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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX. 1876–79.

Western States: Minnehaha, the Falls, Minnesota

The Falls of Minnehaha

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)

(From The Song of Hiawatha)

THIS was Hiawatha’s wooing!

Thus it was he won the daughter

Of the ancient Arrow-maker,

In the land of the Dacotahs!

From the wigwam he departed,

Leading with him Laughing Water;

Hand in hand they went together,

Through the woodland and the meadow,

Left the old man standing lonely

At the doorway of his wigwam,

Heard the Falls of Minnehaha

Calling to them from the distance,

Crying to them from afar off,

“Fare thee well, O Minnehaha!”

And the ancient Arrow-maker

Turned again unto his labor,

Sat down by his sunny doorway,

Murmuring to himself, and saying:

“Thus it is our daughters leave us,

Those we love, and those who love us!

Just when they have learned to help us,

When we are old and lean upon them,

Comes a youth with flaunting feathers,

With his flute of reeds, a stranger

Wanders piping through the village,

Beckons to the fairest maiden,

And she follows where he leads her,

Leaving all things for the stranger!”