Song of Hiawatha

In my article of a month ago, I wrote of my beloved uncle. He introduced me to the world of poetry in all its portrayals of love, poverty, laughter, and despair. I also included two poems from the poetry book The Thousand Best Poems In the World.

I would now like to introduce a beloved poem that is world famous. The Song of Hiawatha. This poem was and still is among my favorites. It is in Wikipedia and also in the above book.

Hiawatha

The Song of Hiawatha

On the shores of Gitche Gumee,
Of the shining Big-Sea-Water,
Stood Nokomis, the old woman,
Pointing with her finger westward,
O’er the water pointing westward,
To the purple clouds of sunset.
Fiercely the red sun descending
Burned his way along the heavens,
Set the sky on fire behind him,

As war-parties, when retreating,
Burn the prairies on their war trail;
And the moon, the Night-sun, eastward,
Suddenly starting from his ambush,
Followed fast those bloody footprints,
Followed in that fiery war-trail,

With its glare upon his features.
And Nokomis, the old woman,
Pointing with her finger westward,
Spake these words to Hiawatha:
“Yonder dwells the great Pearl-Feather,
Megissogwon, the Magician,
Manito of Wealth and Wampum,
Guarded by his fiery serpents,
Guarded by the black pitch-water.
You can see his fiery serpents,
The Kenabeek, the great serpents,
Coiling, playing in the water;
You can see the black pitch-water
Stretching far away beyond them,
To the purple clouds of sunset!
“He it was who slew my father,
By his wicked wiles and cunning,
When he from the moon descended,
When he came on earth to seek me.
He, the mightiest of Magicians,
Sends the fever from the marshes,
Sends the pestilential vapors,
Sends the poisonous exhalations,
Sends the white fog from the fen-lands,
Sends disease and death among us!
“Take your bow, O Hiawatha,
Take your arrows, jasper-headed,
Take your war club, Puggawaugun,
And your mittens, Minjekahwun,
And your birch canoe for sailing,
And the oil of Mishe-Nahma,
So to smear its sides, that swiftly
You may pass the black pitch-water;
Slay this merciless magician,
Save the people from the fever
That he breathes across the fen-lands,
And avenge my father’s murder!”………..

The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet (1807-1882)

Longfellow

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Thousand Best Poems in the World
Selected and Arranged by E.W. Cole
London
Hutchinson & Co.9 Publishers) Ltd.
Paternoster Row. F.C.
Melbourne: Coles Book Arcade

In next month’s article, I would like to introduce poetry that centers on the poverty, love, and history of Victorian times in the U.K.

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About Katy Walters

Katy lives on the South coast with her husband and a loving hyper friendly dog who likes to greet and lick everyone on sight. She has a BA Hons (Psych) BA Eng.Lit. MA in Religion and Mysticism and a Hon Dr. Science for research into pain control. She was a psychologist and hypnotherapist before changing direction for full time creative writing, Her main genres are historical romance, crime and science fiction.

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