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• With Nature never do they wage

A foolish strife; they see
A happy youth, and their old age

Is beautiful and free.
“But we are pressed by heavy laws,

And often, glad no more,
We wear a face of joy, because

We have been glad of yore.
" If there be one who need bemoan

His kindred laid in earth, The household hearts that were his own,

It is the man of mirth.

“My days, my friend, are almost gone,

My life has been approved; Aud many love me; but by none

Am I enough beloved.” "Now both himself and me he wrongs,

The man who ihus complains ! I live and sing my idle songs

Upon these happy plains. “And, Matthew, for thy children dead,

I'll be a son to thee!”
At this he grasped my hand, and said,

" Alas! that cannot be."

We rose up from the fountain side;

And down the smooth descent Of the green sheep-track did we glide ;

And through the wood we went. And, ere we came to Leonard's rock,

He sang those witty rhymes About the crazy old church clock,

And the bewildered chimes.


Lady Clara Vere de Vere,

Of me you shall not win renown; You thought to break a country heart

For pastime, ere you went to town. At me you smiled, but unbeguiled

I saw the snare, and I retired: The daughter of a hundred Earls,

You are not one to be desired.

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,

I know you proud to bear your name, Your pride is yet no mate for mine,

Too proud to care from whence I came. Nor would I break for your sweet sake

A heart that doats on truer charms; A simple maiden in her flower

Is worth a hundred coats-of-arms.

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,

Some meeker pupil you must find, For were you queen of all that is,

I could not stoop to such a mind. You sought to prove how I could love,

And my disdain is my reply; The lion on your old stone gates

Is not more cold to you than I. Lady Clara Vere de Vere ,

You put strange memories in my head, Not thrice your branching limes have blown

Since I beheld young Laurence dead, Oh your sweet eyes, your low replies :

A great enchantress you may be; But there was that across his throat

Which you had hardly cared to see. Lady Clara Vere de Vere;

When thus he met his mother's view, She had the passions of her kind,

She spake some certain truths of you. Indeed I heard one bitter word

That scarce is fit for you to hear; Her manners had not that repose

Which stamps the caste of Vere de Vere.

Lady Clara Vere de Vere,

There stands a spectre in your hall; The guilt of blood is at your door,

You changed a wholesome heart to gall. You held your course without remorse,

To make him trust his modest worth, Ar. Last, you fix'd a vacant stare,

And slew him with your noble birth.

Trust me, Clara Vere de Vere,

From yon blue heavens above us bent; The grand old gardener and his wife

Smile at the claims of long descent.
Howe'er it be, it seems to me,

T' is only noble to be good;
Kind hearts are more than coronets,

And simple faith than Norman blood.

I know you, Clara Vere de Vere:

You pine among your halls and towers: The languid light of your proud eyes

Is wearied of the rolling hours.
In glowing health, with boundless wealth,

But sickening of a vague disease,
You know so ill to deal with time,

You needs must play such pranks as these.

Clara, Clara Vere de Vere,

If time be heavy on your hands, Are there no beggars at your gate,

Nor any poor about your lands? Oh! teach the orphan-boy to read,

Or teach the orphan-girl to sow, Pray heaven for a human heart,

And let the foolish yeoman go.


" As unto the bow the cord is
So unto the man is woman,
Though she bends him, she obeys him,
Though she draws him, yet she follows,
Useless each without the other !"

Thus the youthful Hiawatha
Said within himself and pondered,
Much perplexed by various feelings,
Listless, longing, hoping, fearing,
Dreaming still of Minnehaha,
of the lovely Laughing Water,
In the land of the Dacotahs.

"Wed a maiden of your people,"
Warning said the old Nokomis;
"Go not eastward, go not westward,
For a stranger, whom we know not!
Like a fire upon the hearth-stone
Is a neighbor's homely daughter,
Like the starlight or the moonlight
Is the handsomest of strangers !”

Thus dissuading spake Nokomis,
And my Hiawatha answered
Only this: "Dear old Nokomis,
Very pleasant is the firelight,
But I like the starlight better,
Better do I like the moonlight!"

Gravely then said old Nokomis. “Bring not here an idle maiden,

Bring not here a useless woman,
Hands unskilful, feet unwilling;
Bring a wife with nimble fingers,
Heart and hand that move together,
Feet that run on willing errands !"

Smiling answered Hiawatha ,
"In the land of the Dacotáhs
Lives the Arrow-maker's daughter,
Minnehaha, Laughing Water,
Handsomest of all the women.
I will bring her to your wigwam,
She shall run upon your errands,
Be your starlight, moonlight, firelight,
Be the sunlight of my people!"

Still dissuading said Nokomis:
“Bring not to my lodge a stranger
From the land of the Dacotábs!
Very fierce are the Dacotáhs,
Often is there war between us,
There are feuds yet unforgotten,
Wounds that ache and still may open !'.

Laughing answered Hiawatha:
“For that reason, if no other,
Would I wed the fair Dacotah,
That our tribes might be united,
That old feuds might be forgotten,
And old wounds be healed for ever !"

Thus departed Hiawatha
To the land of the Dacotahs,
To the land of handsome women;
Striding over moor and meadow,
Through interminable forests,
Through uninterrupted silence.

With his mocasins of magic,
At each stride a mile he measured;
Yet the way seemed long before him,
And his heart outrun his footsteps;
And he journeyed without resting,
Till he heard the cataract's laughter,
Heard the falls of Minnehaha
Calling to him through the silence.
“Pleasant is the sound !” he murmured,
"Pleasant is the voice that calls me!"

On the outskirts of the forest, 'Twixt the shadow and the sunshine, Herds of fallow deer were feeding, But they saw not Hiawatha ; To his bow he whispered, “Fail not!" To his arrow whispered, “Swerve not!" Sent it singing on its errand, To the red heart of the roebuck; Threw the deer across his shoulder,

And sped forward without pausing.

At the doorway of his wigwam
Sat the ancient Arrow-maker,
In the land of the Dacotahs
Making arrow-heads of Jasper,
Arrow-heads of chalcedony.
At his side, in all her beauty,
Sat the lovely Minnehaha,
Sat his daughter, Laughing Water,
Plaiting mats of flags and rushes;
Of the past the old man's thoughts were,
And the maiden's of the future.

He was thinking, as he sat there,
Of the days when with such arrows
He had struck the deer and bison,
On the Muskodáy, the meadow;
Shot the wild goose, flying southward,
On the wing: the clamorous Wáwa;
Thinking of the great war-parties,
How they came to buy his arrows,
Could not fight without his arrows.
Ah, no more such noble warriors
Could be found on earth as they were !
Now the men were all like women,
Only used their tongues for weapons !

She was thinking of a hunter,
From another tribe and country,
Young and tall and very handsome,
Who one morning, in the Spring-time,
Came to buy her father's arrows,
Sat and rested in the wigwam,
Lingered long about the doorway,
Looking back as he departed.
She had heard her father praise him,
Praise his courage and his wisdom;
Would he come again for arrows
To the falls of Minnehaha ?
On the mat her hands lay idle,
And her eyes were very dreamy.

Through their thoughts they heard a footstep,
Heard a rustling in the branches,
And with glowing cheeks and forehead,
With the deer upon his shoulders,
Suddenly from out the woodlands
Hiawatha stood before them.

Straight the ancient Arrow-maker Looked up gravely from his labor, Laid aside the unfinished arrow, Bade him enter at the doorway, Saying, as he rose to meet bim, Hiawatha, you are welcome !"

At the feet of Laughing Water

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