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And they called the women round them,
Called the young men and the maidens,
To the harvest of the corn-fields,
To the husking of the maize-car..

On the border of the forest,
Underneath the fragrant pine-trees,
Sat the old men and the warriors
Smoking in the pleasant shadow.
In uninterrupted silence
Looked they at the gamesome labor
Of the young men and the women ;
Listened to their noisy talking,
To their laughter and their singing,
Heard them chattering like the magpies
Heard them laughing like the blue-jays,
Heard them singing like the robins.

And whene'er some lucky maiden
Found a red ear in the husking,
Found a maize-ear red as blood is,
“ Nushka !” cried they all together,

“Nushka! you shall have a sweetheart, , You shall have a handsome husband!”

Ugh!” the old men all responded From their seats beneath the pine-trees.

And whene'er a youth or maiden Found a crooked ear in husking, Found a maize-ear in the husking Blighted, mildewed, or misshapen, Then they laughed and sang together, Crept and limped about the corn-fields, Mimicked in their gait and gestures Some old man, bent almost double, Singing singly or together :

Wagemin, the thief of corn-fields ! Paimosaid, who steals the maize-ear!”

Till the corn-fields rang with laughter, Till from Hiawatha's wigwam Kahgahgee, the King of Ravens, Screamed and quivered in his anger, And from all the neighboring tree-tops

Cawed and croaked the black marauders.

Ugh!" the old men all responded, From their seats beneath the pine-trees !




In those days said Hiawatha,
“ Lo! how all things fade and perish!
From the memory of the old men
Pass away the great traditions,
The achievements of the warriors,
The adventures of the hunters,
All the wisdom of the Medas,
All the craft of the Wabenos,
All the marvellous dreams and visions
Of the Jossakeeds, the Prophets !

6 Great men die and are forgotten, Wise men speak; their words of wisdom

Perish in the ears that hear them,
Do not reach the generations
That, as yet unborn, are waiting
In the great, mysterious darkness
Of the speechless days that shall be!

“On the grave-posts of our fathers
Are no signs, no figures painted;
Who are in those graves we know not,
Only know they are our fathers.
Of what kith they are and kindred,
From what old, ancestral Totem,
Be it Eagle, Bear, or Beaver,
They descended, this we know not,
Only know they are our fathers.

“ Face to face we speak together,
But we cannot speak when absent,
Cannot send our voices from us
To the friends that dwell afar off;

Cannot send a secret message,
But the bearer learns our secret,

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