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

West Indies: Cuba, the Island

Dr. Kane in Cuba

By Elizabeth H. Whittier (1815–1864)

A NOBLE life is in thy care,

A sacred trust to thee is given;

Bright Island! let thy healing air

Be to him as the breath of Heaven.

The marvel of his daring life—

The self-forgetting leader bold;

Stirs, like the trumpet’s call to strife,

A million hearts of meaner mould.

Eyes that shall never meet his own

Look dim with tears across the sea,

Where from the dark and icy zone,

Sweet Isle of Flowers! he comes to thee.

Fold him in rest, O pitying clime!

Give back his wasted strength again;

Soothe, with thy endless summer time,

His winter-wearied heart and brain.

Sing soft and low, thou tropic bird,

From out the fragrant, flowery tree,—

The ear that hears thee now has heard

The ice-break of the winter sea.

Through his long watch of awful night,

He saw the Bear in Northern skies;

Now, to the Southern Cross of light

He lifts in hope his weary eyes.

Prayers from the hearts that watched in fear,

When the dark North no answer gave,

Rise, trembling, to the Father’s ear,

That still His love may help and save.