Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Oceanica
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Oceanica: Vol. XXXI.  1876–79.
 
Polynesia: Sandwich Islands
The Earl of Sandwich
Letitia Elizabeth Landon (1802–1838)
 
THEY called the islands by his name,
Those isles, the far away and fair;
A graceful fancy linked with fame,
A flattery—such as poets’ are,
 
Who link with lovely things their praise,        5
And ask the earth, and ask the sky,
To color with themselves their lays,
And some associate grace supply.
 
But here it was a sailor’s thought,
That named the island from the earl,        10
That dreams of England might be brought
To those soft shores and seas of pearl.
 
How very fair they must have seemed
When first they darkened on the deep!
Like all the wandering seaman dreamed,        15
When land rose lovely on his sleep.
 
How many dreams they turned to truth
When first they met the sailor’s eyes;
Green with the sweet earth’s southern youth,
And azure with her southern skies.        20
 
And yet our English thought beguiles
The mariner where’er he roam;
He looks upon the new-found isles,
And calls them by some name of home.
 
 
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