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English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Andrew Marvell

255. Song of the Emigrants in Bermuda

WHERE the remote Bermudas ride

In the ocean’s bosom unespied,

From a small boat that row’d along

The listening winds received this song:

‘What should we do but sing His praise

That led us through the watery maze

Where He the huge sea-monsters wracks,

That lift the deep upon their backs,

Unto an isle so long unknown,

And yet far kinder than our own?

He lands us on a grassy stage,

Safe from the storms, and prelate’s rage:

He gave us this eternal spring

Which here enamels everything,

And sends the fowls to us in care

On daily visits through the air.

He hangs in shades the orange bright

Like golden lamps in a green night,

And does in the pomegranates close

Jewels more rich than Ormus shows:

He makes the figs our mouths to meet

And throws the melons at our feet;

But apples plants of such a price,

No tree could ever bear them twice.

With cedars chosen by his hand

From Lebanon he stores the land;

And makes the hollow seas that roar

Proclaim the ambergris on shore.

He cast (of which we rather boast)

The Gospel’s pearl upon our coast;

And in these rocks for us did frame

A temple where to sound His name.

Oh! let our voice His praise exalt

Till it arrive at Heaven’s vault,

Which then perhaps rebounding may

Echo beyond the Mexique bay!’

—Thus sung they in the English boat

A holy and a cheerful note:

And all the way, to guide their chime,

With falling oars they kept the time.