Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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.

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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