Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII. 1876–79.

India: Malabar


By William Lisle Bowles (1762–1850)

(From The Spirit of Discovery by Sea)

NIGHT after night the heavens’ still cope,

That glows with stars, they watch, till morning bears

Airs of sweet fragrance o’er the yellow tide;

Then Malabar her green declivities

Hangs beauteous, beaming to the eye afar

Like scenes of pictured bliss, the shadowy land

Of soft enchantment. Now Salmala’s peak

Shines high in air, and Ceylon’s dark green woods

Beneath are spread; while as the strangers wind

Along the curving shores, sounds of delight

Are heard; and birds of richest plumage, red

And yellow, glance along the shades; or fly

With morning twitter, circling o’er the mast,

As singing welcome to the weary crew.

Here rest, till westering gales again invite.

Then o’er the line of level seas glide on,

As the green deities of ocean guide,

Till Ophir’s distant hills spring from the main,

And their long labors cease.