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THE SONG OF HIAWATHA.

1

SHOULD you ask me, whence these stories ?
Whence these legends and traditions,
With the odors of the forest,
With the dew and damp of meadows,
With the curling smoke of wigwams,
With the rushing of great rivers,
With their frequent repetitions,
And their wild reverberations,
As of thunder in the mountains ?

I should answer, I should tell you,
“ From the forests and the prairies,
From the great lakes of the Northland,

From the land of the Ojibways,
From the land of the Dacotahs,
From the mountains, moors, and fen-lands,
Where the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah,
Feeds among the reeds and rushes.
I repeat them as I heard them
From the lips of Nawadaha,
The musician, the sweet singer."

Should you ask where Nawadaha
Found these songs, so wild and wayward.
Found these legends and traditions,
I should answer, I should tell you,
“ In the bird's-nests of the forest,
In the lodges of the beaver,
In the hoof-prints of the bison,
In the eyry of the eagle !

“ All the wild-fowl sang them to him,
In the moorlands and the fen-lands,
In the melancholy marshes ;
Chetowaik, the plover, sang them,

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