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The white cecropia's silver rind
Relieved by deeper green behind,
The orange with its fruit of gold,
The lithe paullinia's verdant fold,
The passion-flower, with symbol holy,
Twining its tendrils long and lowly,
The rhexias dark, and cassia tall,
And proudly rising over all,
The kingly palm's imperial stem,
Crowned with its leafy diadem,
Star-like, beneath whose sombre shade,
The fiery-winged cucullo played!
How lovely was thine aspect, then,
Fair island of the Western Sea!
Lavish of beauty, even when
Thy brutes were happier than thy men,
For they, at least, were free!
Regardless of thy glorious lime,
Unmindful of thy soil of flowers,
The toiling negro sighed, that Time
No faster sped his hours.
For, by the dewy moonlight still,
He fed the weary-turning mill,
Or bent him in the chill morass,
To pluck the long and tangled grass,
And hear above his scar-worn back
The heavy slave-whip's frequent crack:
While in his heart one evil thought
In solitary madness wrought,
One baleful fire surviving still
The quenching of the immortal mind,
One sterner passion of his kind,
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