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O the famine and the fever! O the wasting of the famine ! O the blasting of the fever! - O the wailing of the children! O the anguish of the women! All the earth was sick and famish'd; Hungry was the air around them, Hungry was the sky above them, And the hungry stars in heaven Like the eyes of wolves glared at them!
Into Hiawatha's wigwam
Came two other guests, as silent
As the ghosts were, and as gloomy,
Waited not to be invited,
Did not parley at the doorway,
Sat there without word of welcome
In the seat of Laughing Water;
Looked with haggard eyes and hollow
At the face of Laughing Water.
And the foremost said: “ Behold me!
I am Famine, Bukadawin !"
And the other said : “Behold me!
I am Fever, Alkosewin!”
And the lovely Minnehaha
Shudder'd as they look'd upon her,
Shudder'd at the words they utter'd,
Lay down on her bed in silence,
Hid her face, but made no answer;
Lay there trembling, freezing, burning
At the looks they cast upon her,
At the fearful words they utter'd.
Forth into the empty forest
Rushed the madden'd Hiawatha ;
In his heart was deadly sorrow,
In his face a stony firmness,
On his brow the sweat of anguish
Started, but it froze and fell not.
Wrapp'd in furs and arm'd for hunting,
With his mighty bow of ash-tree,
With his quiver full of arrows,
With his mittens, Minjekahwun,
Into the vast and vacant forest
On his snow-shoes strode he forward.
“Gitche Manito, the Mighty!"
Cried he with his face uplifted
In that bitter hour of anguish,
“Give your children food, O father!
Give us food, or we mnst perish!
Give me food for Minnehaha,
For my dying Minnehaha !"
Through the far-resounding forest,
Through the forest vast and vacant
Rang that cry of desolation,
But there came no other answer
Than the echo of his crying,
Than the echo of the woodlands,
“MINNEHAHA! MINNEHAHA !"
All day long roved Hiawatha
In that melancholy forest,
Through the shadow of whose thickets,
In the pleasant days of Summer,
Of that ne'er forgotten Summer,
He had brought his young wife homeward
From the land of the Dakotahs ;
When the birds sang in the thickets,
And the streamlets laugh'd and glisten'd,
And the air was full of fragrance,
And the lovely Laughing Water
Said with voice that did not tremble,
“I will follow you, my husband !"
In the wigwam with Nokomis,
With those gloomy guests that watch'd her,
With the Famine and the Fever,
She was lying, the Beloved,
She the dying Minnehaha.
"Hark!" she said, “I hear a rushing,
Hear a roaring and a rushing,
Hear the Falls of Minnehaha
Calling to me from a distance !"
“No, my child !” said old Nokomis,
“ 'Tis the night-wind in the pine-trees !"
“Look !” she said; “I see my father
Standing lonely at his doorway,
Beckoning to me from his wigwam
In the land of the Dakotahs !"
“No, my child !” said old Nokomis,
" "Tis the smoke that waves and beckons !”
"Ah !” she said, "the eyes of Pauguk
Glare upon me in the darkness,
I can feel his icy fingers
Clasping mine amid the darkness!
Hiawatha! Hiawatha !"
And the desolate Hiawatha,
Far away amid the forest,
Miles away among the mountains,
Heard that sudden cry of anguish,
Heard the voice of Minnehaha
Calling to him in the darkness,
“ HIAWATHA! HIAWATHA !”
Over snow-fields waste and pathless,
Under snow-encumber'd branches,
Homeward hurried Hiawatha,
Heard Nokomis moaning, wailing :
Would that I had perish'd for you,
Would that I were dead as you are!
And he rush'd into the wigwam,
Saw the old Nokomis slowly
Rocking to and fro and moaning,
Saw his lovely Minnehaha
Lying dead and cold before him,
And his bursting heart within him
Utter'd such a cry of anguish,
That the forest moan'd and shudderd,
That the very stars in heaven
Shook and trembled with his anguish.
Then he sat down still and speechless,
On the bed of Minnehaha,
At the feet of Laughing Water,
At those willing feet, that never
More would lightly run to meet him,
Never more would lightly follow.
With both hands his face he cover'd,
Seven long days and nights he sat there
As if in a swoon he sat there,
Speechless, motionless, unconscious
Of the daylight or the darkness.
Then they buried Minnehaha ;
In the snow a grave they made her,
In the forest deep and darksome,
Underneath the moaning hemlocks;
Clothed her in her richest garments;
Wrapp'd her in her robes of ermine,
Cover'd her with snow, like ermine:
Thus they buried Minnehaha,
And at night a fire was lighted,
On her grave four times was kindled,
For her soul upon its journey
To the Islands of the Blessed.
From his doorway Hiawatha
Saw it burning in the forest,
Lighting up the gloomy hemlocks;
From his sleepless bed uprising,
From the bed of Minnehaha,
Stood and watch'd it at the doorway,
That it might not be extinguish'd,
Might not leave her in the darkness.
“Farewell !” said he, “ Minnehaha!
Farewell, O my Laughing Water !
All my heart is buried with you,
All my thoughts go onward with you!
Come not back again to labor,
Come not back again to suffer,
Where the Famine and the Fever
Wear the heart and waste the body.
Soon my task will be completed,
Soon your footsteps I shall follow
To the Islands of the Blessed,
To the Kingdom of Ponemah,
To the Land of the Hereafter !"
LIBERTY AND UNION.
(WEBSTER.) I profess, sir, in my career hitherto, to have kept steadily in view the prosperity and honor of the whole country, and the preservation of our federal union. It is to that union we owe our safety at home, and our consideration and dignity abroad. It is to that union that we are chiefly indebted for whatever makes us most proud of our country. That union we reached, only by the discipline of our virtues in the severe school of adversity. It had its origin in the necessities of disordered finance, prostrate commerce, and ruined credit. Under its benign influences, these great interests immediately awoke, as from the dead, and sprang forth with newness of life. Every year of its duration has teemed with fresh proofs of its utility and its blessings; and, although our territory has stretched out wider and wider, and our population spread farther and farther, they have not outrun its protection or its benefits. It has been to us all, a copious fountain of national, social, and personal happiness.
I have not allowed myself, sir, to look beyond the union, to see what might lie hidden in the dark recess behind. I have not coolly weighed the chances of preserving liberty, when the bonds that unite us together shall be broken asunder. I have not accustomed my