Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
 
Bermudas
By Andrew Marvell (1621–1678)
 
WHERE 1 the remote 2 Bermudas ride,
In the ocean’s bosom unespied,
From a small boat, that rowed along,
The listening winds received this song:
 
  ‘What should we do but sing His praise,        5
That led us through the watery maze,
Unto an isle so long unknown,
And yet far kinder than our own?
Where He the huge sea-monsters wracks,
That lift the deep upon their backs;        10
He lands us on a grassy stage,
Safe from the storms, and prelate’s rage.
He gave us this eternal spring,
Which here enamels every thing,
And sends the fowls to us in care,        15
On daily visits through the air;
He hangs in shades the orange bright,
Like golden lamps in a green night,
And does in the pomegranates close
Jewels more rich than Ormus 3 shows;        20
He makes the figs our mouths to meet,
And throws the melons at our feet;
But apples plants of such a price,
No tree could ever bear them twice;
With cedars chosen by His hand,        25
From Lebanon, He stores the land,
And makes the hollow seas, that roar,
Proclaim the ambergris on shore;
He cast (of which we rather boast)
The Gospel’s pearl upon our coast,        30
And in these rocks for us did frame
A temple where to sound His name.
Oh! let our voice His praise exalt,
Till it arrive at Heaven’s vault,
Which, thence (perhaps) rebounding, may        35
Echo beyond the Mexique Bay.’
 
  Thus sung they, in the English boat,
An holy and a cheerful note;
And all the way, to guide their chime,
With falling oars they kept the time.        40
 
Note 1. The islands were named after Juan Bermudaz who discovered them in 1522. [back]
Note 2. Remote: called the “remotest island in the whole world” by Oveido who accompanied Bermudaz. The island was settled by sixty people emigrating from Virginia under Henry More. They were joined by refugees from England who emigrated to escape the religious tyranny that led to the Civil War. In 1621, the colonists were granted a charter giving them among others, the right to worship. [back]
Note 3. Ormus: Ambergris. [back]
 
 
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