Page:The West Indies, and Other Poems.djvu/16

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


Through radiant realms, beneath the burning zone,

Where Europe's curse is felt, her name unknown,

'Thus saith Britannia, empress of the sea,

'Thy chains are broken, Africa, be free!'


Long lay the ocean-paths from man concealed;
Light came from heaven,—the magnet was reveal'd,

A surer star to guide the seaman's eye

Than the pale glory of the northern sky;

Alike ordain'd to shine by night and day,
Through calm and tempest, with unsetting ray;
Where'er the mountains rise, the billows roll.

Still with strong impulse turning to the pole,

True as the sun is to the morning true.

Though light as film, and trembling as the dew.


Then man no longer plied with timid oar,

And failing heart, along the windward shore;
Broad to the sky he turn'd his fearless sail,

Defied the adverse, woo'd the favouring gale,