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Undensed book #3: Longfellow’s Limericks
Undensed book #3: Longfellow’s Limericks
Undensed book #3: Longfellow’s Limericks
Undensed book #3: Longfellow’s Limericks
Undensed book #3: Longfellow’s Limericks
Undensed book #3: Longfellow’s Limericks
Undensed book #3: Longfellow’s Limericks
Undensed book #3: Longfellow’s Limericks

Undensed book #3: Longfellow’s Limericks

Did you know that hidden within Henry Wadsworth Longfellow‘s epic poetical work, “The Song of Hiawatha,” is a dirty, limerick-style poem?

That’s not true, but here it is anyway. Be warned, this is about as NSFW as you’ll see from that licentious Longfellow.

Listen to a reading below, or read the poem yourself below that, or see the reorganized pages themselves below that.

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From Pornetical Works of Longfellow:

“The Song of Hiawatha (Uncensored)”

With the odours of the forest
Hearing nothing but the tempest
Figures mystical and awful
Drawn within a magic circle
Throbbing in the utter darkness

You shall hear the strange adventures
All the many sounds of nature
In the land of handsome women
All your strength is in your union
Wildly glaring at each other

Out of which the heavy breathing
Songs of love and songs of longing
Lay aside your garments wholly
Rise, O youth, and wrestle with me!
And they felt it rising, rising

Stretched upon his back he lay there
He was swollen like a bladder
He could shoot an arrow from him
For his heart was hot within him
And she follows where he leads her

Make a bed for me to lie in
I have need of a companion
To come forth and wrestle naked
And our hearts be more united
Panting with his wild exertion

And he spake unto the beaver
Give our bodies to be eaten
Wooed her with his soft caresses
Drowned him in the deep abysses
Leaped into its yawning cavern

With a whir and beat of pinions
He was best of all musicians
Brighter glowed the fire a moment
And the air grew warm and pleasant
How he made a hole in Heaven

Skilled was he in sports and pastimes
‘Twixt the shadow and the sunshine
And he disappeared within it
All night long he sailed upon it
Very crafty, very cunning

Creaked and groaned and split asunder
Piercing deeper than the other
Light me with your little candle
I will change you to an eagle
I can blow you strong, my brother

And repeating louder, louder,
Let me dive into the water
Suddenly felt himself descending
“Hark!” she said; “I hear a rushing”
Till the sap came oozing outward

Painted white were all their faces
Covered as with whitest snowflakes
Dripping, flashing in the sunshine
Let them do what best delights them
Thus departed Hiawatha

From behind a waving curtain
Sang a maiden’s lamentation
Looked with haggard eyes and hollow
“Tail-in-air the boys shall call you!
That shall not soon be forgotten!”


This was made from a battered and tattered copy of Poetical Works of Longfellow with illustrations by W.L. Taylor, published in Great Britain by Collins Clear-Type Press, probably circa 1900. The book was not valuable, as a great many were printed and this one had already fallen apart. According to an inscription it was owned by a Herbert Lee DeWalt of Ladysmith, Wisconsin in 1928. Sorry, Herb.

My Undensed Book projects:His Name Was Gentle” and “A Farewell to Feet.” The Undensed Books are a series of experiments in recycling existing stories into new ones. Related projects include Tom Phillips’ seminal A Humament, Austin Kleon’s excellent Newspaper Blackout Poems, and the delightful Censored Mother Goose Rhymes. Find that last one on eBay; it’s worth it.

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