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0 Ttte long and dreary Winter!
Hardly from his buried wigwam
O the famine and the fever! O the wasting of the famine! O the blasting of the fever! O the wailing of the children! O the anguish of the women!
All the earth was sick and famished;
Into Hiawatha's wigwam
And the foremost said: "Behold me!
And the lovely Minnehaha
Forth into the empty forest
Wrapped in furs and armed for hunting,
"Gitche Manito, the Mighty!" Cried he with his face uplifted In that bitter hour of anguish, "Give your children food, O father I Give us food, or we must, perish 1 Give me food for Minnehaha, For my dying Minnehaha!"
Through the far-resounding forest, Through the forest vast and vacant Rang that cry of desolation,
But there came no other answer
All day long roved Hiawatha
In the wigwam with Nokomis, With those gloomy guests, that watched her, With the Famine and the Fever, She was lying, the Beloved, She the dying Minnehaha.
"Hark!" she said; "I hear a rushing, Hear a roaring and a rushing, Hear the Falls of Minnehaha Calling to me from a distance!" "No, my child!" said old Nokomis, "'T is the night-wind in the pine-trees!"
"Look!" she said; u 1 see my father Standing lonely at his doorway, Beckoning to me from his wigwam In the land of the Dacotahs!" "No, my child !" said old Nokomis, "'T is the smoke, that waves and beckons I *
"Ah!" she said, "the eyes of Pauguk
And the desolate Hiawatha,
Over snow-fields waste and pathless,
And he rushed into the wigwam, Saw the old Nokomis slowly Rocking to and fro and moaning, Saw his lovely Minnehaha Lying dead and cold before him, And his bursting heart within him Uttered such a cry of anguish, That the forest moaned and shuddered, That the very stars in heaven Shook and trembled with his anguish.
Then he sat down, still and speechless, On the bed of Minnehaha, At the feet of Laughing Water, At those willing feet, that never More would lightly run to meet him, Never more would lightly follow
With both hands his face he covered,
Then they buried Minnehaha;
In the forest deep and darksome, Underneath the moaning hemlocks; Clothed her in her richest garments, Wrapped her in her robes of ermine, Covered her with snow, like ermine; Thus they buried Minnehaha.
And at night a fire was lighted, On her grave four times was kindled, For her soul upon its journey To the Islands of the Blessed. From his doorway Hiawatha Saw it burning in the forest, Lighting up the gloomy hemlocks; From his sleepless bed uprising, From the bed of Minnehaha, Stood and watched it at the doorway, That it might not be extinguished, Might not leave her in the darkness.
"Farewell!" said he, "Minnehaha! Farewell, O my Laughing Water! All my heart is buried with you, All my thoughts go onward with you! Come not back again to labor, Come not back again to sutler, Wrhere the Famine and the Fever Wear the heart and waste the body. Soon my task will be completed, Soon your footsteps I shall follow To the Islands of the Blessed, To the Kingdom of Ponemah, To the Land of the Hereafter 1"
VOL. II. 24