatural powers. It was supposed that he would perform some extraordinary exploits, and he was called Onwe Bahmondoong, or he that carries a ball on his back. As he grew up he was impatient to know whether there were other beings near them: she replied, that there was, but they lived in a remote distance. There was a large village of hunters and warriors. Being now well grown, he determined to seek his fortune, and asked her to make him several pairs of moccasins to last him on the journey. With this request she complied. Then taking his bow and arrows, and his war-club, and a little sack containing his nawappo, or travelling victuals, he immediately set out on his journey. He travelled on, not knowing exactly where he went. Hills, plains, trees, rocks, forests, meadows, spread before him. Sometimes he killed an animal, sometimes a bird. The deer often started in his path. He saw the fox, the bear, and the ground-hog. The eagles screamed above him. The ducks chattered in the ponds and lakes. He lay down and slept when he was tired, he rose up when he was refreshed. At last he came to a small wigwam, and, on looking into it, discovered a very old woman sitting alone by the fire. As soon as she saw the stranger, she invited him in, and thus addressed him: "My poor grandchild, I suppose you are one of those who seek for the distant village, from which no person has ever yet returned. Unless your guardian is more powerful than the guardian of your predecessors, you too will share a similar fate of theirs. Be careful to provide yourself with the Ozhebahguhnun—the bones they use in the medicine dance[104]—without which you cannot succeed." After she had thus spoken, she gave him the following directions for his journey. "When you come near to the village which you seek, you will see in the centre a large lodge, in which the chief of the village, who has two daughters, resides. Before the door you will see a great tree, which is smooth and destitute of bark. On this tree, about the height of a man from the ground, a small lodge is suspended, in which these two daughters dwell. It is here so many have been destroyed. Be wise, my grandchild, and abide strictly by my directions." The old woman then gave him the Ozhebahguhnun, which would cause his success. Placing them in his bosom, he continued his journey, till at length he arrived at the sought-for village; and, as he was gazing around him, he saw both the tree and the lodge which the old woman had mentioned. Immediately he bent his steps for the tree, and approaching, he endeavored to reach the suspended lodge. But all his efforts were vain; for as often as he attempted to reach it, the tree began to tremble, and soon shot up so that the lodge could hardly be perceived. Foiled as he was in all his attempts, he thought of his guardian and changed himself into a small squirrel, that he might more easily accomplish his design. He then mounted the tree in quest of the lodge. After climbing for some time, he became fatigued, and panted for breath; but, remembering the instructions which the old woman had given him, he took from his bosom one of the bones, and thrust it into the trunk of the tree, on which he sat. In this way he quickly found relief; and, as often as he became fatigued, he repeated this; but whenever he came near the lodge and attempted to touch it, the tree would shoot up as before, and place the lodge beyond his reach. At length, the bones being exhausted, he began to despair, for the earth had long since vanished from his sight. Summoning all resolution, he determined to make another effort to reach the object of his wishes. On he went; yet, as soon as he came near the lodge and attempted to touch it, the tree again shook, but it had reached the arch of heaven, and could go no higher; so now he entered the lodge, and beheld the two sisters sitting opposite each other. He asked their names. The one on his left hand called herself Azhabee,[105] and the one on the right Negahnahbee.[106] Whenever he addressed the one on his left hand, the tree would tremble as before, and settle down to its former position. But when he addressed the one on his right hand, it would again shoot upward as before. When he thus discovered that, by addressing the one on his left hand, the tree would descend, he continued to do so until it had resumed its former position; then seizing his war-club, he thus addressed the sisters: "You, who have caused the death of so many of my brothers, I will now put an end to, and thus have revenge for the numbers you have destroyed." As he said this he raised the club and laid them dead at his feet. He then descended, and learning that these sisters had a brother living with their father, who would pursue him for the deed he had done, he set off at random, not knowing whither he went. Soon after, the father and mother of the young women visited their residence and found their remains. They immediately told their son Mudjikewis that his sisters had been slain. He replied, "The person who has done this must be the Boy that carries the Ball on his Back. I will pursue him, and have revenge for the blood of my sisters." "It is well, my son," replied the father. "The spirit of your life grant you success. I counsel you to be wary in the pursuit. It is a strong spirit who has done this injury to us, and he will try to deceive you in every way. Above all, avoid tasting food till you succeed; for if you break your fast before you see his blood, your power will be destroyed." So saying, they parted.

His son instantly set out in search of the murderer, who, finding he was closely pursued by the brother of the slain, climbed up into one of the tallest trees and shot forth his magic arrows. Finding that his pursuer was not turned back by his arrows, he renewed his flight; and when he found himself hard pressed, and his enemy close behind him, he transformed himself into the skeleton of a moose that had been killed, whose flesh had come off from his bones. He then remembered the moccasins which his sister had given him, which were enchanted. Taking a pair of them, he placed them near the skeleton. "Go," said he to them, "to the end of the earth."

The moccasins then left him and their tracks remained. Mudjikewis at length came to the skeleton of the moose, when he perceived that the track he had long been pursuing did not end there, so he continued to follow it up, till he came to the end of the earth, where he found only a pair of moccasins. Mortified that he had been outwitted by following a pair of moccasins instead of the object of his revenge, he bitterly complained, resolving not to give up the pursuit, and to be more wary and wise in scrutinizing signs. He then called to mind the skeleton he met on his way, and concluded that it must be the object of his search. He retraced his steps towards the skeleton, but found, to his surprise, that it had disappeared, and that the tracks of Onwe Bahmondoong, or he who carries the Ball, were in another direction. He now became faint with hunger, and resolved to give up the pursuit; but when he remembered the blood of his sisters, he determined again to pursue.

The other, finding he was closely pursued, now changed himself into a very old man, with two daughters, who lived in a large lodge in the centre of a beautiful garden, which was filled with everything that could delight the eye or was pleasant to the taste. He made himself appear so very old as to be unable to leave his lodge, and had his daughters to bring him food and wait on him. The garden also had the appearance of ancient occupancy, and was highly cultivated.

His pursuer continued on till he was nearly starved and ready to sink. He exclaimed, "Oh! I will forget the blood of my sisters, for I am starving;" but again he thought of the blood of his sisters, and again he resolved to pursue, and be satisfied with nothing but the attainment of his right to revenge.

He went on till he came to the beautiful garden. He approached the lodge. As soon as the daughters of the owner perceived him, they ran and told their father that a stranger approached the lodge. Their father replied, "Invite him in, my children, invite him in." They quickly did so; and by the command of their father, they boiled some corn and prepared other savory food. Mudjikewis had no suspicion of the deception. He was faint and weary with travel, and felt that he could endure fasting no longer. Without hesitancy, he partook heartily of the meal, and in so doing was overcome. All at once he seemed to forget the blood of his sisters, and even the village of his nativity. He ate so heartily as to produce drowsiness, and soon fell into a profound sleep. Onwe Bahmondoong watched his opportunity, and, as soon as he found his slumbers sound, resumed his youthful form. He then drew the magic ball from his back, which turned out to be a heavy war-club, with one blow of which he put an end to his pursuer, and thus vindicated his title as the Wearer of the Ball.

[104] The idea attached to the use of these bones in the medicine dance is, that, by their magical influence, the actor can penetrate and go through any substance.

[105] One who sits behind.

[106] One who sits before.



The Pukwudjininees, or fairies of Lake Superior, had one of their most noted places of residence at the great sand dunes of Naigow Wudjoo, called by the French La Grandes Sables. Here they were frequently seen in bright moonlight evenings, and the fishermen while sitting in their canoes on the lake often saw them playing their pranks, and skipping over the hills. There was a grove of pines in that vicinity called the manito wac, or Spirit wood, into which they might be seen to flee, on the approach of evening, and there is a romantic little lake on those elevated sand-hills, not far back from the Great Lake, on the shores of which their tracks could be plainly seen in the sand. These tracks were not bigger than little children's footprints, and the spirits were often seen in the act of vanishing behind the little pine-trees. They love to dance in the most lonesome places, and were always full of glee and merriment, for their little voices could be plainly heard. These little men, the pukwudjininees, are not deeply malicious, but rather delighted in mischief and freaks, and would sometimes steal away a fisherman's paddle, or come at night and pluck the hunter's feathers out of his cap in the lodge, or pilfer away some of his game, or fish. On one occasion they went so far as to entice away into their sacred grove, and carry off a chief's daughter—a small but beautiful girl, who had been always inclined to be pensive, and took her seat often in these lonesome haunts. From her baby name of Neenizu, my dear life, she was called Leelinau, but she never attained to much size, remaining very slender, but of the most pleasing and sylph-like features, with very bright black eyes, and little feet. Her mother often cautioned her of the danger of visiting these lonely fairy haunts, and predicted, playfully, that she would one day be carried off by the Pukwudjees, for they were very frolicsome, mischievous and full of tricks.

To divert her mind from these recluse moods and tastes, she endeavored to bring about an alliance with a neighboring forester, who, though older than herself, had the reputation of being an excellent hunter, and active man, and he had even creditably been on the war path, though he had never brought home a scalp. To these suggestions Leelinau had turned rather a deaf ear. She had imbibed ideas of a spiritual life and existence, which she fancied could only be enjoyed in the Indian elysium, and instructed as she was by the old story-tellers, she could not do otherwise than deem the light and sprightly little men who made the fairy footprints as emissaries from the Happy Land. For this happy land she sighed and pined. Blood, and the taking of life, she said, the Great Spirit did not approve, and it could never be agreeable to minds of pure and spiritual moulds. And she longed to go to a region where there was no weeping, no cares, and no deaths. If her parents laughed at these notions as childish, her only resource was silence, or she merely revealed here motions in her eyes. She was capable of the deepest concealment, and locked up in her heart what she feared to utter, or uttered to deceive. This proved her ruin.

At length, after a series of conversational interviews on the subject, she announced her willingness to accede to the matrimonial proposals, and the day was fixed for this purpose. She dressed herself in the finest manner possible, putting flowers in her hair, and carrying a bunch of wild flowers, mixed with tassels of the pine-tree in her hand. One only request she made, which was to make a farewell visit to the sacred grove of the fairies, before she visited the nuptial bower. This was granted, on the evening of the proposed ceremony, while the bridegroom and his friends gathered in her father's lodge, and impatiently waited her return. But they waited in vain. Night came but Leelina was never more seen, except by a fisherman on the lake shore, who conceived that he had seen her go off with one of the tall fairies known as the fairy of Green Pines, with green plumes nodding o'er his brows; and it is supposed that she is still roving with him over the elysian fields.



The Pibbigwun 307

The Chippewa Girl 307

Doubt 308

Fairy Whisperings 309

Song of the Opechee 310

Chant to the Fire-fly, the Watasee 311

Fairy Chief's Carol 312

Song of a Captive Creek Girl 312

Female Song 313

Male Song 313

Love of the Forest 314

Light of Christianity in the Wigwam 315

The Nocturnal Grave Lights 316

Manito 317

Niagara, an Allegory 318

Chileeli, a Spirit's Whisperings 319

Stanzas on the State of the Iroquois 322

The Loon's Foot—a Song 324

Tulco, Prince of Notto 325

On Presenting a Wild Rose plucked on the Sources of the Mississippi 326

The Red Man 327

The Skeleton wrapped in Gold 330

Waub Ojeeg's Death Whisperings 332

To the Miscodeed 333

The Star Family 335

Song of the Wolf-Brother 339

Abbinochi 341

To Pauguk 342



I ope my voice, not with the organ's tone, Deep, solemn and majestic; not with sounds Of trump or drum, that cheer armed squadrons on, In coats of steel, o'er lines of bloody grounds, Nor is my tone, the tone of rushing storms, That sweep in mad career through forests tall, Up-tearing gnarled oaks, with sounds of hellish forms, That bode destruction black, and death to all. Nor is it yet the screaming warrior, loud, With hand upraised to mouth, hyena-strong, That tells of midnight onrush, hell-endowed, And bleeding scalp of aged, mild and young. Ah no! it is a note that's only blown, Where kindness fills the heart, and every thrill Is peace and love, while music's softer tone Steals on the evening air, its simple aims to fill, Waking the female ear to carols of the Pibbigwun.

[107] Indian flute.


They tell me, the men with a white-white face Belong to a purer, nobler race; But why, if they do, and it may be so, Do their tongues cry, "Yes"—and their actions, "No?"

They tell me, that white is a heavenly hue, And it may be so, but the sky is blue; And the first of men—as our old men say, Had earth-brown skins, and were made of clay.

But throughout my life, I've heard it said, There's nothing surpasses a tint of red; Oh, the white man's cheeks look pale and sad, Compared to my beautiful Indian lad.

Then let them talk of their race divine, Their glittering domes, and sparkling wine; Give me a lodge, like my fathers had, And my tall, straight, beautiful Indian lad.


Ninimosha,[108] think'st thou of me, When beneath the forest tree? Do'st thou in the passing wind, Catch the sighs I've cast behind? Ah! I fear—I fear—I fear, Evil bird hath filled thine ear.

Ninimosha, in the clear blue sky, Canst thou read my constancy, Or in whispering branches near, Aught from thy true lover hear? Ah! I fear—I fear—I fear, Evil bird hath filled thine ear.

[108] My sweetheart.


Supposed to be addressed to, and responded by a young pine-tree, in a state of transformation.


Spirit of the dancing leaves, Hear a throbbing heart that grieves, Not for joys this world can give, But the life that spirits live: Spirit of the foaming billow, Visit thou my nightly pillow, Shedding o'er it silver dreams, Of the mountain brooks and streams, Sunny glades, and golden hours, Such as suit thy buoyant powers: Spirit of the starry night, Pencil out thy fleecy light, That my footprints still my lead To the blush-let Miscodeed,[109] Or the flower to passion true Yielding free its carmine hue: Spirit of the morning dawn, Waft thy fleecy columns on, Snowy white, or tender blue, Such as brave men love to view. Spirit of the greenwood plume, Shed around thy leaf perfume, Such as springs from buds of gold Which thy tiny hands unfold. Spirits, hither quick repair, Hear a maiden's evening prayer.

[109] Claytonia Virginica.


Maiden, think me not a tree, But thine own dear lover free, Tall and youthful in my bloom With the bright green nodding plume. Thou art leaning on my breast, Lean forever there, and rest! Fly from man, that bloody race, Pards, assassins, bold and base; Quit their dim, and false parade For the quiet lonely shade. Leave the windy birchen cot For my own light happy lot; O'er thee I my veil will fling, Light as beetle's silken wing; I will breathe perfume of flowers, O'er thy happy evening hours; I will in my shell canoe Waft thee o'er the waters blue; I will deck thy mantle fold, With the sun's last rays of gold. Come, and on the mountain free Rove a fairy bright with me.


The Chippewas relate that the robin originated from a youth who was subjected to too severe a task of fasting.

In the boundless woods there are berries of red, And fruits of a beautiful blue, Where, by nature's own hand, the sweet singers are fed, And to nature they ever are true.

We go not with arrow and bow to the field, Like men of the fierce ruddy race, To take away lives which they never can give, And revel the lords of the chase.

If danger approaches, with instant alarm We fly to our own leafy woods, And there, with an innocent carol and charm, We sing to our dear little broods.

At morning we sally in quest of the grain Kind nature in plenty supplies, We skip o'er the beautiful wide-stretching plain, And sport in the vault of the skies.

At evening we perch in some neighboring tree To carol our evening adieu, And feel, although man assert he is free, We only have liberty true.

We sing out our praises to God and to man, We live as heaven taught us to live, And I would not change back to mortality's plan For all that the mortal can give.

Here ceased the sweet singer; then pluming his breast, He winged the blue firmament free, Repeating, as homeward he flew to his rest, Tshee-ree-lee—Tshee-ree-lee—Tshee-ree-lee!


Fire-fly, fire-fly! bright little thing, Light me to bed, and my song I will sing. Give me your light, as you fly o'er my head, That I may merrily go to my bed. Give me your light o'er the grass as you creep, That I may joyfully go to my sleep. Come, little fire-fly—come, little beast— Come! and I'll make you to-morrow a feast. Come, little candle that flies as I sing, Bright little fairy-bug—night's little king; Come, and I'll dance as you guide me along, Come, and I'll pay you, my bug, with a song.


Addressed to the winds on transferring his sister to a position as one of the planets in the morning sky.

Blow, winds, blow, my sister lingers From her dwelling in the sky, Where the moon with rosy fingers Shall her cheeks with vermil dye.

There my earliest views directed, Shall from her their brilliance take And her smiles through clouds reflected, Guide me on, by wood and lake.

While I range the highest mountains, Sport in valleys, green and low, Or beside our Indian fountains, Raise my tiny hip hallo.


Who was an exile in a distant northern tribe, confined on an island in Lake Superior.

To sunny vales, to balmy skies, My thoughts, a flowery arrow, flies; I see the wood, the bank, the glade, Where first, a wild wood girl, I played. I think on scenes and faces dear; They are not here—they are not here.

In this cold sky, in this lone isle, I meet no friends, no mother's smile. I list the wind, I list the wave; They seem like requiems, round the grave, And all my heart's young joys are gone; It is alone—it is alone.


My love is a hunter—he hunts the fleet deer, With fusil or arrow, one-half of the year; He hunts the fleet deer over mountain and lea, But his heart is still hunting for love and for me.

My love is a warrior; when warriors go, With fusil or arrow, to strike the bold foe, He treads the bright war-path with step bold and free, But still his thoughts wander to love and to me.

But hunter or warrior, where'er he may go, To track the swift deer, or to follow the foe, His heart's warm desire, field and forest still flee, To go hunting his love, and make captive of me.


My love, she gave to me a belt, a belt of texture fine, Of snowy hue, emboss'd with blue and scarlet porcupine; This tender braid sustain'd the blade I drew against the foe, And ever prest upon my breast, to mark its ardent glow. And if with art I act my part, and bravely fighting stand, I, in the din, a trophy win, that gains Nimosha's hand.

My love, she is a handsome girl, she has a sparkling eye, And a head of flowing raven hair, and a forehead arched and high; Her teeth are white as cowry shells, brought from the distant sea, And she is tall, and graceful all, and fair as fair can be. And if with art I act my part, and bravely wooing stand, And with address my suit I press, I gain Nimosha's hand.

Oh, I will search the silver brooks for skin of blackest dye, And scale the highest mountain-tops, a warrior's gift to spy! I'll place them where my love shall see, and know my present true; Perhaps when she admires the gift, she'll love the giver, too. And if with art I act my part, and bravely wooing stand, I'll gain my love's unsullied heart, and then I'll gain her hand.


To rove with the wild bird, and go where we will, Oh, this is the charm of the forest-life still! With our houses of bark, and our food on the plain, We are off like an eagle, and back there again.

No farms can detain us, no chattels prevent; We live not by ploughing—we thrive not by rent; Our herds rove the forest, our flocks swim the floods, And we skim the broad waters, and trip through the woods.

With ships not of oak wood, nor pitchy, nor strong, We sail along rivers, and sail with a song; We care not for taxes—our laws are but few; The dart is our sickle, our ship the canoe.

If enemies press us, and evil fear stray, We seize on our war-clubs, and drive them away, And when there is nothing to fear or withstand, We lift the proud rattle, and dance on the land.

In feasting and dancing, our moments are gay; We trust in the God who made heaven and day; We read no big volumes, no science implore, But ask of our wise men to teach us their lore.

The woods are our pastures; we eat what we find, And rush through the lands like a rattling wind. Heaven gave us the country; we cling to the west, And, dying, we fly to the Lands of the Blest!


Oh why, ye subtle spirits, why Lift I my eyes to yonder floating sky, Where clouds paint pictures with so clear a hue? A heaven so beautiful it must be true.

For if I but to earth withdraw my eyes, And fix them on the creature man To scan his acts, the dear, fond picture dies, And worse he seems in thought, and air, and plan Than the hyena, beast that only digs For food, and not rejoices in the dart, That stopped the warm blood current of the heart.

Had men but had just what the earth can give, It would be misery, and lies, and blood, Pinching and hunger, so that he who lives But lives, as some poor outcast drowning in a flood. And then—ah, tell me!—whither goes the soul?

Oh why, ye spirits blest, oh why Is truth so darkened to the human eye? As if a sombre cloud all heaven made black, And the sun shone but through a chink or crack, Within a wall, where light is but the accident of things, And not the purport. Truth may be then as the white men write, And all our tribes in a darkness set, instead of light.


It is supposed to be four days' journey to the land of the dead; wherefore, during four nights, the Chippewas kindle a fire on the grave.

Light up a fire upon my grave When I am dead. 'Twill softly shed its beaming rays, To guide the soul its darkling ways; And ever, as the day's full light Goes down and leaves the world in night, These kindly gleams, with warmth possest, Shall show my spirit where to rest When I am dead.

Four days the funeral rite renew, When I am dead. While onward bent, with typic woes, I seek the red man's last repose; Let no rude hand the flame destroy, Nor mar the scene with festive joy; While night by night, a ghostly guest, I journey to my final rest, When I am dead.

No moral light directs my way When I am dead. A hunter's fate, a warrior's fame, A shade, a phantom, or a name, All life-long through my hands have sought, Unblest, unlettered, and untaught: Deny me not the boon I crave— A symbol-light upon my grave, When I am dead.


"Every exhibition of elementary power, in earth or sky, is deemed, by the Indians, as a symbolic type of a deity."—Hist. Inds.

In the frowning cliff, that high Glooms above the passing eye, Casting spectral shadows tall Over lower rock and wall; In its morn and sunset glow, I behold a Manito.

By the lake or river lone, In the humble fretted stone, Water-sculptured, and, by chance, Cast along the wave's expanse; In its morn and sunset glow, I behold a Manito.

In whatever's dark or new, And my senses cannot view, Complex work, appearance strange, Arts' advance, or nature's change— Fearful e'er of hurt or woe, I behold a Manito.

In the motions of the sky, Where the angry lightnings fly, And the thunder, dread and dire, Lifts his mighty voice in fire— Awed with fear of sudden woe, I behold a Manito.

Here my humble voice I lift, Here I lay my sacred gift, And, with heart of fear and awe, Raise my loud Wau-la-le-au.

Spirit of the fields above, Thee I fear, and Thee I love, Whether joy betide or woe, Thou, thou art my Manito.


An old gray man on a mountain lived, He had daughters four and one, And a tall bright lodge of the betula bark That glittered in the sun.

He lived on the very highest top. For he was a hunter free, Where he could spy, on the clearest day, Gleams of the distant sea.

"Come out! come out!" cried the youngest one; "Let us off to look at the sea!" And out they ran, in their gayest robes, And skipped and ran with glee.

"Come, Su;[110] come, Mi;[111] come, Hu;[112] come, Cla;"[113] Cried laughing little Er;[114] "Let us go to yonder deep blue sea, Where the breakers foam and roar."

And on they scampered by valley and wood, By earth and air and sky, Till they came to a steep where the bare rocks stood, In a precipice mountain high.

"Inya!"[115] cried Er, "here's a dreadful leap! But we are gone so far, That, if we flinch and return in fear, Nos[116] he will cry, 'Ha! ha!'"

Now, each was clad in a vesture light, That floated far behind, With sandals of frozen water drops, And wings of painted wind.

And down they plunged with a merry skip, Like birds that skim the plain; And "Hey!" they cried, "let us up and try, And down the steep again!"

And up and down the daughters skipped, Like girls on a holiday, And laughed outright at the sport and foam They called Niagara.

If ye would see a sight so rare, Where Nature's in her glee, Go, view the spot in the wide wild West, The land of the brave and free!

But mark—their shapes are only seen In Fancy's deepest play; But she plainly shows their wings and feet In the dancing sunny spray.

[110] Superior.

[111] Michigan.

[112] Huron.

[113] St. Clair.

[114] Erie.

[115] An exclamation of wonder and surprise.—Odj. lan.

[116] My father.—Ib.


The Chippewas relate that the spirit of a young lover, who was killed in battle, determined to return to his affianced maid, in the shape of a bird, and console her by his songs. He found her in a chosen retreat, where she daily resorted to pass her pensive hours.

Stay not here—the men are base, I have found a happier place, Where no war, or want severe, Haunts the mind with thoughts of fear; Men are cruel—bloody—cold, Seeking like lynx the rabbit's wold, Not to guard from winds or drought, But to suck its life's blood out. Stay not here—oh, stay not here, 'Tis a world of want and fear.

I have found those happy plains, Where the blissful Spirit reigns, Such, as by our wise men old, All our fathers have foretold. Streams of sparkling waters flow, Pure and clear, with silver glow; Woods and shady groves abound, Long sweet lawns and painted ground; Lakes, in winding shores extend, Fruits, with flowers, inviting blend; While, throughout the green-wood groves, Gayest birds sing out their loves. Stay not here, my trustful maid, 'Tis a world for robbers made.

I will lead you, soul of love, To those flowery haunts above, Where no tears or pain are found— Where no war-cry shakes the ground; Where no mother hangs her head, Crying: "Oh, my child is dead!" Where no human blood is spilt, Where there is no pain, or guilt; But the new-freed spirit roves Round and round, in paths of loves. Pauguk's[117] not admitted there, Blue the skies, and sweet the air; There are no diseases there; There no famished eyeball rolls, Sickness cannot harm the souls; Hunger is not there a guest, Souls are not with hunger press'd, All are happy, all are blest. Rife the joys our fathers sought, Sweet to eye and ear and thought, Stay not here, my weeping maid, 'Tis a world in glooms arrayed.

[117] Death.

Wishes there, all wants supply, Wants of hand, and heart, and eye; Labor is not known—that thorn Pricks not there, at night or morn, As it goads frail mortals here, With its pain, and toil, and fear; Shadows typical and fair, Fill the woods, the fields, the air, Stately deer, the forests fill, Just to have them is to will; Birds walk kindly from the lakes, And whoever wants them, takes; There no drop of blood is drawn, Darts are for an earthy lawn. Hunters, warriors, chiefs, are there, Plumed and radiant, bright and fair; But they are the ghosts of men, And ne'er mix in wars again; They no longer rove with ire, Wood or wold, or sit by fire; Council called—how best to tear, From the gray-head crown its hair, Dripping with its vital blood, Horror—echoed in the wood. Stay not here—where horrors dwell, Earth is but a name for hell.

Oh, the Indian paradise is sweet, Naught but smiles the gazers meet; All is fair—the sage's breast, Swells with joy to hail each guest— Comes he, from these sounding shores, Or the North God's icy stores, Where the shivering children cry, In their snow-cots and bleak sky; Or the far receding south, Burned with heat, and palsied drought, All are welcome—all receive, Gifts great Chibiabos gives. Stay not, maiden—weep no more, I have found the happy shore.

Come with me, and we will rove, O'er the endless plains of love, Full of flowers, gems, and gold, Where there is no heart that's cold, Where there is no tear to dry In a single human eye. Stay not here; cold world like this, Death but opes the door to bliss.


In 1845, the Legislature of New York directed a census of these cantons, which evinced an advanced state of industry.

The lordly Iroquois is tending sheep, Gone are the plumes that decked his brow, For his bold raid, no more the wife shall weep— He holds the plough.

The bow and quiver which his fathers made; The gun, that filled the warrior's deadliest vow; The mace, the spear, the axe, the ambuscade— Where are they now?

Mute are the hills that woke his dreadful yell— Scared nations listen with affright no more; He walks a farmer over field and dell Once red with gore.

Frontlet and wampum, baldric, brand, and knife, Skill of the megalonyx, snake and fox, All now are gone!—transformed to peaceful life— He drives the ox.

Algon, and Cherokee, and Illinese, No more beneath his stalwort blow shall writhe: Peace spreads her reign wide o'er his inland seas— He swings the scythe.

Grain now, not men, employs his manly powers; To learn the white man's arts, and skill to rule, For this, his sons and daughters spend their hours— They go to school.

Glory and fame, that erewhile fired his soul, And nerved for war his ever vengeful arm, Where are your charms his bosom to control?— He tills a farm.

His war-scar'd visage, paints no more deform— His garments, made of beaver, deer, and rat, Are now exchanged for woollen doublets warm— He wears a hat.

His very pipe, surcharged with sacred weed, Once smoked to spirits dreamy, dread and sore, Is laid aside—to think, to plan, to read— He keeps a store.

This is the law of progress—kindlier arts Have shaped his native energies of mind, And back he comes—from wandering, woods and darts Back to mankind.

His drum and rattles, both are thrown away— His native altars stand without a blaze,— Truth, robed in gospel light, hath found her way— And hark! he prays!


I thought it was the loon's foot, I saw beneath the tide, But no—it was my lover's shining paddle I espied; It was my lover's paddle, as my glance I upward cast, That dipped so light and gracefully as o'er the lake I passed. The loon's foot—the loon's foot, 'Tis graceful on the sea; But not so light and joyous as That paddle blade to me.

My eyes were bent upon the wave, I cast them not aside, And thought I saw the loon's foot beneath the silver tide. But ah! my eyes deceived me—for as my glance I cast, It was my lover's paddle blade that dipped so light and fast. The loon's foot—the loon's foot, 'Tis sweet and fair to see, But oh, my lover's paddle blade, Is sweeter far to me.

The lake's wave—the long wave—the billow big and free, It wafts me up and down, within my yellow light canoe; But while I see beneath heaven pictured as I speed, It is that beauteous paddle blade, that makes it heaven indeed. The loon's foot—the loon's foot, The bird upon the sea, Ah! it is not so beauteous As that paddle blade to me.


Tulco, a Cherokee chief, is said to have visited, in 1838, the rotunda, or excavations, under the great mound of Grave Creek, while the Indian antiquities were collected there, and the skeleton found in the lower vault was suspended to the wall, and the exudations of animal matter depended from the roof.

'Tis not enough that hated race Should hunt us out from grove and place, And consecrated shores, where long Our fathers raised the lance and song— 'Tis not enough that we must go Where unknown streams and fountains flow, Whose murmurs heard amid our fears, Fall only now on foeman's ears— 'Tis not enough, that with a wand They sweep away our pleasant land, And bid us, as some giant foe, Or willing or unwilling go; But they must ope our very graves, To tell the dead they too are slaves! And hang their bones upon the wall, To please their gaze and gust of thrall; As if a dead dog from below Were made a jesting-stock and show!

See, from above! the restless dead Peer out, with exudation dread— That hangs in robes of clammy white, Like clouds upon the inky night; Their very ghosts are in this place, I see them pass before my face; With frowning brows they whirl around Within this consecrated mound! Away—away, vile caitiff race, And give the dead their resting-place.

They point—they cry—they bid me smite The Wa-bish-kiz-zee[118] in their sight! Did Europe come to crush us dead, Because on flying deer we fed, And worshipped gods of airy forms, Who ride in thunder-clouds, the storms? Because we use not plough or loom, Is ours a black and bitter doom That has no light—no world of bliss?— Then is our hell commenced in this.

[118] White men.

* * * *

Nay, it is well—but tell me not The white race now possess the spot, That fury marks my brow, and all I see is but my fancy's pall That glooms my eyes—ah, white man, no! The woe we taste is solid woe. Comes then the thought of better things, When we were men, and we were kings. Men are we now, and still there rolls A monarch's blood in all our souls! A warrior's fire is in our hearts, Our hands are strong in feathery darts; And let us die as they have died Who are the Indian's boast and pride! Nor creep to graves, in flying west, Unplumed, dishonored, and unblest!



Take thou the rose, though blighted, Its sweetness is not gone, And like the heart, though slighted, In memory it blooms on.

Thy hand its leaves may nourish, Thy smiles its bloom restore; So warmed its buds may flourish, And bloom to life once more.

Yet if they bloom not ever, These thoughts may life impart To hopes I ne'er could sever One moment from my heart.

Oh, then, receive my token, From far-off northern sky, That speech, once kindly spoken, Can never—never die.


I stood upon an eminence, that wide O'erlooked a length of land, where spread The sounding shores of Lake Superior; And at my side there lay a vale Replete with little glens, where oft The Indian wigwam rose, and little fields Of waving corn displayed their tasselled heads. A stream ran through the vale, and on its marge There grew wild rice, and bending alders dipped Into the tide, and on the rising heights The ever-verdant pine laughed in the breeze.

I turned around, to gaze upon the scenes More perfectly, and there beheld a man Tall and erect, with feathers on his head, And air and step majestic; in his hands Held he a bow and arrows, and he would have passed, Intent on other scene, but that I spake to him: "Pray, whither comest thou? and whither goest?" "My coming," he replied, "is from the Master of Life, The Lord of all things, and I go at his commands."

"Then why," I further parleyed, "since thou art So much the friend of Him, whom white men seek By prayer and rite so fervently to obey—why, tell, Art thou so oft in want of e'en a meal To satisfy the cravings of a man? Why cast abroad To live in wilds, where oft the scantiest shapes Of foot and wing must fill thy board, while pallid hunger strays With hideous shouts, by mountain, vale, and stream?"

"The Great Spirit," he replied, "hath not alike Made all men; or, if once alike, the force of climes, And wants and wanderings have estranged them quite. To me, and to my kind, forest, and lake, and wood, The rising mountain, and the drawn-out stream That sweeps, meandering, through wild ranges vast, Possess a charm no marble halls can give. We rove, as winds escaped the Master's fists— Now, sweeping over beds of prairie flowers— Now, dallying on the tops of leafy trees, Or murmuring in the corn-fields, and, when tired With roving, we lie down on beds where springs The simple wild flower, and some shreds of bark, Plucked from the white, white birch, defends our heads, And hides us from the blue ethereal skies, Where, in his sovereign majesty, this Spirit rules; Now, casting lightning from his glowing eyes— Now, uttering thunder with his mighty voice.

"To you, engendered in another clime Of which our fathers knew not, he hath given Arts, arms, and skill we know not, or if ever knew, Have quite forgot. Your hands are thickened up With toils of field and shop, where whirring wheels resound, And hammers clink. The anvil and the plough Belong to you; the very ox construes your speech, And turns him to obey you. All this toil We deem a slavery too heavy to be borne, And which our tribes revolt at. Oft we stand To view the reeking smith, who pounds his iron With blow on blow, to fit it for the beast That drags your ploughshares through the rooty soil. The very streams—bright ribbons of the woods!—are yoked, And made to turn your mills, and grind your corn; And yet this progress stays not in its toils To alter nature and pervert her plans. Steam drags your vessels now, that once Leapt in their beauty by the winds of heaven. Some subtle principle ye find in fire, And with a cunning art fit rattling cars To run on strips of iron, with scream and clang That seem symbolic of an angry power Which dwells below, and is infernal called. The war-crowned lightning skips from pole to pole On strings of iron, to haste with quick intelligence.

"Once, nature could be hid, and fondly think She had some jewels in the earth, but now ye dig Into her very bowels, to recover morsels sweet She erst with deglutition had drawn in. The rocks Your toils dissolve, to find perchance some treasure Lying there. Is yonder land of gold alone Your care? Observe along these shores The wheezing engine clank—the stamper ring. Once, hawks and eagles here pursued their prey, But now the white man ravens more than they. No! give me but my water and God's meats, And take your cares, your riches, and your thrones. What the Great Spirit gives, I take with joy, And scorn those gains which nothing can content.

"Drudge ye, and grind ye, white man! make your pence, And store your purses with the shining poison. It was not Manito who made this trash To curse the human race, but Vatipa the black, Who rules below—he changed the blood of innocence And tears of pity into gold, and strewed it wide O'er lands where still the murderer digs And the deceptious delve, to find the cockle out And pick it up, but laughs the while to see What fools they are, and how himself has foiled The Spirit of Good, that made mankind Erst friends and brothers. Scanty is my food, But that sweet bird, chileelee, blue of wing, Sings songs of peace within the wild-wood dell And round the enchanted shores of these blue seas— Not long, perhaps, our own—which tell me of a rest In far-off lands—the islands of the blest!"


In digging, in 1854, a railroad in Chili, seventy feet below the surface, in a sandy plain, which had been an ancient graveyard, an Indian skeleton, wrapped in a sheet of solid gold, rolled into the excavation. Its appearance denoted an ancient Inca, of the Atacama period.

The Indian laid in his shroud of gold, Where his friends had kindly bound him; For, in their raid so strong and bold, The Spaniards had never found him.

Kind guardian spirits had watched him there, From ages long—long faded, Embalmed with gems and spices rare, And in folds of sweet grass braided.

And priestly rites were duly done, And hymns upraised to bless him, And that gold mantle of the sun, Put on, as a monarch to dress him.

"Sleep on," they said, in whispers low, "Nor fear the white man's coming, For we have put no glyph to show, The spot of thy entombing.

"Inca, thy warfare here is done, Each bitter scene or tender, Go to thy sire, the shining Sun, In kingly garb and splendor.

"Earth hath no honors thou hast not, Brave, wise, in every station, Or battle, temple, council, cot, Beloved of all thy nation.

"Take thou this wand of magic might, With signet-jewels glowing, As heralds to the God of Light, Where, father, thou art going.

"A thousand years the charm shall last, The charm of thy ensealment, Till there shall come a spirit vast, To trouble thy concealment."

And safe he slept in Tlalcol's[119] train, With all his genii by him, Through Atacama's pleasing reign, Ere Manco came a-nigh him.

[119] Tlalcol, the keeper of the dead, corresponds to the Chebiabo of the Algonquins.

That golden reign spread arts anew, O'er all his Andes mountains, And temples that his sires ne'er knew, Arose beside their fountains.

Pizarro's bloody day flew past, Nor shook his place of sleeping, Though, as with earthquakes, deep and vast, The land with ruins heaping.

Nor had the cherished ruler more, Broke the deep trance from under, But that a stronger, sterner power, Arose the charm to sunder.

No gentle genii more could wield, The wand of his dominion; No power of Indian guardian yield, Or wave her golden pinion.

It was the spirit of progress fell, And trade, and gain united, Who swore an oath, and kept it well, That Tlalcol's blessing blighted.

Deep dug they down in Chili's hills, Deep—deeper laid their levels, To drive those cars, whose screaming fills The ear, with sounds like devils.

And as they dug, they sang and dug, As digging for a treasure, That should, like dire Arabic drug, Rise, with unmeasured measure.

Old Indian arts, and Indian spells, And all their subtle seeming, Passed quick away—as truth expels, The palsied power in dreaming.

Down rolled the cherished Indian corse, The sands no more could hold him, Nor rite—nor genii—art or force, Nor golden shroud enfold him.


I go to the land where our heroes are gone, are gone, That land where our sages are gone; And I go with bright tone, to join hearts who are one, That drew the bold dart at my side, at my side, That drew the bold dart at my side.

Those lands in the bright beamy west, the west, Those lands in the bright beamy west, As our fathers foretold, are the plenty crowned fold, Where the world-weary warrior may rest, may rest, Where the war-honored hero may rest.

My life has been given to war, to war, My strength has been offered to war, And the foes of my land, ne'er before me could stand, But fled as base cowards in fear, in fear, They fled like base cowards in fear.

My warfare in life it is done, it is done, My warfare, my friends, it is done; I go to that Spirit, whose form in the sky, So oft we have seen in the cloud-garnished sun, So oft in dread lightning espy.

My friends, when my spirit is fled, is fled, My friends, when my spirit is fled, Ah, put me not bound, in the dark and cold ground, Where light shall no longer be shed, be shed, Where daylight no more shall be shed.

But lay me up scaffolded high, all high, Chiefs, lay me up scaffolded high, Where my tribe shall still say, as they point to my clay, He ne'er from the foe sought to fly, to fly, He ne'er from the foe sought to fly.

And children, who play on the shore, the shore, And children who play on the shore, As the war-dance they beat, my name shall repeat, And the fate of their chieftain deplore, deplore, And the fate of their chieftain deplore.


Thy petals, tipped with red, declare The sanguinary rites of war; But when I view thy base of white, Thoughts of heaven's purity invite. Symbols at once that hearts like thee Contain two powers, in which we see A passion strong to war inclined, And a soft, pure, and tender mind.

Earliest of buds when snows decay From these wild northern fields away, Thou comest as a herald dear, To tell us that the spring is near; And shall with sweets and flowers relume Our hearts, for all the winter's gloom. Soon the opeechee[121] comes to sing The pleasures of an early spring; Soon shall the swelling water's roar Tell us that winter is no more; The water-fowl set up their cry, Or hasten to more northern sky; And on the sandy shore shall stray, The plover, the twee-tweesh-ke-way. Soon shall the budding trees expand, And genial skies pervade the land; The little garden hoes shall peck, And female hands the moss beds deck; The apple-tree refresh our sight, With its fair blows of pink and white; The cherry bloom, the strawberry run, And joy fill all the new Seegwun.[122]

[120] Spring beauty, C. Virg.

[121] Robin.

[122] Spring.


Waupee found a deep-trod circle In the boundless prairie wide; In the grassy sea of prairies, Without trace of path beside.

To or fro, there was no token Man had ever trod the plain; And he gazed upon the wonder, Gazed the wonder to explain.

I will watch the place, quoth Waupee, And conceal myself awhile; This strange mystery to unravel, This new thing to reconcile.

Tracks I know of deer and bison, Tracks of panther, lynx, or hind, Beasts and birds of every nature, But this beaten ring is blind.

Do the spirits here assemble, War-dance light to trip and sing? Gather Medas of the prairie, Here their magic charm to fling?

Waupee crept beneath the hushes, Near the wondrous magic ring; Close beneath the shrubs and grasses, To behold so rare a thing.

Soon he heard, high in the heavens, Issuing from the feathery clouds— Sounds of music, quick descending, As if angels came in crowds.

Louder, sweeter, was the music, Every moment that he stayed; Till a basket, with twelve sisters, Was with all its charms displayed.

Down they came, in air suspended, As if by thin silver cords; And within the circle landed, Gay and bright as beauteous birds.

Out they leaped with nimble gestures, Dancing softly round and round; Each a ball of silver chiming, With the most enchanting sound.

Beauteous were they all—but one so More than all the other eleven, Youngest she, he sighed to clasp her To his ardent, glowing breast.

Up he rose from his concealment, From his flower-encircled bed; But, as quick-eyed birds, they spied him, Stepped into the car and fled.

Fled into the starry heavens, While with open ear he stood, Drinking the receding music, As it left his solitude.

Now, indeed, was he a stranger, And a fugitive alone; For the peace that once he cherished, With the heavenly car had flown.

Touched his heart was by love's fervors, He no longer wished to rove; Lost the charm of war and hunting, Waupee was transfixed by love.

Ah! 'tis love that wins the savage From his wanderings, and can teach, Where the truth could never touch him, Where the gospel could not reach.

Long he mourned—and lingering, waited Round the charmed celestial ring; Day by day he lingered, hoping Once to hear those angels sing.

To deceive, the quick eyes glancing, An opossum's form he tries; And crouched low, beside the circle, Stooped, that he might win the prize.

Soon the sounds he heard descending, Soon they leaped within the ring; Joining hand in hand in dancing, Round and round—sweet revelling.

Up he rose, quick disenchanted, Rose and clasped his female star, While, as lightning, quick the eleven Leaped, and rose within their car.

Home he took her to his wigwam, Sought each varied way to please; Gave her flowers and rarest presents, All to yield her joy and ease.

And a beauteous son rewarded Love so constant, true, and mild; Who renewed in every feature, Nature's lonely forest child.

But, as thoughts of youth will linger Long within the heart's fond core; So she nursed the pleasing passion, Her star-home to see once more—

Made an ark of wicker branches, All by secret arts and care; Sought the circle with her earth-boy, Fleeing to her Father star.

There, at length, the boy grew weary, Weary e'en of heavenly spheres, Longing for earth's cares and pleasures, Hunting, feasting, joys, and tears.

"Call thy husband," quoth the star chief, "Take the magic car and go; But bring with thee some fit emblems, Of the sounding chase below.

"Claw, or wing, or toe, or feathers, Scalp of bird or beast to tell; What he follows in the wood-chase, Arts the hunter knows so well."

Waupee searched the deepest forests, Prairies vast, or valleys low; All to find out the rarest species, That he might the star-world show.

Then he sought the ring of magic, With his forest stores so rare; And within the starry basket, Rose with all his emblems fair.

Joys of greeting—joys of seeing— Hand to hand, and eye to eye; These o'ercrowned with smiles and laughing, This lodge-meeting in the sky.

Then a glorious feast was ordered, To receive the forest guest; While the sweet reunion lighted, Joy in every beating breast.

Broad the feasting board was covered, The high starry group to bind; When the star chief rose to utter His congratulations kind.

"List, my guests—the Spirit wills it, Earth to earth, and sky to sky; Choose ye each a claw or pinion, Such as ye may wish to try."

Wondrous change! by arts' transformance, At the typic heavenly feast; Each who chose a wing a bird was, Each who chose a claw, a beast.

Off they ran on plains of silver, Squirrel, rabbit, elk, or deer; White Hawk chose a wing, descending Down again to forests here,

Where the Waupees are still noted For their high essays of wing; And their noble deeds of bravery, In the forest, mount, and ring.


Nesia, my elder brother, Bones have been my forest meal, Shared with wolves the long, long winter, And their nature now I feel.

Nesia, my elder brother, Now my fate is near its close; Soon my state shall cease to press me, Soon shall cease my day of woes.

Left by friends I loved the dearest, All who knew and loved me most; Woes the darkest and severest, Bide me on this barren coast.

Pity! ah, that manly feeling, Fled from hearts where once it grew, Now in wolfish forms revealing, Glows more warmly than in you.

Stony hearts! that saw me languish, Deaf to all a father said, Deaf to all a mother's anguish, All a brother's feelings fled.

Ah, ye wolves, in all your ranging, I have found you kind and true; More than man—and now I'm changing, And will soon be one of you.

Lodge of kindred once respected, Now my heart abhors your plan; Hated, shunned, disowned, neglected, Wolves are truer far than man.

And like them, I'll be a rover, With an honesty of bite That feigns not to be a lover, When the heart o'erflows with spite.

Go, ye traitors, to my lodge-fire; Go, ye serpents, swift to flee, War with kinds that have your natures, I am disenthrall'd and free.



Abbinochi,[123] baby dear, Leave me not—ah, leave me not; I have nursed with love sincere, Nursed thee in my forest cot— Tied thee in thy cradle trim Kind adjusting every limb; With the fairest beads and bands Deck'd thy cradle with my hands, And with sweetest corn panaed From my little kettle fed, Oft with miscodeed[124] roots shred, Fed thee in thy baby bed.

Abbinochi, droop not so, Leave me not—away to go To strange lands—thy little feet Are not grown the path to greet Or find out, with none to show Where the flowers of grave-land grow. Stay, my dear one, stay till grown, I will lead thee to that zone Where the stars like silver shine, And the scenes are all divine, And the happy, happy stray, And, like Abbinochi, play.

[123] A child.

[124] Claytonia Virginica.


(This is the impersonation of death in Indian mythology. He is represented with a bow and arrows.)

Pauguk! 'tis a scene of woe, This world of troubles; let me go Arm'd to show forth the Master's will, Strike on thy purpose to fulfil. I fear not death—my only fear Is ills and woes that press me here. Want stares me in the face, or woe, Where'er I dwell—where'er I go; Fishing and hunting only give The pinching means to let me live; And if, at night, I lay me down, In dreams and sleep my rest to crown, Ere day awakes its slumbering eyes, I start to hear the foe's mad cries, Louder and louder, as I clutch My club, or lance, or bow and dart, And, springing with a panther's touch, Display the red man's bloody art.

Nay, I am sick of life and blood, That drowns my country like a flood, Pouring o'er hill, and vale, and lea, Lodge, ville, and council, like a sea, Where one must gasp and gasp for breath To live—and stay the power of death. Ah! life's good things are all too poor, Its daily hardships to endure. My fathers told me, there's a land Where peace and joy abound in hand, And plenty smiles, and sweetest scenes Expand in lakes, and groves, and greens. No pain or hunger there is known, And pleasure reigns throughout alone— I would go there, and taste and see A life so beauteous, bless'd and free, Where man has no more power to kill, And the Great Spirit all things fills. Blanch not, Pauguk, I have no fear, And would not longer linger here; But bend thy bow and aim thy dart, Behold an honest hunter's heart: Thereby a dart, a boon may give, A happy life on high to live.

'Tis all the same, in countries here, Or where Pacific billows roar, We roved in want, and woe and fear Along the Mississippi shore. And where Missouri's waters rush, To tell to man that God is strong, We shrank as from a tiger's touch, To hear the white man's shout or song. O not for us is peace and joy Arising from the race that spread, Their purpose only's to destroy— Our only peace is with the dead. Think not my heart is pale with fear, But strike, Pauguk—strike boldly here.


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