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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Song Of Hiawatha VIII: Hiawatha's Fishing

Forth upon the Gitche Gumee,
On the shining Big-Sea-Water,
With his fishing-line of cedar,
Of the twisted bark of cedar,
Forth to catch the sturgeon Nahma,
Mishe-Nahma, King of Fishes,
In his birch canoe exulting
All alone went Hiawatha.
Through the clear, transparent water
He could see the fishes swimming
Far down in the depths below him;
See the yellow perch, the Sahwa,
Like a sunbeam in the water,
See the Shawgashee, the craw-fish,
Like a spider on the bottom,
On the white and sandy bottom.
At the stern sat Hiawatha,
With his fishing-line of cedar;
In his plumes the breeze of morning
Played as in the hemlock branches;

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Hiawatha's Fishing

Forth upon the Gitche Gumee,
On the shining Big-Sea-Water,
With his fishing-line of cedar,
Of the twisted bark of cedar,
Forth to catch the sturgeon Nahma,
Mishe-Nahma, King of Fishes,
In his birch canoe exulting
All alone went Hiawatha.
Through the clear, transparent water
He could see the fishes swimming
Far down in the depths below him;
See the yellow perch, the Sahwa,
Like a sunbeam in the water,
See the Shawgashee, the craw-fish,
Like a spider on the bottom,
On the white and sandy bottom.
At the stern sat Hiawatha,
With his fishing-line of cedar;
In his plumes the breeze of morning
Played as in the hemlock branches;

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Tennants Anster Fair

I.

'TIS the middle watch of a summer's night -
The earth is dark, but the heavens are bright;
Nought is seen in the vault on high
But the moon, and the stars, and the cloudless sky,
And the flood which rolls its milky hue,
A river of light on the welkin blue.
The moon looks down on old Cronest,
She mellows the shades on his shaggy breast,
And seems his huge gray form to throw
In a sliver cone on the wave below;

His sides are broken by spots of shade,
By the walnut bough and the cedar made,
And through their clustering branches dark
Glimmers and dies the fire-fly's spark -
Like starry twinkles that momently break
Through the rifts of the gathering tempest's rack.

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The Culprit Fay

'TIS the middle watch of a summer's night -
The earth is dark, but the heavens are bright;
Nought is seen in the vault on high
But the moon, and the stars, and the cloudless sky,
And the flood which rolls its milky hue,
A river of light on the welkin blue.
The moon looks down on old Cronest,
She mellows the shades on his shaggy breast,
And seems his huge gray form to throw
In a sliver cone on the wave below;

His sides are broken by spots of shade,
By the walnut bough and the cedar made,
And through their clustering branches dark
Glimmers and dies the fire-fly's spark -
Like starry twinkles that momently break
Through the rifts of the gathering tempest's rack.

II.

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La Fontaine

The Glutton

A STURGEON, once, a glutton famed was led
To have for supper--all, except the head.
With wond'rous glee he feasted on the fish;
And quickly swallowed down the royal dish.
O'ercharged, howe'er, his stomach soon gave way;
And doctors were required without delay.

THE danger imminent, his friends desired
He'd settle ev'ry thing affairs required.
Said he, in that respect I'm quite prepared;
And, since my time so little is declared,
With diligence, I earnestly request,
The sturgeon's head you'll get me nicely dressed.

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The Prophecy of Samuel Sewall

Up and down the village streets
Strange are the forms my fancy meets,
For the thoughts and things of to-day are hid,
And through the veil of a closed lid
The ancient worthies I see again
I hear the tap of the elder's cane,
And his awful periwig I see,
And the silver buckles of shoe and knee.
Stately and slow, with thoughtful air,
His black cap hiding his whitened hair,
Walks the Judge of the great Assize,
Samuel Sewall the good and wise.
His face with lines of firmness wrought,
He wears the look of a man unbought,
Who swears to his hurt and changes not;
Yet, touched and softened nevertheless
With the grace of Christian gentleness,
The face that a child would climb to kiss!
True and tender and brave and just,
That man might honor and woman trust.

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The Ol' Diamondback Sturgeon (Fisherman's Chronicles, Part 3)

The old diamondback sturgeon came swimmin' along
Minding his business one day
Rooting and sniffing and urging to spawn
In the mud flats of San Pablo Bay
A scent came around so he followed his snout
He found what was to his surprise
A golden morsel, a tidbit, a tight bunch of grass shrimp
Was there right before this buck's eyes
He circle round twice and he took a big whiff
Then sucked up this savory meal
Then came a jolt and to the diamondback's surprise
Through his lips cut the cold, barbed steel
In a panic the old diamondback sped to the north
He sped to the east, west and south
But the harder he swam, he still could not break free
From the tugging that pulled at his mouth
The old diamondback sturgeon came swimmin' along
Minding his business one day

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The Ol' Diamond Back Sturgeon

The old diamondback sturgeon came swimmin' along
Minding his business one day
Rooting and sniffing and urging to spawn
In the mud flats of san pablo bay
A scent came around so he followed his snout
He found what was to his surprise
A golden morsel, a tidbit, a tight bunch of grass shrimp
Was there right before this buck's eyes
He circle round twice and he took a big whiff
Then sucked up this savory meal
Then came a jolt and to the diamondback's surprise
Through his lips cut the cold, barbed steel
In a panic the old diamondback sped to the north
He sped to the east, west and south
But the harder he swam, he still could not break free
From the "tugging" that pulled at his mouth
The old diamondback sturgeon came swimmin' along
Minding his business one day

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Song Of Hiawatha V: Hiawatha's Fasting

You shall hear how Hiawatha
Prayed and fasted in the forest,
Not for greater skill in hunting,
Not for greater craft in fishing,
Not for triumphs in the battle,
And renown among the warriors,
But for profit of the people,
For advantage of the nations.
First he built a lodge for fasting,
Built a wigwam in the forest,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
In the blithe and pleasant Spring-time,
In the Moon of Leaves he built it,
And, with dreams and visions many,
Seven whole days and nights he fasted.
On the first day of his fasting
Through the leafy woods he wandered;
Saw the deer start from the thicket,
Saw the rabbit in his burrow,
Heard the pheasant, Bena, drumming,

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Hiawatha's Fasting

You shall hear how Hiawatha
Prayed and fasted in the forest,
Not for greater skill in hunting,
Not for greater craft in fishing,
Not for triumphs in the battle,
And renown among the warriors,
But for profit of the people,
For advantage of the nations.
First he built a lodge for fasting,
Built a wigwam in the forest,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
In the blithe and pleasant Spring-time,
In the Moon of Leaves he built it,
And, with dreams and visions many,
Seven whole days and nights he fasted.
On the first day of his fasting
Through the leafy woods he wandered;
Saw the deer start from the thicket,
Saw the rabbit in his burrow,
Heard the pheasant, Bena, drumming,

[...] Read more

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