Page:The West Indies, and Other Poems.djvu/30
— An eastern plant, ingrafted on the soil,'
Was till'd for ages with consuming toil ;
No tree of knowledge with forbidden fruit,
Death in the taste, and ruin at the root.
Yet in its growth were good and evil found,
It blcss'd the planter, but it cursed the ground ;
While with vain wealth it gorged the master's hoard,
And spread with manna his luxurious board.
Its culture was perdition to the slave,
It sapp'd his life, and flourish'd on his grave.
When the fierce spoiler from remorseless Spain Tasted the balmy spirit of the cane, (Already had his rival in the west. From the rich reed ambrosial sweetness prcss'd,) Dark through his thoughts the miser purpose roll'd To turn its hidden treasures into gold. But at his breath, by pestilent decay. The Indian tribes were swiftly swei)t away ;