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

Western States: Superior, the Lake

The Grand Sable

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)

(From The Song of Hiawatha)

THEN the handsome Pau-Puk-Keewis,

He the idle Yenadizze,

He the merry mischief-maker,

Whom the people called the Storm-Fool,

Rose among the guests assembled.

Skilled was he in sports and pastimes,

In the merry dance of snow-shoes,

In the play of quoits and ball-play;

Skilled was he in games of hazard,

In all games of skill and hazard,

Pugasaing, the Bowl and Counters,

Kuntassoo, the Game of Plum-stones.

Though the warriors called him Faint-Heart,

Called him coward, Shaugodaya,

Idler, gambler, Yenadizze,

Little heeded he their jesting,

Little cared he for their insults,

For the women and the maidens

Loved the handsome Pau-Puk-Keewis.

He was dressed in shirt of doeskin,

White and soft, and fringed with ermine,

All inwrought with beads of wampum;

He was dressed in deer-skin leggings,

Fringed with hedgehog quills and ermine,

And in moccasins of buck-skin,

Thick with quills and beads embroidered.

On his head were plumes of swan’s down,

On his heels were tails of foxes,

In one hand a fan of feathers,

And a pipe was in the other.

Barred with streaks of red and yellow,

Streaks of blue and bright vermilion,

Shone the face of Pau-Puk-Keewis.

From his forehead fell his tresses,

Smooth, and parted like a woman’s,

Shining bright with oil, and plaited,

Hung with braids of scented grasses,

As among the guests assembled,

To the sound of flutes and singing,

To the sound of drums and voices,

Rose the handsome Pau-Puk-Keewis,

And began his mystic dances.

First he danced a solemn measure,

Very slow in step and gesture,

In and out among the pine-trees,

Through the shadows and the sunshine,

Treading softly like a panther,

Then more swiftly and still swifter,

Whirling, spinning round in circles,

Leaping o’er the guests assembled,

Eddying round and round the wigwam,

Till the leaves went whirling with him,

Till the dust and wind together

Swept in eddies round about him.

Then along the sandy margin

Of the lake, the Big-Sea-Water,

On he sped with frenzied gestures,

Stamped upon the sand, and tossed it

Wildly in the air around him;

Till the wind became a whirlwind,

Till the sand was blown and sifted

Like great snowdrifts o’er the landscape,

Heaping all the shores with Sand Dunes,

Sand Hills of the Nagow Wudjoo!