Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/98

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Yet may they not without some cautious care
Take up their inn content upon the ground.
First it behoves to clear a circle there,
And trample down the grass and plantage round,
Where many a deadly reptile might be found,
Whom with its bright and comfortable heat
The flame would else allure: such plagues abound
In these thick woods, and therefore must they beat
The earth, and trample well the herbs beneath their feet.


And now they heap dry reeds and broken wood;
The spark is struck, the crackling faggots blaze,
And cheer that unaccustomed solitude.
Soon have they made their frugal meal of maize;
In grateful adoration then they raise
The evening hymn. How solemn in the wild
That sweet accordant strain wherewith they praise
The Queen of Angels, merciful and mild:
Hail, holiest Mary! Maid, and Mother undefiled.