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It wav'd not through an Eastern sky,
Beside a fount of Araby ;
It was not fann’d by southern breeze
In some green isle of Indian seas,
Nor did its graceful shadow sleep
O'er stream of Afric, lone and deep.
But fair the exil'd Palm-tree grew
'Midst foliage of no kindred hue ;
Through the laburnum's dropping gold
Rose the light shaft of orient mould,
And Europe's violets, faintly sweet,
Purpled the moss-beds at its feet.
* This incident is, I think, recorded by De Lille, in his poem of Les Jardins.
Strange look'd it there the willow stream'd
Where silvery waters near it gleam’d;
The lime-bough lured the honey-bee
To murmur by the Desert's Tree,
And showers of snowy roses made
A lustre in its fan-like shade.
There came an eve of festal hours-
Rich music fillid that garden's bowers :
Lamps, that from flowering branches hung,
On sparks of dew soft colors flung,
And bright forms glanc’d-a fairy show-
Under the blossoms to and fro.
But one, a lone one, 'midst the throng,
Seem'd reckless all of dance or song :
He was a youth of dusky mien,
Whereon the Indian sun had been,
Of crested brow, and long black hair-
A stranger, like the Palm-tree there.
And slowly, sadly, mov'd his plumes,
Glittering athwart the leafy glooms :
He pass’d the pale green olives by,
Nor won the chestnut-flowers his eye;
But when to that sole Palm he came,
Then shot a rapture through his frame !
To him, to him, its rustling spoke,
The silence of his soul it broke !
It whisper'd of his own bright isle,
That lit the ocean with a smile ;
Ay, to his ear that native tone
Had something of the sea-wave's moan!
His mother's cabin home, that lay
Where feathery cocoas fring’d the bay ;
The dashing of his brethren's oar,
The conch-note heard along the shore ;-
All through his wakening bosom swept :
He clasp'd his country's Tree and wept !
Oh ! scorn him not the strength, whereby
The patriot girds himself to die,
Th' unconquerable power, which fills
The freeman battling on his hills,
These have one fountain deep and clear-
The same whence gush'd that child-like tear!
Thou giv'st me flowers, thou giv'st me songs ;-bring back
The love that I have lost !
What wak’st thou, Spring ?--sweet voices in the woods,
And reed-like echoes, that have long been mute; Thou bringest back, to fill the solitudes,
The lark's clear pipe, the cuckoo's viewless flute, Whose tone seems breathing mournfulness or glee,
Ev'n as our hearts may be.
And the leaves greet thee, Spring —the joyous leaves,
Whose tremblings gladden many a copse and glade, Where each young spray a rosy flush receives,
When thy south-wind hath pierc'd the whispery shade, And happy murmurs, running through the grass,
Tell that thy footsteps pass.