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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Four Winds

From The Song of Hiawatha

"Honor be to Mudjekeewis!"

With a shout exclaimed the people,

"Honor be to Mudjekeewis

Henceforth he shall be the West-Wind,

And hereafter and forever

Shall he hold supreme dominion

Over all the winds of heaven.

Call him no more Mudjekeewis,

Call him Kabeyun, the West-Wind!"

Thus was Mudjekeewis chosen

Father of the Winds of Heaven.

For himself he kept the West-Wind,

Gave the others to his children;

Unto Wabun gave the East-Wind,

Gave the South to Shawondasee,

And the North-Wind, wild and cruel,

To the fierce Kabibonokka.

Wabun, the East-Wind

Young and beautiful was Wabun;

He it was who brought the morning,

He it was whose silver arrows

Chased the dark o'er hill and valley;

He it was whose cheeks were painted

With the brightest streaks of crimson,

And whose voice awoke the village,

Called the deer, and called the hunter.

Kabibonokka, the North-Wind

But the fierce Kabibonokka

Had his dwelling among icebergs,

In the everlasting snow-drifts,

In the kingdom of Wabasso,

In the land of the White Rabbit.

He it was whose hand in Autumn

Painted all the trees with scarlet,

Stained the leaves with red and yellow

He it was who sent the snow-flakes,

Sifting, hissing through the forest,

Froze the ponds, the lakes, the rivers,

Drove the loon and sea-gull southward,

Drove the cormorant and curlew

To their nests of sedge and sea-tang

In the realms of Shawondasee.

Shawondasee, the South-Wind

Shawondasee, fat and lazy,

Had his dwelling far to southward,

In the drowsy, dreamy sunshine,

In the never-ending Summer.

He it was who sent the wood-birds,

Sent the robin, the Opechee,

Sent the bluebird, the Owaissa,

Sent the Shawshaw, sent the swallow,

Sent the wild-goose, Wawa, northward,

Sent the melons and tobacco,

And the grapes in purple clusters.

From his pipe the smoke ascending

Filled the sky with haze and vapor,

Filled the air with dreamy softness,

Gave a twinkle to the water,

Touched the rugged hills with smoothness,

Brought the tender Indian Summer

To the melancholy north-land,

In the dreary Moon of Snow-shoes.

Thus the Four Winds were divided;

Thus the sons of Mudjekeewis

Had their stations in the heavens,

At the corners of the heavens;

For himself the West-Wind only

Kept the mighty Mudjekeewis.