Imatges de pàgina
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be supposed to have increased the difference. For Aristides had a gentle nature, and more nobility in his way of dealing; and, in public, acting always with a view, not to glory or popularity, but to the best interests of the State consistently with safety and honesty, he was often forced to oppose Themistocles and interfere to prevent the increase of his influence, seeing him stirring up the people to all kinds of enterprises and introducing various innovations. For it is said that Themistocles was so transported with the thoughts of glory, and so inflamed with the passion for great actions, that though he was still young when the battle of Marathon fought against the Persians, upon the skilful conduct of the general, Miltiades, being everywhere talked about, he was observed to be thoughtful and reserved, alone by himself; he passed the nights without sleep, and avoided all his usual places of recreation, and to those who wondered at the change, and inquired the reason of it, he gave the answer, that the trophy? of Miltiades would not let him sleep. And while others were of opinion that the battle of Marathon would be an end to the war, Themistocles thought it was but the beginning of far greater conflicts, and for these, to the benefit of all Greece, he kept himself in continual readiness, and his city also in proper training, foreseeing fronı far before what would happen.

Greek History from Plutarch, by A. H. Clough.

VIII.

THE FAMINE

O the long and dreary winter!
O the cold and cruel winter !
Ever thicker, thicker, thicker,
Froze the ice on lake and river,
Ever deeper, deeper, deeper,
Fell the snow o'er all the landscape,
Fell the covering snow, and drifted
Through the forest, round the village.

Hardly from his buried wigwam
Could the hunter force a passage ;
With his mittens and his snow-shoes
Vainly walked he through the forest,
Sought for bird or beast and found none,
Saw no track of deer or rabbit,
In the snow beheld no footprints,
In the ghastly, gleaming forest
Fell, and could not rise from weakness,
Perished there from cold and hunger.

O the famine and the fever |
O the wasting of the famine !
O the blasting of the fever !
O the wailing of the children !
O the anguish of the women !

All the earth was sick and famished, Hungry was the air around them,

* From The Song of Hiawatha.

Hungry was the sky above them,
And the hungry stars in heaven
Like the eyes of wolves glared at them!

Into Hiawatha's 1 wigwam
Came two other guests, as silent
As the ghosts were, and as gloomy,
Waited not to be invited,
Did not parley at the doorway,
Sat there without word of welcome
In the seat of Laughing Water;2
Looked with haggard eyes and hollow
At the face of Laughing Water.

And the foremost said, “ Behold me!
I am Famine, Buckadawin !"
And the other said, “Behold me I
I am Fever, Ahkosewin!”

And the lovely Minnehaha
Shuddered as they looked upon her,
Shuddered at the words they uttered,
Lay down on her bed in silence,
Hid her face, but made no answer ;
Lay there trembling, freezing, burning
At the looks they cast upon her,
At the fearful words they uttered.

Forth into the empty forest
Rushed the maddened Hiawatha ;
In his heart was deadly sorrow,
In his face a stony firmness;
On his brow the sweat of anguish
Started, but it froze, and fell not.

Wrapped in furs, and armed for hunting,
With his mighty bow of ash tree,
With his quiver full of arrows,
With his mittens, Minjekahwun,

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Into the vast and vacant forest
On his snow-shoes strode he forward.
1, "Gitche Manito," the Mighty!"
Cried he with his face uplifted
In that bitter hour of anguish,
“Give your children food, o Father!
Give us food, of we must perish'!
Give me food for Minnehaha,
For my dying Minnehaha ! ”

Through the far-resounding forest,
Through the forest vast and vacant,
Rang that cry of desolation,
'But there came no other answer
Than the echo of his crying,
Than the echo of the woodlands,
“ Minnehaha ! Minnehaha !”

All day long roved Hiawatha In that melancholy forest, Through the shadow of whose thickets, In the pleasant days of summer, Of that rie'er-forgotten summer, He had brought his young wife homeward, From the land of the 'Dacotahs; When the birds 'sang in the thickets, And the streamlets -laughed and glistened, And the air was full of fragrance, And the lovely Laughing Water, Said, with voice - that did not tremble, “I will follow you, my husband !"

In the wigwam with Nokomis, With those gloomy guests that watched her, With the Famine and the Fever,

{"!! She was lying, the beloved, She the dying Minnehaha.

“ Hark !" she said, “I hear a rushing, Hear a roaring and a rushing, Hear the Falls of Minnehaha Calling to me from a distance !"

“No, my child!” said old Nokomis, 'Tis the night-wind in the pine trees!”

“Look !” she said, “I see my father Standing lonely at his doorway, Beckoning to me from his wigwam, In the land of the Dacotahs ! "

“No, my child !" said old Nokomis, "'Tis the smoke that waves and beckons !”

“Ah! she said, "the eyes of Pauguk 5
Glare upon me in the darkness !
I can feel his icy fingers
Clasping mine amid the darkness!
Hiawatha ! Hiawatha !”

And the desolate Hiawatha,
Far away amid the forest,
Miles away among the mountains,
Heard that sudden cry of anguish,
Heard the voice of Minnehaha
Calling to him in the darkness,
“Hiawatha! Hiawatha !”

Over snow-fields waste and pathless,
Under snow-encumbered branches,
Homeward hurried Hiawatha,
Empty-handed, heavy-hearted,
Heard Nokomis moaning, wailing;
“Wahonomin! Wahonomin !
Would that I had perished for you,
Would that I were dead as you are !
Wahonomin! Wahonomin !"
And he rushed into the wigwam,

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