"As Unto The Bow The Cord Is, So Unto The Man Is Woman"
Context: Hiawatha, the miraculously born hero of Longfellow's epic of the American Indian, grown to manhood, falls in love with Minnehaha, a beautiful Dacotah maiden. Old Nokomis, his grandmother, advises him against marrying a stranger from a hostile tribe. Hiawatha feels that his marriage will make peace between the Ojibways and the Dacotahs. The girl's father, an "ancient Arrow-maker," gives his consent for the marriage, but he is lonely after his daughter leaves. As the lovers travel back to the home of Nokomis, the animals of the forest bless them. Before he wins the maiden, Hiawatha muses on marriage:
"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 HiawathaSaid 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.