Tasted not the food before them,

As among the guests assembled, Only waited on the others,

To the sound of flutes and singing, Only served their guests in silence. To the sound of drums and voices,

And when all the guests had finished, Rose the bandsome Pau-Puk-Keewis, Old Nokomis, brisk and busy,

And began his mystic dances. From an ample pouch of otter,

First he danced a solemn measure, Filled the red stone pipes for smoking Very slow in step and gesture, With tobacco from the South-land, In and out among the pine-trees, Mixed with bark of the red willow, Through the shadows and the sunshine, And with herbs and leaves of fragrance. | Treading softly like a pantber,

Then she said, “O Pau-Puk-Keewis, Then more swiftly and still swifter, Dance for us your merry dances, Whirling, spinning round in circles, Dance the Beggar's Dance to please us, Leaping o'er the guests assembler, That the feast may be more joyous, Eddying round and round the wigwam, That the time may pass more gaily, Till the leaves went wbirling with him, And our guests be more contented!” Till the dust and wind together

Then the handsome Pau-Puk-Keewis, Swept in eddies round about him. He the idle Yenadizze,

Then along the sandy margin He the merry mischief-maker,

Of the lake, the Big-Sea-Water, Whom the people call the Storm-Fool, | On he sped with frenzied gestures, Rose among the guests assembled. Stamped upon the sand and tossed it

Skilled was he in sports and pastimes, | Wildly in the air around him; In the merry dance of snow-shoes, Till the wind became a whirlwind, In the play of quoits and ball-play; Till the sand was blown and sifted Skilled was he in games of hazard, Like great snowdrifts o'er the landscape, In all games of skill and bazard, Heaping all the shores with Sand Dunes, Pugasaing, the Bowl and Counters, Sand Hills of the Nagow Wudjoo! Kuntassoo, the Game of Plum-stones. Thus the merry Pau-Puk-Keewis Though the warriors called 'him Faint- Danced his Beggar's Dance to please them, heart,

And, returning, sat down laughing Called him coward, Shaugodaya, There among the guests assembled, Idler, gambler, Yenadizze,

Sat and fanned himself serenely Little heeded he their jesting,

With his fan of turkey-feathers. Little cared he for their insults,

Then they said to Chibiabos, For the women and the maidens

To the friend of Hiawatha,
Loved the handsome Pau-Puk-Keewis. To the sweetest of all singers,

He was dressed in shirt of doe-skin, To the best of all musicians,
White and soft, and fringed with ermine, “ Sing to us, O Chibiabos !
All inwrought with beads of wampum ; Songs of love and songs of longing,
He was dressed in deer-skin leggings, That the feast may be more joyous,
Fringed with hedgehog quills and ermine, That the time may pass more gaily,
And in moccasins of buck-skin

And our guests be more contented!"
Thick with quills and beads embroidered. And the gentle Chibiabos
On his head were plumes of swan's down, Sang in accents sweet and tender,
On his heels were tails of foxes,

Sang in tones of deep emotion, In one hand a fan of feathers,

Songs of love and songs of longing; And a pipe was in the other.

Looking still at Hiawatha, Barred with streaks of red and yellow, Looking at fair Laughing Water, Streaks of blue and bright vermilion, Sang he softly, sang in this wise: Shone the face of Pau-Puk-Keewis. “Onaway! Awake, beloved ! From his forehead fell his tresses, Thou the wild flower of the forest ! Smooth and parted like a woman's, Thou the wild bird of the prairie ! Shining bright with oil, and plaited, Thou with eyes so soft and fawn-like! Hung with braids of scented grasses, I “If thou only lookest at me,

I am happy, I am happy,

But himself had done a bolder;
As the lilies of the prairie,

Never any marvellous story
When they feel the dew upon them! But himself could tell a stranger.

"Sweet thy breath is as the fragrance Would you listen to his boasting, Of the wild flowers in the morning, Would you only give him credence, As their fragrance is at evening,

No one ever shot an arrow
In the Moon when leaves are falling. Half so far and high as he had;

"Does not all the blood within me Ever caught so many fishes,
Leap to meet thee, leap to meet thee, Ever killed so many reindeer,
As the springs to meet the sunshine, Ever trapped so many beaver !
In the Moon when nights are brightest ? | None could run so fast as he could,

“Onaway! my heart sings to thee, None could dive so deep as he could, Sings with joy when thou art near me, None could swim so far as he could; As the sighing, singing branches | None had made so many journeys, In the pleasant Moon of Strawberries! | None had seen so many wonders,

"When thou art not pleased, beloved, As this wonderful Iagoo, Then my heart is sad and darkened, As this marvellous story-teller ! As the shining river darkens

Thus his name became a by-word When the clouds drop shadows on it! And a jest among the people;

“When thou smilest, my beloved, And whene'er a boastful hunter Then my troubled heart is brightened, Praised his own address too highly, As in sunshine gleam the ripples

Or a warrior, home returning, That the cold wind makes in rivers. Talked too much of his achievements, “Smiles the earth, and smile the All his hearers cried, “ Iagoo! waters,

Here's Iagoo come among us!” Smile the cloudless skies above us,

He it was who carved the cradle But I lose the way of smiling

Of the little Hiawatha, When thou art no longer near me ! Carved its framework out of linden,

“I myself, myself! behold me! Bound it strong with reindeer's sinews; Blood of my beating heart, behold me! He it was wbo taught him later O awake, awake, beloved !

How to make his bows and arrows, Onaway! awake, beloved !"

How to make the bows of ash-tree, Thus the gentle Chibiabos

And the arrows of the oak-tree. Sang his song of love and longing ; So among the guests assembled And lagoo, the great boaster,

At my Hiawatha's wedding He the marvellous story-teller,

Sat Iagoo, old and ugly, He the friend of old Nokomis,

Sat the marvellous story-teller.
Jealous of the sweet musician,

And they said, “O good lagoo,
Jealous of the applause they gave him, Tell us now a tale of wonder,
Saw in all the eyes around him,

Tell us of some strange adventure, Saw in all their looks and gestures, That the feast may be more joyous, That the wedding-guests assembled That the time may pass more gaily, Longed to hear his pleasant stories, And our guests be more contented !” His immeasurable falsehoods.

And Iagoo answered straightway, Very boastful was lagoo;

“ You shall hear a tale of wonder, Never heard he an adventure

You shall hear the strange adventures But himself had met a greater;

Of Osseo, the Magician, Never any deed of daring

From the Evening Star descended."


THE SON OF THE EVENING STAR. Can it be the sun descending

Always coughing like a squirrel. O'er the level plain of water?

“Ah, but beautiful within him
Or the Red Swan floating, flying, Was the spirit of Osseo,
Wounded by the magic arrow,

From the Evening Star descended,
Staining all the waves with crimson, Star of Evening, Star of Woman,
With the crimson of its life-blood, Star of tenderness and passion,
Filling all the air with splendour, All its fire was in his bosom,
With the splendour of its plumage ? All its beauty in his spirit,

Yes ; it is the sun descending, All its inystery in his being,
Sinking down into the water;

All its splendour in his language ! All the sky is stained with purple,

" And her lovers, the rejected, All the water flushed with crimson ! Handsome men with belts of wannpum, No; it is the Red Swan floating, Handsome men with paint and feathers, Diving down beneath the water ;

Pointed at her in derision, To the sky its wings are lifted,

Followed her with jest and laughter. With its blood the waves are reddened ! But she said: 'I care not for you, Over it the Star of Evening

Care not for your belts of wampam, Melts and trembles through the purple, Care not for your paint and feathers, Hangs suspended in the twilight.

Care not for your jests and laughter! No; it is a bead of wampum

I am happy with Osseo ! On the robes of the Great Spirit,

“Once to some great feast invited, As he passes through the twilight, Through the damp and dusk of evening, Walks in silence through the heavens ! Walked together the ten sisters, This with joy bebeld Iagon,

Walked together with their husbands; And he said in baste : “Behold it ! Slowly followed old Osseo, See the Sacred Star of Evening! With fair Oweence beside him; You shall bear a tale of wonder,

All the others chatted gaily, Hear the Story of Osseo,

These two only walked in silence. Son of the Evening Star, Osseo !

“At the Western sky Osseo “Once, in days no more remembered, Gazed intent, as if imploring, Ages nearer the beginning,

Often stopped and gazed imploring
When the heavens were closer to us, At the trembling Star of Evening,
And the Gods were more familiar, At the tender Star of Woman ;
In the North-land lived a hunter, And they heard him murmur softly,
With ten young and comely daughters, | * Ah, showain nemeshin, Nosa!
Tall and lithe as wands of willow; Pity, pity me, my father!'
Only Oweenee, the youngest,

1. Listen !' said the eldest sister, She the wilful and the wayward,

He is praying to his father! She the silent, dreamy maiden,

What a pity that the old man Was the fairest of the sisters.

Does not stumble in the pathway, "All these women married warriors, Does not break bis neck by falling !' Married brave and haughty husbands; And they laughed till all the forest Only Oweenee, the youngest,

Rang with their unseemly laughter. Laughed and flouted all her lovers,

“On their pathway through the wood. All her young and handsome suitors,

lands And then married old Osseo,

Lay an oak, by storms uprooted, Old Osseo, poor and ugly,

Lay the great trunk of an oak-tree, Broken with age and weak with cough- Buried half in leaves and mosses,

Mouldering, crumbling, huge and hollow, And Osseo, when he saw it,


| Shall be wood and clay no longer; Gave a shout, a cry of anguish,

But the bowls be changed to wampum, Leaped into its yawning cavern,

And the kettles shall be silver; At one end went in an old man,

They shall shine like shells of scarlet, Wasted, wrinkled, old, and ugly; Like the fire shall gleam and glimmer. From the other came a young man,

""And the women shall no longer Tall and straight, and strong, and hand. Bear the dreary doom of labour, some.

But be changed to birds, and glisten " Thus Osseo was transfigured, With the beauty of the starlight, Thus restored to youth and beauty; Painted with the dusky splendours But, alas ! for good Osseo,

Of the skies and clouds of evening!' And for Oweenee, the faithful !

“What Osseo heard as whispers, Strangely, too, was she transfigured, What as words he comprehended, Changed into a weak old woman.

Was but music to the others, With a staff she tottered onward, Music as of birds afar off, Wasted, wrinkled, old, and ugly! Of the whippoorwill afar off, And the sisters and their husbands Of the lonely Wawonaissa Laughed until the echoing forest

Singing in the darksome forest. Bang with their unseemly laughter.

“Then the lodge began to tremble, “But Oeseo turned not from her, Straight began to shake and tremble, Walked with slower step beside her, And they felt it rising, rising, Took her hand, as brown and withered Slowly through the air ascending, As an oak-leaf is in Winter,

From the darkness of the tree-tops Called her sweetheart, Nenemoosha, Forth into the dewy starlight, Soothed her with soft words of kindness, Till it passed the topmost branches; Till they reached the lodge of feasting, And behold! the wooden dishes Till they sat down in the wigwam, All were changed to shells of scarlet ! Sacred to the Star of Evening,

And behold! the earthen kettles To the tender Star of Woman.

All were changed to bowls of silver! “ Wrapt in visions, lost in dreaming, And the roof-poles of the wigwam At the banquet sat Osseo;

Were as glittering rods of silver, All were merry, all were happy,

And the roof of bark upon them All were joyous but Oesco.

As the shining shards of beetles. Neither food nor drink be tasted,

"Then Osseo gazed around him, Neither did he speak nor listen,

And he saw the nine fair sisters, But as one bewildered sat he,

All the sisters and their husbands, Looking dreamily and sadly,

Changed to birds of various plumage, First at Oweenee, then upward

Some were jays and some were magpies, At the gleaming sky above them. Others thrushes, others black birds;

"Then a voice was heard, a whisper, And they hopped, and sang, and twitComing from the starry distance,

tered, Coming from the enıpty vastness, Perked and fluttered all their feathers, Low, and musical, and tender;

Strutted in their shining plumage, And the voice said: 'O Osseo !

And their tails like fans unfolded. O my son, my best beloved !

"Only Oweenee, the youngest, Broken are the spells that bound you, Was not changed, but sat in silence, All the charms of the magicians,

Wasted, wrinkled, old, and ugly, All the magic powers of evil;

Looking sadly at the others; Come to me ; ascend, Osseo !

Till Osseo, gazing upward, “Taste the fiod that stands before you: Gave another cry of anguish, It is blessed and enchanted,

Such a cry as he had uttered It has magic virtues in it,

By the oak-tree in the forest. It will change you to a spirit.

“Then returned her youth and All your bowls and all your kettles


And her soiled and tattered garments Hung the cage with rods of silver.
Were transformed to robes of ermine, | And fair Oweenee, the faithful,
And her staff became a feather, | Bore a son unto Osseo,
Yes, a shining silver feather!

With the beauty of his mother,
: And again the wigwam trembled, | With the courage of his father.
Swayed and rushed through airy currents, “ And the boy grew up and prospered,
Through transparent cloud and vapour, And Osseo, to delight him,
And amid celestial splendours

Made him little bows and arrows, On the Evening Star alighted,

Opened the great cage of silver, As a snow-flake falls on snow-flake, And let loose his aunts and uncles, As a leaf drops on a river,

All those birds with glossy feathers, As the thistle-down on water.

For bis little son to shoot at. “Forth with cheerful words of wel. "Round and round they wheeled and come

darted, Came the father of Osseo,

Filled the Evening Star with music, He with radiant locks of silver,

With their songs of joy and freedom; He with eyes serene and tender. Filled the Evening Star with splendour, And he said: “My son Osseo,

With the fluttering of their plumage; Hang the cage of birds you bring there. Till the boy, the little hunter, Hang the cage with rods of silver, Bent his bow and shot an arrow, And the birds with glistening feathers, Shot a swift and fatal arrow, At the doorway of my wigwam.' And a bird, with shining feathers,

"At the door he hung the bird-cage, | At his feet fell wounded sorely. And they entered in and gladly

"But, О wondrous transformation! Listened to Osseo's father,

'Twas no bird he saw before bim, Ruler of the Star of Evening,

'Twas a beautiful young woman, As he said: 'O my Osseo !

With the arrow in her bosom! I have had compassion on you,

“When her blood fell on the planet, Given you back your youth and beauty, On the sacred Star of Evening, Into birds of various plumage . Broken was the spell of magic, Changed your sisters and their husbands; Powerless was the strange enchantment, Changed them thus because they mocked And the youth, the fearless bowman,

Suddenly felt himself descending, In the figure of the old man,

Held by unseen hands, but sinking In that aspect sad and wrinkled, Downward through the empty spaces, Could not see your heart of passion, Downward through the clouds and vaCould not see your youth immortal ;

pours, Only Oweenee, the faithful,

Till he rested on an island,
Saw your naked heart and loved you. On an island green and grassy,

" In the lodge that glimmers yonder Yonder in the Big-Sea-Water. In the little star that twinkles

"After him he saw descending Through the vapours, on the left hand, All the birds with shining feathers, Lives the envious Evil Spirit,

Fluttering, falling, wafted downward, The Wabeno, the magician,

Like the painted leaves of Autumn;
Who transformed you to an old man. And the lodge with poles of silver,
Take heed lest his beams fall on you, With its roof like wings of beetles,
For the rays he darts around him Like the shining shards of beetles,
Are the power of his enchantment, By the winds of heaven uplifted,
Are the arrows that he uses.'

Slowly sank upon the island,
“Many years, in peace and quiet, Bringing back the good Osseo,
On the peaceful Star of Evening Bringing Oweenee, the faithful.
Dwelt Osseo with his father ;

"Then the birds, again transfigured, Many years, in song and flutter,

Reassumed the shape of mortals, At the doorway of the wigwam,

Took their shape, but not their stature;


« 上一页继续 »