barefootsong: Silhouette of someone jumping against a sunset sky. (jump)
[personal profile] barefootsong
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I would I had been island-born.
I dearly love things insular:
The coral bed, the quaint bazaar,
The palm and breadfruit never shorn,
The smoking cone that cannot char
The azure of a tropic morn,
The dancing girl in soft cymar,—
All these such lures, such wonders are—
Oh, why was I not island-born?

In island crossed of Capricorn
In Otaheite, wild Happar
Lurk all the powers that make or mar.
The ogress, wrinkled like a Norn,
The parrot-fish, the nenuphar,
The tides that leave in quiet scorn
The moon out of their calendar,
Miranda’s cave, Nausicaa’s car,—
All these are for the island-born.

’T was on a far-off isle forlorn
That Haidee wore her golden bar,
Virginia seemed a drifted spar,
Rarahu’s loving heart was torn,
Sweet Allan Bane, in peace and war,
Awoke St. Modan’s harp outworn,
And Graziella her guitar;
She bore the brimming water-jar
Not grieving to be island-born.

ENVOY

Prince, on three islands, sundered far,
Thine were life’s flower, its husk, its thorn.
Ripe grew thy wrath on Elba’s scar,
In St. Helena sank thy star.
Napoleon, thou wast island-born!

       ~ "A Ballade of Islands" by Lucy Robinson

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[source]

Hyper-annotations added by me. There were only two I couldn't solve. The first was "The tides that leave in quiet scorn / The moon out of their calendar" in the second stanza. The other was "Virginia seemed a drifted spar" in the third stanza. (Possibly it refers to the wreck of the Sea Venture on Bermuda while en route to Virginia?)
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About the girl

The random musings of a librarian with a passion for reading (duh), a vast curiosity about the world, and a penchant for noticing things most people don't (like the way sunlight falls through the leaves on a tree).

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