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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Oceanica: Vol. XXXI. 1876–79.

Miscellaneous: Pacific Ocean

A Desert Island

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)

(From Enoch Arden)

THE MOUNTAIN wooded to the peak, the lawns

And winding glades high up like ways to heaven,

The slender coco’s drooping crown of plumes,

The lightning flash of insect and of bird,

The lustre of the long convolvuluses,

That coiled around the stately stems, and ran

Even to the limit of the land, the glows

And glories of the broad belt of the world,—

All these he saw; but what he fain had seen

He could not see, the kindly human face,

Nor ever hear a kindly voice, but heard

The myriad shriek of wheeling ocean-fowl,

The league-long roller thundering on the reef,

The moving whisper of huge trees that branched

And blossomed in the zenith, or the sweep

Of some precipitous rivulet to the wave,

As down the shores he ranged, or all day long

Sat often in the seaward-gazing gorge,

A shipwrecked sailor, waiting for a sail:

No sail from day to day, but every day

The sunrise broken into scarlet shafts

Among the palms and ferns and precipices;

The blaze upon the waters to the east;

The blaze upon his island overhead;

The blaze upon the waters to the west;

Then the great stars that globed themselves in heaven,

The hollower-bellowing ocean, and again

The scarlet shafts of sunrise,—but no sail.