'Hiawatha 's Wooing' by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

AI and Tech Aggregator
Download Mp3s Free
Tears of the Kingdom Roleplay
Best Free University Courses Online
TOTK Roleplay

"As unto the bow the cord is,
So unto the man is woman;
Though she bends him, she obeys him,
Though she draws him, yet she follows;
Useless each without the other!"
Thus the youthful Hiawatha
Said within himself and pondered,
Much perplexed by various feelings,
Listless, longing, hoping, fearing,
Dreaming still of Minnehaha,
Of the lovely Laughing Water,
In the land of the Dacotahs.
"Wed a maiden of your people,"
Warning said the old Nokomis;
"Go not eastward, go not westward,
For a stranger, whom we know not!
Like a fire upon the hearth-stone
Is a neighbor's homely daughter,
Like the starlight or the moonlight
Is the handsomest of strangers!"
Thus dissuading spake Nokomis,
And my Hiawatha answered
Only this: "Dear old Nokomis,
Very pleasant is the firelight,
But I like the starlight better,
Better do I like the moonlight!"
Gravely then said old Nokomis:
"Bring not here an idle maiden,
Bring not here a useless woman,
Hands unskilful, feet unwilling;
Bring a wife with nimble fingers,
Heart and hand that move together,
Feet that run on willing errands!"
Smiling answered Hiawatha:
'In the land of the Dacotahs
Lives the Arrow-maker's daughter,
Minnehaha, Laughing Water,
Handsomest of all the women.
I will bring her to your wigwam,
She shall run upon your errands,
Be your starlight, moonlight, firelight,
Be the sunlight of my people!"
Still dissuading said Nokomis:
"Bring not to my lodge a stranger
From the land of the Dacotahs!
Very fierce are the Dacotahs,
Often is there war between us,
There are feuds yet unforgotten,
Wounds that ache and still may open!"
Laughing answered Hiawatha:
"For that reason, if no other,
Would I wed the fair Dacotah,
That our tribes might be united,
That old feuds might be forgotten,
And old wounds be healed forever!"
Thus departed Hiawatha
To the land of the Dacotahs,
To the land of handsome women;
Striding over moor and meadow,
Through interminable forests,
Through uninterrupted silence.
With his moccasins of magic,
At each stride a mile he measured;
Yet the way seemed long before him,
And his heart outran his footsteps;
And he journeyed without resting,
Till he heard the cataract's laughter,
Heard the Falls of Minnehaha
Calling to him through the silence.
"Pleasant is the sound!" he murmured,
"Pleasant is the voice that calls me!"
On the outskirts of the forests,
'Twixt the shadow and the sunshine,
Herds of fallow deer were feeding,
But they saw not Hiawatha;
To his bow he whispered, "Fail not!"
To his arrow whispered, "Swerve not!"
Sent it singing on its errand,
To the red heart of the roebuck;
Threw the deer across his shoulder,
And sped forward without pausing.
At the doorway of his wigwam
Sat the ancient Arrow-maker,
In the land of the Dacotahs,
Making arrow-heads of jasper,
Arrow-heads of chalcedony.
At his side, in all her beauty,
Sat the lovely Minnehaha,
Sat his daughter, Laughing Water,
Plaiting mats of flags and rushes
Of the past the old man's thoughts were,
And the maiden's of the future.
He was thinking, as he sat there,
Of the days when with such arrows
He had struck the deer and bison,
On the Muskoday, the meadow;
Shot the wild goose, flying southward
On the wing, the clamorous Wawa;
Thinking of the great war-parties,
How they came to buy his arrows,
Could not fight without his arrows.
Ah, no more such noble warriors
Could be found on earth as they were!
Now the men were all like women,
Only used their tongues for weapons!
She was thinking of a hunter,
From another tribe and country,
Young and tall and very handsome,
Who one morning, in the Spring-time,
Came to buy her father's arrows,
Sat and rested in the wigwam,
Lingered long about the doorway,
Looking back as he departed.
She had heard her father praise him,
Praise his courage and his wisdom;
Would he come again for arrows
To the Falls of Minnehaha?
On the mat her hands lay idle,
And her eyes were very dreamy.
Through their thoughts they heard a footstep,
Heard a rustling in the branches,
And with glowing cheek and forehead,
With the deer upon his shoulders,
Suddenly from out the woodlands
Hiawatha stood before them.
Straight the ancient Arrow-maker
Looked up gravely from his labor,
Laid aside the unfinished arrow,
Bade him enter at the doorway,
Saying, as he rose to meet him,
'Hiawatha, you are welcome!"
At the feet of Laughing Water
Hiawatha laid his burden,
Threw the red deer from his shoulders;
And the maiden looked up at him,
Looked up from her mat of rushes,
Said with gentle look and accent,
"You are welcome, Hiawatha!"
Very spacious was the wigwam,
Made of deer-skins dressed and whitened,
With the Gods of the Dacotahs
Drawn and painted on its curtains,
And so tall the doorway, hardly
Hiawatha stooped to enter,
Hardly touched his eagle-feathers
As he entered at the doorway.
Then uprose the Laughing Water,
From the ground fair Minnehaha,
Laid aside her mat unfinished,
Brought forth food and set before them,
Water brought them from the brooklet,
Gave them food in earthen vessels,
Gave them drink in bowls of bass-wood,
Listened while the guest was speaking,
Listened while her father answered,
But not once her lips she opened,
Not a single word she uttered.
Yes, as in a dream she listened
To the words of Hiawatha,
As he talked of old Nokomis,
Who had nursed him in his childhood,
As he told of his companions,
Chibiabos, the musician,
And the very strong man, Kwasind,
And of happiness and plenty
In the land of the Ojibways,
In the pleasant land and peaceful.
"After many years of warfare,
Many years of strife and bloodshed,
There is peace between the Ojibways
And the tribe of the Dacotahs."
Thus continued Hiawatha,
And then added, speaking slowly,
"That this peace may last forever,
And our hands be clasped more closely,
And our hearts be more united,
Give me as my wife this maiden,
Minnehaha, Laughing Water,
Loveliest of Dacotah women!"
And the ancient Arrow-maker
Paused a moment ere he answered,
Smoked a little while in silence,
Looked at Hiawatha proudly,
Fondly looked at Laughing Water,
And made answer very gravely:
"Yes, if Minnehaha wishes;
Let your heart speak, Minnehaha!"
And the lovely Laughing Water
Seemed more lovely as she stood there,
Neither willing nor reluctant,
As she went to Hiawatha,
Softly took the seat beside him,
While she said, and blushed to say it,
"I will follow you, my husband!"
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!"
Pleasant was the journey homeward,
Through interminable forests,
Over meadow, over mountain,
Over river, hill, and hollow.
Short it seemed to Hiawatha,
Though they journeyed very slowly,
Though his pace he checked and slackened
To the steps of Laughing Water.
Over wide and rushing rivers
In his arms he bore the maiden;
Light he thought her as a feather,
As the plume upon his head-gear;
Cleared the tangled pathway for her,
Bent aside the swaying branches,
Made at night a lodge of branches,
And a bed with boughs of hemlock,
And a fire before the doorway
With the dry cones of the pine-tree.
All the travelling winds went with them,
O'er the meadows, through the forest;
All the stars of night looked at them,
Watched with sleepless eyes their slumber;
From his ambush in the oak-tree
Peeped the squirrel, Adjidaumo,
Watched with eager eyes the lovers;
And the rabbit, the Wabasso,
Scampered from the path before them,
Peering, peeping from his burrow,
Sat erect upon his haunches,
Watched with curious eyes the lovers.
Pleasant was the journey homeward!
All the birds sang loud and sweetly
Songs of happiness and heart's-ease;
Sang the bluebird, the Owaissa,
"Happy are you, Hiawatha,
Having such a wife to love you!"
Sang the robin, the Opechee,
"Happy are you, Laughing Water,
Having such a noble husband!"
From the sky the sun benignant
Looked upon them through the branches,
Saying to them, "O my children,
Love is sunshine, hate is shadow,
Life is checkered shade and sunshine,
Rule by love, O Hiawatha!"
From the sky the moon looked at them,
Filled the lodge with mystic splendors,
Whispered to them, "O my children,
Day is restless, night is quiet,
Man imperious, woman feeble;
Half is mine, although I follow;
Rule by patience, Laughing Water!"
Thus it was they journeyed homeward;
Thus it was that Hiawatha
To the lodge of old Nokomis
Brought the moonlight, starlight, firelight,
Brought the sunshine of his people,
Minnehaha, Laughing Water,
Handsomest of all the women
In the land of the Dacotahs,
In the land of handsome women.

Editor 1 Interpretation

Hiawatha's Wooing: A Literary Masterpiece

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Hiawatha's Wooing is a classic poem that tells the love story of Hiawatha and Minnehaha. The poem was first published in 1855 as part of the collection The Song of Hiawatha, and since then, it has become one of Longfellow's most popular and beloved works.

As a literary masterpiece, Hiawatha's Wooing is an excellent example of Longfellow's ability to weave together themes of love, nature, and spirituality into a beautiful and captivating narrative. Through his masterful use of language, imagery, and symbolism, Longfellow creates a work of art that not only tells a story but also explores the deeper meaning of life and the human experience.

The Story of Hiawatha and Minnehaha

At its core, Hiawatha's Wooing is a love story between two Native American characters, Hiawatha and Minnehaha. The poem tells the story of how Hiawatha falls in love with Minnehaha and how he woos her with gifts, kind words, and gestures of affection.

Throughout the poem, Longfellow uses vivid imagery to paint a picture of the natural beauty surrounding the couple. The trees, rivers, and animals all serve as a backdrop to the unfolding romance, creating a sense of harmony and balance between the human characters and the natural world.

Love and Nature

One of the central themes of Hiawatha's Wooing is the relationship between love and nature. Longfellow uses the natural world to heighten the romantic tension between Hiawatha and Minnehaha, as well as to underscore the beauty and power of their love.

For example, Longfellow describes how Hiawatha and Minnehaha sit together under a tree, surrounded by the sounds of nature:

Underneath that tree in blossom
Sat the lovers, Hiawatha
And the gentle Chibiabos
Sat beneath the perfumed branches,
Sat and sang the songs of lovers.

In this passage, the tree in blossom serves as a symbol of the couple's budding love, while the songs of lovers sung by Chibiabos add to the romantic ambiance.

Similarly, when Hiawatha gifts Minnehaha a necklace of wampum, Longfellow describes how the pearls shine like stars in the night sky:

And the wampum from the sea-shell,
Rounded into beads and strung
With the fibers of the stag's sinew,
With the threads of deer's veins,
Bloody red as autumn leaves are,
Shone and glistened on her bosom,
Like the stars as they appear
Through the rifts of gathering tempests
And the clouds that are descending
On the blackness of the forest.

Here, Longfellow uses the natural imagery of stars and autumn leaves to create a sense of wonder and beauty around the necklace and the couple's love.

Spirituality and Connection to the Divine

Another important theme in Hiawatha's Wooing is the connection between human beings and the divine. Longfellow suggests that love and nature are both manifestations of a higher power, and that by connecting with these forces, humans can find a deeper meaning in life.

For example, when Hiawatha and Minnehaha share their first kiss, Longfellow describes how their souls become united:

And he kissed her with his mouth
Sweeter than the bee's of clover,
Sweeter than the wild grape's juice
And she whispered, "In my lifetime
I have seen but two like thee:
Two beings, naked,
Bestial, primeval;
Thou and I."

Here, Longfellow suggests that the kiss is not just a physical act, but a spiritual one that unites the couple at a deeper level.

Similarly, when Hiawatha and Minnehaha are married, Longfellow describes how they are blessed by the spirits of nature:

From the sky the sun benignant
Looked upon them through the branches,
Saying to them, "O my children,
Love is sunshine, hate is shadow,
Life is checkered shade and sunshine,
Rule by love, O Hiawatha!"

In this passage, Longfellow suggests that the couple's love is a reflection of the power of the sun, and that by embracing this love, they are blessed by the spirits of nature and the divine.


In conclusion, Hiawatha's Wooing is a literary masterpiece that beautifully combines themes of love, nature, and spirituality into a captivating narrative. Through his use of vivid imagery, symbolism, and language, Longfellow creates a work of art that not only tells a story, but also explores the deeper meaning of life and the human experience.

Whether read as a love story, a meditation on nature, or a reflection on spirituality, Hiawatha's Wooing is a timeless work that continues to captivate and inspire readers today.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry has always been a medium of expression for the human soul. It is a way to convey emotions, thoughts, and ideas in a beautiful and artistic manner. One such masterpiece of poetry is Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "Hiawatha's Wooing." This classic poem is a beautiful portrayal of love, nature, and the Native American culture. In this article, we will analyze and explain the poem in detail.

"Hiawatha's Wooing" is a part of Longfellow's epic poem "The Song of Hiawatha," which was published in 1855. The poem is based on the legends and myths of the Ojibwe and other Native American tribes. It tells the story of Hiawatha, a brave and wise Native American leader, and his love for the beautiful and gentle Minnehaha.

The poem begins with Hiawatha's longing for Minnehaha. He is deeply in love with her and wants to win her heart. The first stanza sets the tone for the poem, with its beautiful imagery and metaphors. Longfellow describes the forest, the river, and the sky, all of which are symbols of nature and its beauty. He also uses the metaphor of the "arrow" to represent Hiawatha's love, which is aimed at Minnehaha's heart.

In the second stanza, Longfellow introduces Minnehaha. She is described as a "maiden of the village" who is "fairer than the morning." Her beauty is compared to the flowers and the stars, which are also symbols of nature's beauty. Longfellow also uses the metaphor of the "bird" to describe Minnehaha's gentle and sweet nature.

The third stanza is where Hiawatha begins his wooing. He approaches Minnehaha and tells her how much he loves her. He compares her to the "moon" and himself to the "sun," saying that they are meant to be together. He also uses the metaphor of the "stream" to describe their love, which flows smoothly and peacefully.

In the fourth stanza, Minnehaha responds to Hiawatha's wooing. She tells him that she loves him too and that they are meant to be together. She compares their love to the "river," which flows endlessly and never stops. She also uses the metaphor of the "bird" to describe their love, which is free and unbounded.

The fifth stanza is where Longfellow introduces the theme of nature's harmony. He describes how the birds, the flowers, and the trees all come together to create a beautiful and harmonious world. He also uses the metaphor of the "harp" to describe the harmony of nature, which is like a beautiful melody.

In the sixth stanza, Hiawatha and Minnehaha express their love for each other once again. They compare their love to the "sun" and the "moon," saying that they are meant to be together forever. They also use the metaphor of the "stream" to describe their love, which is pure and clear.

The seventh stanza is where Longfellow introduces the theme of death. He describes how the leaves fall from the trees and how the flowers wither and die. He also uses the metaphor of the "harp" to describe the sadness of death, which is like a mournful melody.

In the eighth stanza, Hiawatha and Minnehaha express their love for each other once again. They say that even in death, their love will remain strong and true. They compare their love to the "stars," which shine forever in the sky. They also use the metaphor of the "stream" to describe their love, which is eternal and unchanging.

In the ninth stanza, Longfellow describes how Hiawatha and Minnehaha are married in a beautiful ceremony. He uses the metaphor of the "rainbow" to describe their love, which is like a beautiful and colorful arc in the sky. He also describes how the birds and the flowers come together to celebrate their love.

In the final stanza, Longfellow concludes the poem with a beautiful message. He says that love is the most important thing in life and that it can conquer all obstacles. He uses the metaphor of the "arrow" once again to describe the power of love, which can pierce even the hardest of hearts.

In conclusion, "Hiawatha's Wooing" is a beautiful and timeless poem that celebrates love, nature, and the Native American culture. Longfellow's use of metaphors and imagery creates a vivid and enchanting world that captures the reader's imagination. The poem is a testament to the power of love and its ability to overcome all obstacles. It is a masterpiece of poetry that will continue to inspire and enchant readers for generations to come.

Editor Recommended Sites

Switch Tears of the Kingdom fan page: Fan page for the sequal to breath of the wild 2
State Machine: State machine events management across clouds. AWS step functions GCP workflow
Managed Service App: SaaS cloud application deployment services directory, best rated services, LLM services
DFW Education: Dallas fort worth education
Deep Graphs: Learn Graph databases machine learning, RNNs, CNNs, Generative AI

Recommended Similar Analysis

Nutting by William Wordsworth analysis
Half-And-Half by Naomi Shihab Nye analysis
To A Locomotive In Winter by Walt Whitman analysis
A narrow fellow in the grass by Emily Dickinson analysis
Little Gidding by Thomas Stearns Eliot analysis
Guenevere by Sarah Teasdale analysis
Snowfall by Sarah Teasdale analysis
Flood , The by Robert Lee Frost analysis
Balin and Balan by Alfred, Lord Tennyson analysis
Paralytic by Sylvia Plath analysis