Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
108. Farewell to Cuba
 
By Maria Gowen Brooks (“Maria del Occidente”)
 
 
ADIEU, fair isle! I love thy bowers,
  I love thy dark-eyed daughters there;
The cool pomegranate’s scarlet flowers
  Look brighter in their jetty hair.
 
They praised my forehead’s stainless white;        5
  And when I thirsted, gave a draught
From the full clustering cocoa’s height,
  And smiling, blessed me as I quaffed.
 
Well pleased, the kind return I gave,
  And, clasped in their embraces’ twine,        10
Felt the soft breeze like Lethe ’s wave
  Becalm this beating heart of mine.
 
Why will my heart so wildly beat?
  Say, Seraphs, is my lot too blest,
That thus a fitful, feverish heat        15
  Must rifle me of health and rest?
 
Alas! I fear my native snows—
  A clime too cold, a heart too warm—
Alternate chills—alternate glows—
  Too fiercely threat my flower-like form.        20
 
The orange-tree has fruit and flowers;
  The grenadilla, in its bloom,
Hangs o’er its high, luxuriant bowers,
  Like fringes from a Tyrian loom.
 
When the white coffee-blossoms swell,        25
  The fair moon full, the evening long
I love to hear the warbling bell,
  And sun-burnt peasant’s wayward song.
 
Drive gently on, dark muleteer,
  And the light seguidilla frame;        30
Fain would I listen still, to hear
  At every close thy mistress’ name.
 
Adieu, fair isle! the waving palm
  Is pencilled on thy purest sky;
Warm sleeps the bay, the air is balm,        35
  And, soothed to languor, scarce a sigh
 
Escapes for those I love so well,
  For those I ’ve loved and left so long;
On me their fondest musings dwell,
  To them alone my sighs belong.        40
 
On, on, my bark! blow, southern breeze!
  No longer would I lingering stay;
’T were better far to die with these
  Than live in pleasure far away.
 

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