Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Oceanica
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Oceanica: Vol. XXXI.  1876–79.
Polynesia: Sandwich Islands
William Gibson (1826–1887)

AN OCEAN-PLANET, rounded by a glory,
The billowy glory of the great Pacific,
Withdrawn in spheres remote of rolling blue.
  An island, central with inferior groupings,
Like Jupiter, in the cerulean distance,        5
Magnificent among his circling moons.
  Planet-like poiséd half submerged in ocean:
One hemisphere above the water-level
Apparent, belted by three climate-zones.
  The heavy mango droops, the slim palm towers,        10
By intertropical shores; gleam silver summits
(Through wind-clouds) Arctic with eternal frost.
  Crowned with the vast white dome of Mauna Loa,
Escarpments rich with the pandanus, rávines,
Cascades and rainbows, form thy globular shell.        15
  A hollow globe; beneath the snow, the verdure,
The ambient ocean, live, primordial fires,
Which have created, dwell—and may destroy.
*        *        *        *        *
  Hush,—hence the theme! ’T is torrid noon, with freshness
On lake and waterfall, soft vowels and laughter        20
From brown amphibious girls in Eden’s guise.
  And, as I gaze and write, glorious Hawáii!
I see no terror in thy soaring beauty,
Thy sky of lazuli and sapphire sea.

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