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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 Pictured Rocks

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)

(From The Song of Hiawatha)

WITH his right hand Hiawatha

Smote amain the hollow oak-tree,

Rent it into shreds and splinters,

Left it lying there in fragments.

But in vain; for Pau-Puk-Keewis,

Once again in human figure,

Full in sight ran on before him,

Sped away in gust and whirlwind,

On the shores of Gitche Gumee,

Westward by the Big-Sea-Water,

Came unto the rocky headlands,

To the Pictured Rocks of sandstone,

Looking over lake and landscape.

And the Old Man of the Mountain,

He the Manito of Mountains,

Opened wide his rocky doorways,

Opened wide his deep abysses,

Giving Pau-Puk-Keewis shelter

In his caverns dark and dreary,

Bidding Pau-Puk-Keewis welcome

To his gloomy lodge of sandstone.

There without stood Hiawatha,

Found the doorways closed against him,

With his mittens, Minjekahwun,

Smote great caverns in the sandstone,

Cried aloud in tones of thunder,

“Open! I am Hiawatha!”

But the Old Man of the Mountain

Opened not, and made no answer

From the silent crags of sandstone,

From the gloomy rock abysses.

Then he raised his hands to heaven,

Called imploring on the tempest,

Called Waywassimo, the lightning,

And the thunder, Annemeekee;

And they came with night and darkness,

Sweeping down the Big-Sea-Water

From the distant Thunder Mountains;

And the trembling Pau-Puk-Keewis

Heard the footsteps of the thunder,

Saw the red eyes of the lightning,

Was afraid, and crouched and trembled.

Then Waywassimo, the lightning,

Smote the doorways of the caverns,

With his war-club smote the doorways,

Smote the jutting crags of sandstone,

And the thunder, Annemeekee,

Shouted down into the caverns,

Saying, “Where is Pau-Puk-Keewis,

And the crags fell, and beneath them

Dead among the rocky ruins

Lay the cunning Pau-Puk-Keewis,

Lay the handsome Yenadizze,

Slain in his own human figure.