Nor gold nor silver are the words set here,
Nor rich-wrought chasing on design of art;
But rugged relics of an unknown sphere
Where fortune chanced I played one time apart.
Unthought of here the critic blame or praise,
These recollections all their faults atone;
To hold the scenes, I've writ of men and ways
Uncouth and rough as Austral ironstone.
It may be, I have left the higher gleams
Of skies and flowers unheeded or forgot;
It may be so,—but, looking back, it seems
When I was with them I beheld them not.
I was no rambling poet, but a man
Hard pressed to dig and delve, with naught of ease
The hot day through, save when the evening's fan
Of sea-winds rustled through the kindly trees.
It may be so; but when I think I smile
At my poor hand and brain to paint the charms
Of God's first-blazoned canvas! here the aisle
Moonlit and deep of reaching gothic arms
From towering gum, mahogany, and palm.
And odorous jam and sandal; there the growth
Of arm-long velvet leaves grown hoar in calm,—
In calm unbroken since their luscious youth.
How can I show you all the silent birds
With strange metallic glintings on the wing?