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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 265 pages of information about The Feast of the Virgins and Other Poems.

  Mihihna, Mihihna, the boy I bore—­
    When the robin sang and my brave was true,
  I can bear to look on his face no more,
    For he looks, Mihihna, so much like you.

  Mihihna, Mihihna, the Scarlet Leaf
    Has robbed my boy of his father’s love;
  He sleeps in my arms—­he will find no grief
    In the star-lit lodge in the land above.

  Mihihna, Mihihna, my heart is stone;
    The light is gone from my longing eyes;
  The wounded loon in the lake alone
    Her death-song sings to the moon and dies.

[CP] Mee-heen-yah—­My husband.

Swiftly down the turbid torrent, as she sung her song she flew;
Like a swan upon the current, dancing rode the light canoe. 
Hunters hurry in the gloaming; all in vain Wanata calls;
Singing through the surges foaming, lo she plunges o’er the Falls.

Long they searched the sullen river—­searched for leagues along the shore,
Bark or babe or mother never saw the sad Dakotas more;
But at night or misty morning oft the hunters heard her song,
Oft the maidens heard her warning in their mellow mother-tongue. 
On the bluffs they sat enchanted till the blush of beamy dawn;
Spirit Isle, they say, is haunted, and they call the spot Wakan[CQ]
Many summers on the highland in the full moon’s golden glow—­
In the woods on Fairy Island,[CR] walked a snow-white fawn and doe—­
Spirits of the babe and mother sadly seeking evermore
For a father’s love another turned away with evil power.

Sometimes still when moonbeams shimmer through the maples on the lawn,
In the gloaming and the glimmer walk the silent doe and fawn;
And on Spirit Isle or near it, under midnight’s misty moon,
Oft is seen the mother’s spirit, oft is heard her mournful tune.

[CQ] Pronounced Walk-on,—­Sacred, inhabited by a spirit.

[CR] Fairy Island,—­Wita-Waste—­Nicollet Island.

CHICKADEE

Chickadee, chickadee, chickadee-dee! 
That was the song that he sang to me—­Sang
from his perch in the willow tree—­
Chickadee, chickadee, chickadee-dee. 
  My little brown bird,
  The song that I heard
Was a happier song than the minstrels sing—­
A paean of joy and a carol of spring;
And my heart leaped throbbing and sang with thee
Chickadee, chickadee, chickadee-dee.

  My birdie looked wise
  With his little black eyes,
As he peeked and peered from his perch at me
With a throbbing throat and a flutter of glee,
  As if he would say—­
  Sing trouble away,
Chickadee, chickadee, chickadee-dee.

  Only one note
  From his silver throat;
  Only one word
  From my wise little bird;
But a sweeter note or a wiser word
From the tongue of mortal I never have heard,
Than my little philosopher sang to me
From his bending perch in the willow tree—­
Chickadee, chickadee, chickadee-dee.

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