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.
 
Various Islands: Canary Islands
The Canaries
Sir Samuel Garth (1661–1719)
 
(From The Dispensary)

DIM he discerns majestic Atlas rise,
And bend beneath the burden of the skies,—
His towering brows aloft no tempests know,
Whilst lightning flies and thunder rolls below.
  Distant from hence, beyond a waste of plains,        5
Proud Teneriffe, his giant brother, reigns:
With breathing fire his pitchy nostrils glow,
As from his sides he shakes the fleecy snow.
Around this hoary prince, from watery beds,
His subject islands raise their verdant heads;        10
The waves so gently wash each rising hill,
The land seems floating,—and the ocean, still.
  Eternal spring, with smiling verdure, here
Warms the mild air, and crowns the youthful year;
From crystal rocks transparent riv’lets flow;        15
The tuberose ever breathes, and violets blow;
The vine, undressed, her swelling clusters bears;
The laboring hind the mellow olive cheers;
Blossoms and fruit, at once, the citron shows,
And, as she pays, discovers still she owes;        20
The orange to her sun her pride displays,
And gilds her fragrant apples with his rays;
No blasts e’er discompose the peaceful sky,
The springs but murmur, and the winds but sigh:
The tuneful swans on gliding rivers float,        25
And, warbling dirges, die on every note:
Where Flora treads, her zephyr garlands flings,
And scatters odors from his purple wings,
Whilst birds, from woodbine bowers and jasmine groves,
Chant their glad nuptials and unenvied loves.        30
Mild seasons, rising hills, and silent dales,
Cool grottos, silver brooks, and flowery vales,
Groves filled with balmy shrubs, in pomp appear,
And scent with gales of sweets the circling year.
 
 
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