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Kate Troy wrote:
> 
> There was an ancient custom of burying a corpse to bring good luck for
> the next year's crops and this seems likely because of the¬ mention of
> an early frost.¬  It could also¬ be a reference to a garden (and
> world)¬ that is wasting away, where in the future nothing will grow,
> so it doesn't really matter what is planted, seeds or dead bodies.¬
> It could also be a reference to reincarnation.

It's been 65 years since I read Hiawatha, but isn't there a corpse
burial & sprouting in that? (Origin of maize?)

Probably not very relevant even if so, but it popped into my head.

Carrol