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XXXVIII. - HIAWATHA'S CANOE.
“Give me of your bark, O Birch Tree!
need no white-skin wrapper."
and said, “ Behold me!” And the tree, with all its branches, Rustled in the breeze of morning, Saying, with a sigh of patience, “ Take my cloak, O Hiawatha !”
With his knife the tree he girdled;
“Give me of your boughs, O Cedar!
Down he hewed the boughs of cedar, Shaped them straightway to a framework ; Like two bows he formed and shaped them, Like two bended bows together.
“Give me of your roots, O Tamarack !
your fibrous roots, O Larch Tree!
And the Larch, with all its fibres,
“Give me of your balm, 0 Fir Tree !
And the Fir Tree, tall and sombre,
And he took the tears of balsam,
“Give me of your quills, O Hedgehog !
From a hollow tree the Hedgehog
my quills, O Hiawatha ! ”
From the ground the quills he gathered,
Thus the Birch Canoe was builded
All its mystery and its magic,
XXXIX. - CONFIDENCE REWARDED.
One of the first settlers in Western New York was Judge W., who established himself at Whitestown, about four miles from Utica. He brought his family with him, among whom was a widowed daughter with an only child, a fine boy about four years
old. In this wild spot, Judge W. saw the necessity of keeping on good terms with the Indians; for, as he was nearly alone, he was completely at their mercy.
Accordingly, he took every opportunity to secure their good will. Several of the chiefs came to see him, and all appeared well disposed. But there was one thing that troubled him: an aged chief of the Seneca tribe, and one of great influence, who resided at a distance of about six miles, had not been to see him ; nor could he by any means ascertain the feelings and views of the sachem in respect to his settlement in that region. At last he sent him a message ; and the answer was, that the chief would visit him on the morrow.
True to his appointment, the sachem came. Judge W. received him with marks of respect, and introduced his wife, his daughter, and the little boy. The interview that followed was deeply interesting. Upon its result the judge considered that his security might depend, and he was therefore very anxious to make a favorable impression on the chief. pressed to him his desire to settle in the country, to live on
terms of friendship with the Indians, and to be useful to them by introducing among them the arts of civilization.
The chief heard him out, and then said, “ Brother, you ask much, and promise much. I must have a pledge of your
sincerity. Let this boy go with me to my wigwam ; I will bring him back in three days with my answer.”
If an arrow had pierced the bosom of the mother, she could not have felt deeper the pang that went to her heart as the Indian made this proposal. She sprang from her seat, and rushing to the boy, who stood by the side of the sachem, looking into his face with pleased wonder and admiration, she encircled him in her arms, and was about to flee from the room. A dark frown came over the sachem's w, but he did not speak. The judge knew better than his daughter, and delivered up the boy. The ensuing three days were spent in an agony of feeling by the mother, and Judge W. walked to and fro, going every
few minutes to the door, looking through the opening in the forest towards the sachem's abode.
At last, as the rays of the setting sun were thrown upon the tops of the forest around, the eagle feathers of the chieftain were seen dancing above the bushes in the distance. He advanced rapidly, and the little boy was at his side. gayly attired as a young chief, his feet being dressed in moccasons; a fine beaver skin was over his shoulders, and eagle feathers were stuck in his hair. He was in excellent spirits ; and so proud was he of his honors, that he seemed two inches taller than before. He was soon in his mother's arms, and in that brief minute she seemed to pass from death to life. It was a happy meeting - too happy to be described.
- “ The white man has conquered,” said the sachem; “hereafter let us be friends. You have trusted the Indian; he will repay you with confidence and friendship.” He was as good as his word; and Judge W. lived there many years, laying the foundation of a flourishing and prosperous community.