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.
 
1512. A Ballade of Islands
 
By Lucy Robinson (Lucy Catlin Bull)
 
 
I WOULD I had been island-born.
I dearly love things insular:
The coral bed, the quaint bazaar,
The palm and breadfruit never shorn,
The smoking cone that cannot char        5
The azure of a tropic morn,
The dancing girl in soft cymar,—
All these such lures, such wonders are—
Oh, why was I not island-born?
 
In island crossed of Capricorn—        10
In Otaheite, wild Happar—
Lurk all the powers that make or mar.
The ogress, wrinkled like a Norn,
The parrot-fish, the nenuphar,
The tides that leave in quiet scorn        15
The moon out of their calendar,
Miranda’s cave, Nausicaa’s car,—
All these are for the island-born.
 
’T was on a far-off isle forlorn
That Haidee wore her golden bar,        20
Virginia seemed a drifted spar,
Rarahu’s loving heart was torn,
Sweet Allan Bane, in peace and war,
Awoke St. Modan’s harp outworn,
And Graziella her guitar;        25
She bore the brimming water-jar
Not grieving to be island-born.
 
ENVOY

Prince, on three islands, sundered far,
Thine were life’s flower, its husk, its thorn.
Ripe grew thy wrath on Elba’s scar,        30
In St. Helena sank thy star.
Napoleon, thou wast island-born!
 

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