Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
The Malay to His Master
By Cale Young Rice
 
THE WOMAN is mine, O chief,
White chief whom the spirits fear!
The woman is mine,
I have bought her with blood,
My mark is upon her brow.        5
I swept like a shark the sea,
O lord of unbelief!
I swept with a trusty score to her isle
And brought her home in my prau!
 
She lay in her atap-thatch,        10
Clad—ah!—in her red sarong.
The cocoanut palms
In the wind she heard,
But never my paddles near.
I seized her with mating arms—        15
O chief, no moon is her match!—
She cried to the hunting men of her tribe,
But lo, I carried her clear.
 
And tossed her across the surf!
O chief, she is mine, not yours!—        20
I bore her away
Though the pearls of her teeth
Bit deep, and her rage beat blind.
An hundred hissing darts,
Each dipped in a venom’s scurf,        25
Slid after us like swift asps of air,
But ever they sunk behind.
 
And so she is mine, twice mine,
For when in the jungle here
I hid her, O lord,        30
And sang to her heart
And planted the rubber round,
And bought her your rings and silks
And bracelets jewel-fine,
And swept her with kisses like the sea,        35
At last was her long hate drowned.
 
And so she is mine, is mine!
White chief, you must give her back.
I bought her with blood,
I will keep her with blood,        40
So chasten your heart of lust;
Or swift, as you say the night
Of Malaya falls, at a sign,
My people, led by the gods, shall fall,
And make of your passion dust.        45
 
 
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