Come take our boy, and we will go
Before our cabin door;
The winds shall bring us, as they blow,
The murmurs of the shore;
And we will kiss his young blue eyes,
And I will sing him, as he lies,
Songs that were made of yore:
I’ll sing, in his delighted ear,
The island lays thou lov’st to hear.
And thou, while stammering I repeat,
Thy country’s tongue shalt teach;
’Tis not so soft, but far more sweet
Than my own native speech:
For thou no other tongue didst know,
When, scarcely twenty moons ago,
Upon Tahete’s beach,
Thou cam’st to woo me to be thine,
With many a speaking look and sign.
I knew thy meaning—thou didst praise
My eyes, my locks of jet;
Ah! well for me they won thy gaze,—
But thine were fairer yet!
I’m glad to see my infant wear
Thy soft blue eyes and sunny hair,
And when my sight is met
By his white brow and blooming cheek,
I feel a joy I cannot speak.
Come talk of Europe’s maids with me,
Whose necks and cheeks, they tell,
Outshine the beauty of the sea,
White foam and crimson shell.
I’ll shape like theirs my simple dress,
And bind like them each jetty tress,
A sight to please thee well:
And for my dusky brow will braid
A bonnet like an English maid.
Come, for the low sunlight calls,
We lose the pleasant hours;
’Tis lovelier than these cottage walls,—
That seat among the flowers.
And I will learn of thee a prayer,
To Him who gave a home so fair,
A lot so blest as ours—
The God who made, for thee and me,
This sweet lone isle amid the sea.
Ay! gloriously thou standest there,
Beautiful, boundles firmament!
That, swelling wide o’er earth and air,
And round the horizon bent,
With thy bright vault, and sapphire wall,
Dost overhang and circle all.
Far, far below thee, tall old trees
Arise, and piles built up of old,
And hills, whose ancient summits freeze
In the fierce light and cold.
The eagle soars his utmost height,
Yet far thou stretchest o’er his flight.
Thou hast thy frowns—with thee on high
The storm has made his airy seat,
Beyond that soft blue curtain lie
His stores of hail and sleet.
Thence the consuming lightnings break,
There the strong hurricanes awake.
Yet art thou prodigal of smiles—
Smiles, sweeter than thy frowns are stern:
Earth sends, from all her thousand isles,
A shout at thy return.
The glory that comes down from thee,
Bathes, in deep joy, the land and sea.
The sun, the gorgeous sun is thine,
The pomp that brings and shuts the day,
The clouds that round him change and shine,
The airs that fan his way.
Thence look the thoughtful stars, and there
The meek moon walks the silent air.