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In the mighty ribs of Nahma,
He was standing near his wigwam,
"I have slain the Mishe-Nahma, Slain the King of Fishes!" said he; "Look! the sea-gulls feed upon him, Yes, my friend Kayoshk, the sea-gulls; Drive them not away, Nokomis, They have saved me from great peril In the body of the sturgeon, Wait until their meal is ended, Till their craws are full with feasting, Till they homeward fly, at sunset, To their nests among the marshes; Then bring all your pots and kettles, And make oil for us in Winter."
And she waited till the sun set, Till the pallid moon, the night-sun, Rose above the tranquil water, Till Kayoshk, the sated sea-gulls, From their banc met rose with clamor, And across the fiery sunset Winged their way to far-off islands, To their nests among the rushes.
To his sleep went Hiawatha, And Nokomis to her labor, Toiling patient in the moonlight, Till the sun and moon changed places, Till the sky was red with sunrise, And Kayoshk, the hungry sea-gulls,
Came back from the reedy islands,
Three whole days and nights alternate
HIAWATHA AND THE PEARL-FEATHER.
On tlie shores of Gitche Gumee,
Fiercely the red sun descending
And Nokomis, the old woman,
When he came on earth to seek me.
"Take your bow, O Hiawatha,
Straightway then my Hiawatha
Forward leaped Cheemaun exulting,
Soon he reached the fiery serpents, The Kenabeek, the great serpents, Lying huge upon the water, Sparkling, rippling in the water, Lying coiled across the passage,
With their blazing crests uplifted,
Breathing fiery fogs and vapors,
So that none could pass beyond them.
But the fearless Hiawatha Cried aloud, and spake in this wise: "Let me pass my way, Kenabeek, Let me go upon my journey!" And they answered, hissing fiercely, With their fiery breath made answer: "Back, go back! O Shaugodaya! Back to old Nokomis, Faint-heart!"
Then the angry Hiawatha Raised his mighty bow of ash-tree, Seized his arrows, jasper-headed, Shot them fast among the serpents;Every twanging of the bow-string Was a war-cry and a death-cry, Every whizzing of an arrow Was a death-song of Kenabeek. Weltering in the bloody water, Dead lay all the fiery serpents, And among them Hiawatha Harmless sailed, and cried exulting:"Onward, O Cheemaun, my darling! Onward to the black pitch-water!" Then he took the oil of Nahma, And the bows and sides anointed, Smeared them well with oil, that swiftly He might pass the black pitch-water. All night long he sailed upon it, Sailed upon that sluggish water, Covered with its mould of ages, Black with rotting water-rushes, Rank with flags and leaves of lilies, Stagnant, lifeless, dreary, dismal, Lighted by the shimmering moonlight, And by will-o'-the-wisps illumined, Fires by ghosts of dead men kindled, In their weary night-encampments.
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