Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

175

XU.

BLESSING THE CORN-FIELDS.

Sing, O Song of Hiawatha,
Of the happy days that followed,
In the land of the Ojibways,
In the pleasant land and peaceful !
Sing the mysteries of Mondamin,
Sing the Blessing of the Corn-fields !

Buried was the bloody hatchet,
Buried was the dreadful war-club,
Buried were all warlike weapons,
And the war-cry was forgotten.
There was peace among the nations ;
Unmolested roved the hunters,

Built the birch canoe for sailing,
Caught the fish in lake and river,
Shot the deer and trapped the beaver;
Unmolested worked the women,
Made their sugar from the maple,
Gathered wild rice in the meadows,

Dressed the skins of deer and beaver.

All around the happy village Stood the maize-fields, green and shining, Waved the green plumes of Mondamin, Waved his soft and sunny tresses, Filling all the land with plenty. 'T was the women who in Spring-time Planted the broad fields and fruitful, Buried in the earth Mondamin; 'T was the women who in Autumn Stripped the yellow husks of harvest, Stripped the garments from Mondamin, Even as Hiawatha taught them.

Once, when all the maize was planted,

Hiawatha, wise and thoughtful,
Spake and said to Minnehaha,
To his wife, the Laughing Water.
“ You shall bless to-night the corn-fields,
Draw a magic circle round them,
To protect them from destruction,
Blast of mildew, blight of insect,
Wagemin, the thief of corn-fields,
Paimosaid, who steals the maize-ear!

“ In the night, when all is silence,
In the night, when all is darkness,
When the Spirit of Sleep, Nepahwin,
Shuts the doors of all the wigwams,
So that not an ear can hear you,
So that not an eye can see you,
Rise
up

bed in silence, Lay aside your garments wholly, Walk around the fields you planted, Round the borders of the corn-fields, Covered by your tresses only,

from your

Robed with darkness as a garment.

6. Thus the fields shall be more fruitful,
And the passing of your footsteps
Draw a magic circle round them,
So that neither blight nor mildew,
Neither burrowing worm nor insect,
Shall pass o'er the magic circle ;
Not the dragon-fly, Kwo-ne-she,
Nor the spider, Subbekashe,
Nor the grasshopper, Pah-puk-keena,
Nor the mighty caterpillar,
Way-muk-kwana, with the bear-skin,
King of all the caterpillars !"

On the tree-tops near the corn-fields
Sat the hungry crows and ravens,
Kahgahgee, the King of Ravens,
With his band of black marauders.
And they laughed at Hiawatha,
Till the tree-tops shook with laughter,
With their melancholy laughter

[ocr errors]

At the words of Hiawatha.

“ Hear him!” said they;“ hear the Wise Man! Hear the plots of Hiawatha!

When the noiseless night descended
Broad and dark o'er field and forest,
When the mournful Wawonaissa,
Sorrowing sang among the hemlocks,
And the Spirit of Sleep, Nepahwin,
Shut the doors of all the wigwams,
From her bed rose Laughing Water,
Laid aside her garments wholly,
And with darkness clothed and guarded,
Unashamed and unaffrighted,
Walked securely round the corn-fields,
Drew the sacred, magic circle
Of her footprints round the corn-fields.

No one but the Midnight only
Saw her beauty in the darkness,
No one but the Wawonaissa
Heard the panting of her bosom ;

« AnteriorContinuar »