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: Pitcairn’s Island
A Song of Pitcairn’s Island
William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878)
 
COME, take our boy, and we will go
  Before our cabin-door;
The winds shall bring us, as they blow,
  The murmurs of the shore;
And we will kiss his young blue eyes,        5
And I will sing him, as he lies,
  Songs that were made of yore;
I ’ll sing, in his delighted ear,
The island lays thou lov’st to hear.
 
And thou, while stammering I repeat,        10
  Thy country’s tongue shalt teach;
’T is not so soft, but far more sweet,
  Than my own native speech:
For thou no other tongue didst know,
When, scarcely twenty moons ago,        15
  Upon Tahete’s beach,
Thou cam’st to woo me to be thine,
With many a speaking look and sign.
 
I knew thy meaning,—thou didst praise
  My eyes, my locks of jet;        20
Ah! well for me they won thy gaze,—
  But thine were fairer yet!
I ’m glad to see my infant wear
Thy soft blue eyes and sunny hair,
  And when my sight is met        25
By his white brow and blooming cheek,
I feel a joy I cannot speak.
 
Come talk of Europe’s maids with me,
  Whose necks and cheeks, they tell,
Outshine the beauty of the sea,        30
  White foam and crimson shell.
I ’ll shape like theirs my simple dress,
And bind like them each jetty tress,—
  A sight to please thee well;
And for my dusky brow will braid        35
A bonnet like an English maid.
 
Come, for the soft low sunlight calls,
  We lose the pleasant hours;
’T is lovelier than these cottage walls,
  That seat among the flowers.        40
And I will learn of thee a prayer,
To Him, who gave a home so fair,
  A lot so blessed as ours,—
The God who made, for thee and me,
This sweet lone isle amid the sea.        45
 
 
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