Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Oceanica
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
CONTENTS · BOOK CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Oceanica: Vol. XXXI.  1876–79.
 
Various Islands: Madeira
Madeira
William Lisle Bowles (1762–1850)
 
(From The Spirit of Discovery by Sea)

THE FAVORING gales invite; the bowsprit bears
Right onward to the fearful shade; more black
The cloudy spectre towers; already fear
Shrinks at the view aghast and breathless. Hark!
’T was more than the deep murmur of the surge        5
That struck the ear; whilst through the lurid gloom
Gigantic phantoms seem to lift in air
Their misty arms; yet, yet,—bear boldly on,—
The mist dissolves; seen through the parting haze,
Romantic rocks, like the depictured clouds,        10
Shine out; beneath, a blooming wilderness
Of varied wood is spread, that scents the air;
Where fruits of “golden rind,” thick interspersed
And pendent, through the mantling umbrage gleam
Inviting. Cypress here, and stateliest pine,        15
Spire o’er the nether shades, as emulous
Of sole distinction where all nature smiles.
Some trees, in sunny glades alone their head
And graceful stem uplifting, mark below
The turf with shadow; whilst in rich festoons        20
The flowery lianes braid their boughs; meantime
Choirs of innumerous birds of liveliest song
And brightest plumage, flitting through the shades,
With nimble glance are seen; they, unalarmed,
Now near in airy circles sing, then speed        25
Their random flight back to their sheltering bowers,
Whose silence, broken only by their song,
From the foundation of this busy world,
Perhaps had never echoed to the voice,
Or heard the steps of Man. What rapture fired        30
The strangers’ bosoms, as from glade to glade
They passed, admiring all, and gazing still
With new delight! ’T is solitude around;
Deep solitude, that on the gloom of woods
Primeval fearful hangs: a green recess        35
Now opens in the wilderness; gay flowers
Of unknown name purple the yielding sward;
The ring-dove murmurs o’er their head, like one
Attesting tenderest joy; but mark the trees,
Where, slanting through the gloom, the sunshine rests!        40
Beneath, a moss-grown monument appears,
O’er which the green banana gently waves
Its long leaf; and an aged cypress near
Leans, as if listening to the streamlet’s sound
That gushes from the adverse bank; but pause,—        45
Approach with reverence! Maker of the world,
There is a Christian’s cross! and on the stone
A name, yet legible amid its moss,—
Anna!
 
 
CONTENTS · BOOK CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors