Henry Wadsworth Longfellow |
"SPEAK! speak! thou fearful guest!
Who, with thy hollow breast
Still in rude armor drest,
Comest to daunt me!
Wrapt not in Eastern balms, 5
But with thy fleshless palms
Stretched, as if asking alms,
Why dost thou haunt me?"
Then, from those cavernous eyes
Pale flashes seemed to rise, 10
As when the Northern skies
Gleam in December;
And, like the water's flow
Under December's snow,
Came a dull voice of woe 15
From the heart's chamber.
"I was a Viking old!
My deeds, though manifold,
No Skald in song has told,
No Saga taught thee! 20
Take heed, that in thy verse
Thou dost the tale rehearse,
Else dread a dead man's curse;
For this I sought thee.
"Far in the Northern Land, 25
By the wild Baltic's strand,
I, with my childish hand,
Tamed the gerfalcon;
And, with my skates fast-bound,
Skimmed the half-frozen Sound, 30
That the poor whimpering hound
Trembled to walk on.
"Oft to his frozen lair
Tracked I the grisly bear,
While from my path the hare 35
Fled like a shadow;
Oft through the forest dark
Followed the were-wolf's bark,
Until the soaring lark
Sang from the meadow.
"But when I older grew,
Joining a corsair's crew,
O'er the dark sea I flew
With the marauders.
Wild was the life we led; 45
Many the souls that sped,
Many the hearts that bled,
By our stern orders.
"Many a wassail-bout
Wore the long Winter out; 50
Often our midnight shout
Set the cocks crowing,
As we the Berserk's tale
Measured in cups of ale,
Draining the oaken pail, 55
Filled to o'erflowing.
"Once as I told in glee
Tales of the stormy sea,
Soft eyes did gaze on me,
Burning yet tender; 60
And as the white stars shine
On the dark Norway pine,
On that dark heart of mine
Fell their soft splendor.
"I wooed the blue-eyed maid, 65
Yielding, yet half afraid,
And in the forest's shade
Our vows were plighted.
Under its loosened vest
Fluttered her little breast, 70
Like birds within their nest
By the hawk frighted.
"Bright in her father's hall
Shields gleamed upon the wall,
Loud sang the minstrels all, 75
Chanting his glory;
When of old Hildebrand
I asked his daughter's hand,
Mute did the minstrels stand
To hear my story.
"While the brown ale he quaffed,
Loud then the champion laughed,
And as the wind-gusts waft
The sea-foam brightly,
So the loud laugh of scorn, 85
Out of those lips unshorn,
From the deep drinking-horn
Blew the foam lightly.
"She was a Prince's child,
I but a Viking wild, 90
And though she blushed and smiled,
I was discarded!
Should not the dove so white
Follow the sea-mew's flight,
Why did they leave that night 95
Her nest unguarded?
"Scarce had I put to sea,
Bearing the maid with me,
Fairest of all was she
Among the Norsemen! 100
When on the white sea-strand,
Waving his arm¨¨d hand,
Saw we old Hildebrand,
With twenty horsemen.
"Then launched they to the blast, 105
Bent like a reed each mast,
Yet we were gaining fast,
When the wind failed us;
And with a sudden flaw
Came round the gusty Skaw, 110
So that our foe we saw
Laugh as he hailed us.
"And as to catch the gale
Round veered the flapping sail,
'Death!' was the helmsman's hail, 115
'Death without quarter!'
Mid-ships with iron keel
Struck we her ribs of steel;
Down her black hulk did reel
Through the black water! 120
"As with his wings aslant,
Sails the fierce cormorant,
Seeking some rocky haunt,
With his prey laden,
So toward the open main, 125
Beating to sea again,
Through the wild hurricane,
Bore I the maiden.
"Three weeks we westward bore,
And when the storm was o'er, 130
Cloud-like we saw the shore
Stretching to leeward;
There for my lady's bower
Built I the lofty tower,
Which, to this very hour, 135
Stands looking seaward.
"There lived we many years;
Time dried the maiden's tears;
She had forgot her fears,
She was a mother; 140
Death closed her mild blue eyes,
Under that tower she lies;
Ne'er shall the sun arise
On such another!
"Still grew my bosom then, 145
Still as a stagnant fen!
Hateful to me were men,
The sunlight hateful!
In the vast forest here,
Clad in my warlike gear, 150
Fell I upon my spear,
Oh, death was grateful!
"Thus, seamed with many scars,
Bursting these prison bars,
Up to its native stars 155
My soul ascended!
There from the flowing bowl
Deep drinks the warrior's soul,
Skoal! to the Northland! skoal!"
Thus the tale ended.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow |
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!
"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,
May pervert it, may betray it,
May reveal it unto others.
Thus said Hiawatha, walking
In the solitary forest,
Pondering, musing in the forest,
On the welfare of his people.
From his pouch he took his colors,
Took his paints of different colors,
On the smooth bark of a birch-tree
Painted many shapes and figures,
Wonderful and mystic figures,
And each figure had a meaning,
Each some word or thought suggested.
Gitche Manito the Mighty,
He, the Master of Life, was painted
As an egg, with points projecting
To the four winds of the heavens.
Everywhere is the Great Spirit,
Was the meaning of this symbol.
Gitche Manito the Mighty,
He the dreadful Spirit of Evil,
As a serpent was depicted,
As Kenabeek, the great serpent.
Very crafty, very cunning,
Is the creeping Spirit of Evil,
Was the meaning of this symbol.
Life and Death he drew as circles,
Life was white, but Death was darkened;
Sun and moon and stars he painted,
Man and beast, and fish and reptile,
Forests, mountains, lakes, and rivers.
For the earth he drew a straight line,
For the sky a bow above it;
White the space between for daytime,
Filled with little stars for night-time;
On the left a point for sunrise,
On the right a point for sunset,
On the top a point for noontide,
And for rain and cloudy weather
Waving lines descending from it.
Footprints pointing towards a wigwam
Were a sign of invitation,
Were a sign of guests assembling;
Bloody hands with palms uplifted
Were a symbol of destruction,
Were a hostile sign and symbol.
All these things did Hiawatha
Show unto his wondering people,
And interpreted their meaning,
And he said: "Behold, your grave-posts
Have no mark, no sign, nor symbol,
Go and paint them all with figures;
Each one with its household symbol,
With its own ancestral Totem;
So that those who follow after
May distinguish them and know them.
And they painted on the grave-posts
On the graves yet unforgotten,
Each his own ancestral Totem,
Each the symbol of his household;
Figures of the Bear and Reindeer,
Of the Turtle, Crane, and Beaver,
Each inverted as a token
That the owner was departed,
That the chief who bore the symbol
Lay beneath in dust and ashes.
And the Jossakeeds, the Prophets,
The Wabenos, the Magicians,
And the Medicine-men, the Medas,
Painted upon bark and deer-skin
Figures for the songs they chanted,
For each song a separate symbol,
Figures mystical and awful,
Figures strange and brightly colored;
And each figure had its meaning,
Each some magic song suggested.
The Great Spirit, the Creator,
Flashing light through all the heaven;
The Great Serpent, the Kenabeek,
With his bloody crest erected,
Creeping, looking into heaven;
In the sky the sun, that listens,
And the moon eclipsed and dying;
Owl and eagle, crane and hen-hawk,
And the cormorant, bird of magic;
Headless men, that walk the heavens,
Bodies lying pierced with arrows,
Bloody hands of death uplifted,
Flags on graves, and great war-captains
Grasping both the earth and heaven!
Such as these the shapes they painted
On the birch-bark and the deer-skin;
Songs of war and songs of hunting,
Songs of medicine and of magic,
All were written in these figures,
For each figure had its meaning,
Each its separate song recorded.
Nor forgotten was the Love-Song,
The most subtle of all medicines,
The most potent spell of magic,
Dangerous more than war or hunting!
Thus the Love-Song was recorded,
Symbol and interpretation.
First a human figure standing,
Painted in the brightest scarlet;
`T Is the lover, the musician,
And the meaning is, "My painting
Makes me powerful over others.
Then the figure seated, singing,
Playing on a drum of magic,
And the interpretation, "Listen!
`T Is my voice you hear, my singing!"
Then the same red figure seated
In the shelter of a wigwam,
And the meaning of the symbol,
"I will come and sit beside you
In the mystery of my passion!"
Then two figures, man and woman,
Standing hand in hand together
With their hands so clasped together
That they seemed in one united,
And the words thus represented
Are, "I see your heart within you,
And your cheeks are red with blushes!"
Next the maiden on an island,
In the centre of an Island;
And the song this shape suggested
Was, "Though you were at a distance,
Were upon some far-off island,
Such the spell I cast upon you,
Such the magic power of passion,
I could straightway draw you to me!"
Then the figure of the maiden
Sleeping, and the lover near her,
Whispering to her in her slumbers,
Saying, "Though you were far from me
In the land of Sleep and Silence,
Still the voice of love would reach you!"
And the last of all the figures
Was a heart within a circle,
Drawn within a magic circle;
And the image had this meaning:
"Naked lies your heart before me,
To your naked heart I whisper!"
Thus it was that Hiawatha,
In his wisdom, taught the people
All the mysteries of painting,
All the art of Picture-Writing,
On the smooth bark of the birch-tree,
On the white skin of the reindeer,
On the grave-posts of the village.
Thomas Moore |
Monday, March 13, 1826
The Budget - quite charming and witty - no hearing,
For plaudits and laughs, the good things that were in it; --
Great comfort to find, though the Speech isn't cheering,
That all its gay auditors were, every minute.
What, still more prosperity! - mercy upon us,
"This boy'll be the death of me" - oft as, already,
Such smooth Budgeteers have genteelly undone us,
For Ruin made easy there's no one like Freddy.
Much grave apprehension express'd by the Peers,
Lest -- calling to life the old Peachums and Lockitts --
The large stock of gold we're to have in three years,
Should all find its way into highwayman's pockets!
Little doing - for sacred, oh Wednesday, thou art
To the seven-o'-clock joys of full many a table --
When the Members all meet, to make much of that part
With which they so rashly fell out in the Fable.
It appear'd, though, to-night, that - as churchwardens, yearly,
Eat up a small baby - those cormorant sinners,
The Bankrupt-Commissioners bolt very nearly
A moderate-siz'd bankrupt, tout chaud, for their dinners!
Nota bene - a rumour to-day, in the City,
R-b-ns-n just has resign'd" - what a pity!
The Bulls and the Bears all fell a sobbing,
When they heard of the fate of poor **** Robin;
While thus, to the nursery tune, so pretty,
A murmuring Stock-dove breath'd her ditty: --
"Alas, poor Robin, he crow'd as long
And as sweet as a prosperous **** could crow;
Was a pitch too high for Robin to go.
Who'll make his shroud?"
"I," said the Bank, "though he play'd me a prank,
When I have a rag, poor Rob shall be roll'd in 't,
With many a pound I'll paper him round,
Like a plump rouleau - without the gold in 't.