Gathering a thousand rivers on his way,
Huge Orellana rolls his affluent flood;
And where the happier sons of Paraguay,
By gentleness and pious art subdued,
Bow'd their meek heads beneath the Jesuits' sway.
And lived and died in filial servitude.
I love thus uncontroll'd, as in a dream,
To muse upon the course of human things;
Exploring sometimes the remotest springs,
Far as tradition lends one guiding gleam;
Or following, upon Thought's audacious wings,
Into Futurity, the endless stream.
But now in quest of no ambitious height,
I go where truth and nature lead my way,
And ceasing here from desultory flight,
In measured strains I tell a Tale of Paraguay.