The Song of Hiawatha

The Song of Hiawatha

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


The Song of Hiawatha is an epic verse of life in America before the coming of Europeans, written by one of our country's most notable poets. In creating the story of Hiawatha, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow used as his inspiration early ethnographic research into the life and folklore of the Great Lakes tribes. The poem is also undoubtedly the product of a European-American imagination, with its unabashedly romanticized look at a vanished way of life. First published in 1855 to critical acclaim, The Song of Hiawatha can be enjoyed both for its striking poetry and its interpretations of traditional Native American legends.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783337181819
Publisher: Bod Third Party Titles
Publication date: 05/07/2019
Pages: 230
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x 0.52(d)

About the Author

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), a professor of French and Spanish at Harvard University, was one of the first American academics to have a truly global interest in literature. He became convinced that America was in need of its own mythology, poeti

Margaret Early was born in New South Wales, Australia. She studied in Australia and London, and is considered both a fine artist and an illustrator of note. Her work is displayed in one-woman shows in galleries across three continents. Among her previously

Read an Excerpt

The Song of Hiawatha


Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-11361-6



    On the Mountains of the Prairie,
    On the great Red Pipe-stone Quarry,
    Gitche Manito, the mighty,
    He the Master of Life, descending,
    On the red crags of the quarry
    Stood erect, and called the nations,
    Called the tribes of men together.

    From his footprints flowed a river,
    Leaped into the light of morning,
    O'er the precipice plunging downward
    Gleamed like Ishkoodah, the comet.
    And the Spirit, stooping earthward,
    With his finger on the meadow
    Traced a winding pathway for it,
    Saying to it, "Run in this way!"

    From the red stone of the quarry
    With his hand he broke a fragment,
    Moulded it into a pipe-head,
    Shaped and fashioned it with figures;
    From the margin of the river
    Took a long reed for a pipe-stem,
    With its dark green leaves upon it;
    Filled the pipe with bark of willow,
    With the bark of the red willow;
    Breathed upon the neighboring forest,
    Made its great boughs chafe together,
    Till in flame they burst and kindled;
    And erect upon the mountains,
    Gitche Manito, the mighty,
    Smoked the calumet, the Peace-Pipe,
    As a signal to the nations.

    And the smoke rose slowly, slowly,
    Through the tranquil air of morning,
    First a single line of darkness,
    Then a denser, bluer vapor,
    Then a snow-white cloud unfolding,
    Like the tree-tops of the forest,
    Ever rising, rising, rising,
    Till it touched the top of heaven,
    Till it broke against the heaven,
    And rolled outward all around it.

    From the Vale of Tawasentha,
    From the Valley of Wyoming,
    From the groves of Tuscaloosa,
    From the far-off Rocky Mountains,
    From the Northern lakes and rivers,
    All the tribes beheld the signal,
    Saw the distant smoke ascending,
    The Pukwana of the Peace-Pipe.

    And the Prophets of the nations
    Said: "Behold it, the Pukwana!
    By this signal from afar off,
    Bending like a wand of willow,
    Waving like a hand that beckons,
    Gitche Manito, the mighty,
    Calls the tribes of men together,
    Calls the warriors to his council!"

    Down the rivers, o'er the prairies,
    Came the warriors of the nations,
    Came the Delawares and Mohawks,
    Came the Choctaws and Camanches,
    Came the Shoshonies and Blackfeet,
    Came the Pawnees and Omahas,
    Came the Mandans and Dacotahs,
    Came the Hurons and Ojibways,
    All the warriors drawn together
    By the signal of the Peace-Pipe,
    To the Mountains of the Prairie,
    To the great Red Pipe-stone Quarry.

    And they stood there on the meadow,
    With their weapons and their war-gear,
    Painted like the leaves of Autumn,
    Painted like the sky of morning,
    Wildly glaring at each other;
    In their faces stern defiance,
    In their hearts the feuds of ages,
    The hereditary hatred,
    The ancestral thirst of vengeance.

    Gitche Manito, the mighty,
    The creator of the nations,
    Looked upon them with compassion,
    With paternal love and pity;
    Looked upon their wrath and wrangling
    But as quarrels among children,
    But as feuds and fights of children!

    Over them he stretched his right hand,
    To subdue their stubborn natures,
    To allay their thirst and fever,
    By the shadow of his right hand;
    Spake to them with voice majestic
    As the sound of far-off waters
    Falling into deep abysses,
    Warning, chiding, spake in this wise:—

    "O my children! my poor children!
    Listen to the words of wisdom,
    Listen to the words of warning,
    From the lips of the Great Spirit,
    From the Master of Life, who made you.

    "I have given you lands to hunt in,
    I have given you streams to fish in,
    I have given you bear and bison,
    I have given you roe and reindeer,
    I have given you brant and beaver,
    Filled the marshes full of wild-fowl,
    Filled the rivers full of fishes;
    Why then are you not contented?
    Why then will you hunt each other?

    "I am weary of your quarrels,
    Weary of your wars and bloodshed,
    Weary of your prayers for vengeance,
    Of your wranglings and dissensions;
    All your strength is in your union,
    All your danger is in discord;
    Therefore be at peace henceforward,
    And as brothers live together.

    "I will send a Prophet to you,
    A Deliverer of the nations,
    Who shall guide you and shall teach you,
    Who shall toil and suffer with you.
    If you listen to his counsels,
    You will multiply and prosper;
    If his warnings pass unheeded,
    You will fade away and perish!

    "Bathe now in the stream before you,
    Wash the war-paint from your faces,
    Wash the blood-stains from your fingers,
    Bury your war-clubs and your weapons,
    Break the red stone from this quarry,
    Mould and make it into Peace-Pipes,|
    Take the reeds that grow beside you,
    Deck them with your brightest feathers,
    Smoke the calumet together,
    And as brothers live henceforward!"

    Then upon the ground the warriors
    Threw their cloaks and shirts of deer-skin,
    Threw their weapons and their war-gear,
    Leaped into the rushing river,
    Washed the war-paint from their faces.
    Clear above them flowed the water,
    Clear and limpid from the footprints
    Of the Master of Life descending;
    Dark below them flowed the water,
    Soiled and stained with streaks of crimson,
    As if blood were mingled with it!

    From the river came the warriors,
    Clean and washed from all their war-paint;
    On the banks their clubs they buried,
    Buried all their warlike weapons.
    Gitche Manito, the mighty,
    The Great Spirit, the creator,
    Smiled upon his helpless children!

    And in silence all the warriors
    Broke the red stone of the quarry,
    Smoothed and formed it into Peace-Pipes,
    Broke the long reeds by the river,
    Decked them with their brightest feathers,
    And departed each one homeward,
    While the Master of Life, ascending,
    Through the opening of cloud-curtains,
    Through the doorways of the heaven,
    Vanished from before their faces,
    In the smoke that rolled around him,
    The Pukwana of the Peace-Pipe!



    "Honor be to Mudjekeewis!"
    Cried the warriors, cried the old men,
    When he came in triumph homeward
    With the sacred Belt of Wampum,
    From the regions of the North-Wind,
    From the kingdom of Wabasso,
    From the land of the White Rabbit.

    He had stolen the Belt of Wampum
    From the neck of Mishe-Mokwa,
    From the Great Bear of the mountains,
    From the terror of the nations,
    As he lay asleep and cumbrous
    On the summit of the mountains,
    Like a rock with mosses on it,
    Spotted brown and gray with mosses.

    Silently he stole upon him,
    Till the red nails of the monster
    Almost touched him, almost scared him,
    Till the hot breath of his nostrils
    Warmed the hands of Mudjekeewis,
    As he drew the Belt of Wampum
    Over the round ears, that heard not,
    Over the small eyes, that saw not,
    Over the long nose and nostrils,
    The black muffle of the nostrils,
    Out of which the heavy breathing
    Warmed the hands of Mudjekeewis.
    Then he swung aloft his war-club,
    Shouted loud and long his war-cry,
    Smote the mighty Mishe-Mokwa
    In the middle of the forehead,
    Right between the eyes he smote him.

    With the heavy blow bewildered,
    Rose the Great Bear of the mountains;
    But his knees beneath him trembled,
    And he whimpered like a woman,
    As he reeled and staggered forward,
    As he sat upon his haunches;
    And the mighty Mudjekeewis,
    Standing fearlessly before him,
    Taunted him in loud derision,
    Spake disdainfully in this wise:—

    "Hark you, Bear! you are a coward;
    And no Brave, as you pretended;
    Else you would not cry and whimper
    Like a miserable woman!
    Bear! you know our tribes are hostile,
    Long have been at war together;
    Now you find that we are strongest,
    You go sneaking in the forest,
    You go hiding in the mountains!
    Had you conquered me in battle
    Not a groan would I have uttered;
    But you, Bear! sit here and whimper,
    And disgrace your tribe by crying,
    Like a wretched Shaugodaya,
    Like a cowardly old woman!"

    Then again he raised his war-club,
    Smote again the Mishe-Mokwa
    In the middle of his forehead,
    Broke his skull, as ice is broken
    When one goes to fish in Winter.
    Thus was slain the Mishe-Mokwa,
    He the Great Bear of the mountains,
    He the terror of the nations.

    "Honor be to Mudjekeewis!"
    With a shout exclaimed the people,
    "Honor be to Mudjekeewis!
    Henceforth he shall be the West-Wind,
    And hereafter and forever
    Shall he hold supreme dominion
    Over all the winds of heaven.
    Call him no more Mudjekeewis,
    Call him Kabeyun, the West-Wind!"

    Thus was Mudjekeewis chosen
    Father of the Winds of Heaven.
    For himself he kept the West-Wind,
    Gave the others to his children;
    Unto Wabun gave the East-Wind,
    Gave the South to Shawondasee,
    And the North-Wind, wild and cruel,
    To the fierce Kabibonokka.

    Young and beautiful was Wabun;
    He it was who brought the morning,
    He it was whose silver arrows
    Chased the dark o'er hill and valley;
    He it was whose cheeks were painted
    With the brightest streaks of crimson,
    And whose voice awoke the village,
    Called the deer, and called the hunter.

    Lonely in the sky was Wabun;
    Though the birds sang gayly to him,
    Though the wild-flowers of the meadow
    Filled the air with odors for him,
    Though the forests and the rivers
    Sang and shouted at his coming,
    Still his heart was sad within him,
    For he was alone in heaven.

    But one morning, gazing earthward,
    While the village still was sleeping,
    And the fog lay on the river,
    Like a ghost, that goes at sunrise,
    He beheld a maiden walking
    All alone upon a meadow,
    Gathering water-flags and rushes
    By a river in the meadow.

    Every morning, gazing earthward,
    Still the first thing he beheld there
    Was her blue eyes looking at him,
    Two blue lakes among the rushes.
    And he loved the lonely maiden,
    Who thus waited for his coming;
    For they both were solitary,
    She on earth and he in heaven.

    And he wooed her with caresses,
    Wooed her with his smile of sunshine,
    With his flattering words he wooed her,
    With his sighing and his singing,
    Gentlest whispers in the branches,
    Softest music, sweetest odors,
    Till he drew her to his bosom,
    Folded in his robes of crimson,
    Till into a star he changed her,
    Trembling still upon his bosom;
    And forever in the heavens
    They are seen together walking,
    Wabun and the Wabun-Annung,
    Wabun and the Star of Morning.

    But the fierce Kabibonokka
    Had his dwelling among icebergs,
    In the everlasting snow-drifts,
    In the kingdom of Wabasso,
    In the land of the White Rabbit.
    He it was whose hand in Autumn
    Painted all the trees with scarlet,
    Stained the leaves with red and yellow;
    He it was who sent the snow-flakes,
    Sifting, hissing through the forest,
    Froze the ponds, the lakes, the rivers,
    Drove the loon and sea-gull southward,
    Drove the cormorant and curlew
    To their nests of sedge and sea-tang
    In the realms of Shawondasee.

    Once the fierce Kabibonokka
    Issued from his lodge of snow-drifts,
    From his home among the icebergs,
    And his hair, with snow besprinkled,
    Streamed behind him like a river,
    Like a black and wintry river,
    As he howled and hurried southward,
    Over frozen lakes and moorlands.

    There among the reeds and rushes
    Found he Shingebis, the diver,
    Trailing strings of fish behind him,
    O'er the frozen fens and moorlands,
    Lingering still among the moorlands,
    Though his tribe had long departed
    To the land of Shawondasee.

    Cried the fierce Kabibonokka,
    "Who is this that dares to brave me?
    Dares to stay in my dominions,
    When the Wawa has departed,
    When the wild-goose has gone southward,
    And the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah,
    Long ago departed southward?
    I will go into his wigwam,
    I will put his smouldering fire out!"

    And at night Kabibonokka,
    To the lodge came wild and wailing,
    Heaped the snow in drifts about it,
    Shouted down into the smoke-flue,
    Shook the lodge-poles in his fury,
    Flapped the curtain of the door-way.
    Shingebis, the diver, feared not,
    Shingebis, the diver, cared not;
    Four great logs had he for fire-wood,
    One for each moon of the winter,
    And for food the fishes served him.
    By his blazing fire he sat there,
    Warm and merry, eating, laughing,
    Singing, "O Kabibonokka,
    You are but my fellow-mortal!"

    Then Kabibonokka entered,
    And though Shingebis, the diver,
    Felt his presence by the coldness,
    Felt his icy breath upon him,
    Still he did not cease his singing,
    Still he did not leave his laughing,
    Only turned the log a little,
    Only made the fire burn brighter,
    Made the sparks fly up the smoke-flue.

    From Kabibonokka's forehead,
    From his snow-besprinkled tresses,
    Drops of sweat fell fast and heavy,
    Making dints upon the ashes,
    As along the eaves of lodges,
    As from drooping boughs of hemlock,
    Drips the melting snow in spring-time,
    Making hollows in the snow-drifts.

    Till at last he rose defeated,
    Could not bear the heat and laughter,
    Could not bear the merry singing,
    But rushed headlong through the door-way,
    Stamped upon the crusted snow-drifts,
    Stamped upon the lakes and rivers,
    Made the snow upon them harder,
    Made the ice upon them thicker,
    Challenged Shingebis, the diver,
    To come forth and wrestle with him,
    To come forth and wrestle naked
    On the frozen fens and moorlands.

    Forth went Shingebis, the diver,
    Wrestled all night with the North-Wind,
    Wrestled naked on the moorlands
    With the fierce Kabibonokka,
    Till his panting breath grew fainter,
    Till his frozen grasp grew feebler,
    Till he reeled and staggered backward,
    And retreated, baffled, beaten,
    To the kingdom of Wabasso,
    To the land of the White Rabbit,
    Hearing still the gusty laughter,
    Hearing Shingebis, the diver,
    Singing, "O Kabibonokka,
    You are but my fellow-mortal!"

    Shawondasee, fat and lazy,—
    Had his dwelling far to southward,
    In the drowsy, dreamy sunshine,
    In the never-ending Summer.
    He it was who sent the wood-birds,
    Sent the robin, the Opechee,
    Sent the bluebird, the Owaissa,
    Sent the Shawshaw, sent the swallow,
    Sent the wild-goose, Wawa, northward,
    Sent the melons and tobacco,
    And the grapes in purple clusters.

    From his pipe the smoke ascending
    Filled the sky with haze and vapor,
    Filled the air with dreamy softness,
    Gave a twinkle to the water.
    Touched the rugged hills with smoothness,
    Brought the tender Indian Summer
    To the melancholy North-land,
    In the dreary Moon of Snow-shoes.

    Listless, careless Shawondasee!
    In his life he had one shadow,
    In his heart one sorrow had he.
    Once, as he was gazing northward,
    Far away upon a prairie
    He beheld a maiden standing,
    Saw a tall and slender maiden
    All alone upon a prairie;
    Brightest green were all her garments,
    And her hair was like the sunshine.


Excerpted from The Song of Hiawatha by HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW, DAVID DUTKANICZ. Copyright © 2006 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

I. The Peace-Pipe
II. The Four Winds
III. Hiawatha's Childhood
IV. Hiawatha and Mudjekeewis
V. Hiawatha's Fasting
VI. Hiawath's Friends
VII. Hiawatha's Sailing
VIII. Hiawatha's Fishing
IX. Hiawatha and the Pearl-Feather
X. Hiawatha's Wooing
XI. Hiawatha's Wedding-Feast
XII. The Son of the Evening-Star
XIII. Blessing the Corn-Fields
XIV. Picture-Writing
XV. Hiawatha's Lamentation
XVI. Pau-Puk-Keewis
XVII. The Hunting of Pau-Puk-Keewis
XVIII. The Death of Kwasind
XIX. The Ghosts
XX. The Famine
XXI. The White Man's Foot
XXII. Hiawatha's Departure

Customer Reviews