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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW: Hiawatha's Friends

Hiawatha's Friends

(From "The Song of Hiawatha")
Two good friends had Hiawatha,
Singled out from all the others,
Bound to him in closest union,
And to whom he gave the right hand
Of his heart, in joy and sorrow:
Chibiabos, the musician,
And the very strong man, Kwasind.
    Strait between them ran the pathway,
Never grew the grass upon it;
Singing birds, that utter falsehoods,
Story-tellers, mischief-makers,
Found no eager ear to listen,
Could not breed ill-will between them,
For they kept each other’s counsel,
Spake with naked hearts together,
Pondering much and much contriving
How the tribes of men might prosper.
    Most beloved by Hiawatha
Was the gentle Chibiabos,
He the best of all musicians,
He the sweetest of all singers.
Beautiful and childlike was he,
Brave as man is, soft as woman,
Pliant as a wand of willow,
Stately as a deer with antlers.
    When he sang, the village listened;
All the warriors gathered round him,
All the women came to hear him;
Now he stirred their souls to passion,
Now he melted them to pity.
    From the hollow reed he fashioned
Flutes so musical and mellow,
That the brook, the Sebowisha,
Ceased to murmur in the woodland,
That the wood-birds ceased from singing,
And the squirrel, Adjidaumo,
Ceased his chatter in the oak-tree,
And the rabbit, the Wabasso,
Sat upright to look and listen.
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
    All the many sounds of nature
Borrowed sweetness from his singing;
All the hearts of men were soften
By the pathos of his music;
For he sang of peace and freedom,
Sang of beauty, love, and longing;
Sang of death, and life undying
In the Island of the Blessed,
In the kingdom of Ponemah,
In the land of the Hereafter.
    Very dear to Hiawatha 
Was the gentle Chibiabos,
He the best of all musicians,
He the sweetest of all singers;
For his gentleness he loved him,
And the magic of his singing.
    Dear, too, to Hiawatha
Was the very strong man, Kwasind,
He the strongest of all mortals,
He the mightiest among many;
For the very strength he loved him,
For the strength allied to goodness.
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 



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