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

Introductory to Mexico


By Joel Barlow (1754–1812)

(From The Columbiad)

WHERE Mexic hills the breezy gulf defend,

Spontaneous groves with richer burdens bend:

Anana’s stalk its shaggy honors yields;

Acassia’s flowers perfume a thousand fields;

Their clustered dates the mast-like palms unfold;

The spreading orange waves a load of gold;

Connubial vines o’ertop the larch they climb;

The long-lived olive mocks the moth of time;

Pomona’s pride, that old Grenada claims,

Here smiles and reddens in diviner flames;

Pimento, citron, scent the sky serene;

White, woolly clusters fringe the cotton’s green;

The sturdy fig, the frail deciduous cane,

And foodful cocoa fan the sultry plain.

Here, in one view, the same glad branches bring

The fruits of autumn and the flowers of spring;

No wintry blasts the unchanging year deform,

Nor beasts unsheltered fear the pinching storm;

But vernal breezes o’er the blossoms rove,

And breathe the ripened juices through the grove.