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

West Indies: Havana, Cuba

Farewell to Havana

By Julia Ward Howe (1819–1910)

MY sight is blank, my heart is lorn;

My tropic trance of joy I mourn,—

That stolen summer of delight,

Dreamed on the breast of wintry night,

When sad, true souls abide the North,

And we, love-truants, issued forth

To find, with steady sail unfurled,

The glowing centre of the world.

The glorious sights went fleeting by;

I had no hold on earth or sky:

Two little hands, one helpless heart,

Could claim and keep so small a part.

A shadow of the stately palm;

A burnish of the noontide calm;

A dream of faces new and strange,

Darkened and lit with sudden change;

A joy of flowers unearthly fair

In giant Nature’s tangled hair;

A joy of fruits of other hue

And savor than my childhood knew;

A sorrow, as the vista grew,

Longer and lesser, cherished too;

A pang of parting, heart-bereft

Of all I had,—is all I ’ve left.

To cheer my journey what remains

Towards the rude heights where Winter reigns,

What love-nursed thought shall shield my breast

Warmer than cloak or sable vest?

One hope serene all comfort brings,—

Who made thy bonds did lend thy wings;

Who sends thee from this faery reign

Once brought thee here, and may again.