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XXXVIII. - HIAWATHA'S CANOE.

LONGFELLOW.

“Give me of your bark, O Birch Tree!
Of your yellow bark, O Birch Tree!
Growing by the rushing river,
Tall and stately in the valley !
I a light canoe will build me,
That shall float upon the river
Like a yellow leaf in autumn,
Like a yellow water lily.
Lay aside your cloak, O Birch Tree!
Lay aside your white-skin wrapper ;
For the summer time is coming,
And the sun is warm in heaven,
And
you

need no white-skin wrapper."
Thus aloud cried Hiawatha
In the solitary forest,
When the birds were singing gayly,
In the moon of leaves were singing;
And the sun, from sleep awaking,
Started

up,

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;
Just beneath its lowest branches,
Just above the roots he cut it,
Till the sap came oozing outward;
Down the trunk, from top to bottom,
Sheer he cleft the bark asunder;
With a wooden wedge he raised it,
Stripped it from the trunk unbroken.

“Give me of your boughs, O Cedar!
Of your strong and pliant branches,
My canoe to make more steady,
Make more strong and firm beneath me.”
Through the summit of the Cedar
Went a sound, a cry of horror,
Went a murmur of resistance;
But it whispered, bending downward,
“ Take my boughs, O Hiawatha !”

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 !
Of

your fibrous roots, O Larch Tree!
My canoe to bind together,
That the water may not enter,
That the river may not wet me.”

And the Larch, with all its fibres,
Shivered in the air of morning,
Touched his forehead with its tassels,
Said, with one long sigh of sorrow,
“ Take them all, O Hiawatha !”
From the earth he tore the fibres,
Tore the tough roots of the Larch Tree,
Closely sewed the bark together,
Bound it closely to the framework.

“Give me of your balm, 0 Fir Tree !
Of your balsam and your resin,
So to close the seams together,
That the water may not enter,
That the river may not wet me!”

And the Fir Tree, tall and sombre,
Sobbed through all its robes of darkness,
Rattled like a shore with pebbles,
Answered wailing, answered weeping,
“ Take my balm, 0 Hiawatha ! ”

And he took the tears of balsam,
Took the resin of the fir tree,
Smeared therewith each seam and fissure,
Made each crevice safe from water.

“Give me of your quills, O Hedgehog !
I will make a necklace of them,
Make a girdle for my beauty,
And two stars to deck her bosom!”

From a hollow tree the Hedgehog
With his sleepy eyes looked at him,
Shot his shining quills, like arrows,
Saying with a drowsy murmur,
Through the tangle of his whiskers,
“ Take

my quills, O Hiawatha ! ”

From the ground the quills he gathered,
All the little shining arrows,
Stained them red, and blue, and yellow,
With the juice of roots and berries;
Into his canoe he wrought them,
Round its waist a shining girdle,
Round its bows a gleaming necklace,
On its breast two stars resplendent.

Thus the Birch Canoe was builded
In the valley, by the river,
In the bosom of the forest;
And the forest's life was in it,

All its mystery and its magic,
All the lightness of the birch tree,
All the toughness of the cedar,
All the larch's supple sinews;
And it floated on the river
Like a yellow leaf in autumn,
Like a yellow water lily.

XXXIX. - CONFIDENCE REWARDED.

MERRY'S MUSEUM.

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

He ex

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.

He was

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