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Can it be the sun descending
O’er the level plain of water ?
Or the Red Swan floating, flying,
Wounded by the magic arrow,
Staining all the waves with crimson,
With the crimson of its life-blood,
Filling all the air with splendor,
With the splendor of its plumage ?
Yes ; it is the sun descending,
Sinking down into the water;
All the sky is stained with purple,
All the water flushed with crimson !
No; it is the Red Swan floating,
Diving down beneath the water;
To the sky its wings are lifted,
With its blood the waves are reddened !
Over it the Star of Evening
Melts and trembles through the purple,
Hangs suspended in the twilight.
No; it is a bead of wampum
On the robes of the Great Spirit,
As he passes through the twilight,
Walks in silence through the heavens
This with joy beheld lagoo
And he said in haste: 66 Behold it!
See the sacred Star of Evening!
You shall hear a tale of wonder,
Hear the story of Osseo,
Son of the Evening Star, Osseo !
Once, in days no more remembered,
Ages nearer the beginning,
When the heavens were closer to us,
And the Gods were more familiar,
In the North-land lived a hunter,
With ten young and comely daughters,
Tall and lithe as wands of willow;
Only Oweenee, the youngest,
She the wilful and the wayward,
She the silent, dreamy maiden,
Was the fairest of the sisters.
“ All these women married warriors,
Married brave and haughty husbands ;
Only Oweenee, the youngest,
Laughed and flouted all her lovers,
All her young and handsome suitors,
And then married old Osseo,
Old Osseo, poor and ugly,
Broken with age and weak with coughing,
Always coughing like a squirrel.
“Ah, but beautiful within him Was the spirit of Osseo, From the Evening Star descended,
Star of Evening, Star of Woman,
Star of tenderness and passion!
All its fire was in his bosom
All its beauty in his spirit,
All its mystery in his being,
All its splendor in his language !
“ And her lovers, the rejected,
Handsome men with belts of wampum,
Handsome men with paint and feathers,
Pointed at her in derision,
Followed her with jest and laughter.
But she said: 'I care not for you,
Care not for your belts of wampum,
Care not for your paint and feathers,
Care not for your jests and laughter ;
I am happy with Osseo!'
“ Once to some great feast invited, Through the damp and dusk of evening Walked together the ten sisters, Walked together with their husbands;
Slowly followed old Osseo,
With fair Oweenee beside him ;
All the others chatted gayly,
These two only walked in silence.
“ At the western sky Osseo
Gazed intent, as if imploring,
Often stopped and gazed imploring
At the trembling Star of Evening,
At the tender Star of Woman;
And they heard him murmur softly,
"Ah, showain nemeshin, Nosa!
Pity, pity me, my father!'
666 Listen !' said the eldest sister,
He is praying to his father !
What a pity that the old man
Does not stumble in the pathway,
Does not break his neck by falling!'
And they laughed till all the forest
Rang with their unseemly laughter.
“On their pathway through the woodlands