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

South America: Brazil

Agassiz in Brazil

By Fletcher Bates

THE CRIMSON monads of the deep,

The flying-fish with fitful leap,

Assai palms of matchless grace,

The giant in the vine’s embrace,—

These were his books while journeying on

To read the unknown Amazon.

Where birds and gorgeous insects flew

Mid tropic flowers of iris hue;

In woods where fragrant myrtles crept

He saw where once the glacier swept;

So nature’s history grows clear

When masters of the race draw near.

To king and Indian, child and slave,

What rapture his sweet humor gave!

Oft when some truth, by patient toil,

He found confirmed in rock and soil,

From changing nature turned his gaze

To give the unchanging Maker praise.

Brazil, within thy breast are gems

To glow in future diadems,

But none can equal those he set

In Science’ burning coronet;

Upon the world they gleam afar

As brilliant as the evening star.