Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX. 1876–79.

Introductory to Middle States

New Jersey

By Henry Morford (1823–1881)

The Brown-eyed Girls of Jersey

BEFORE my bark the waves have curled

As it bore me thrice around the world;

And for forty years have met my eyes

The beauties born under wide-spread skies.

But though far and long may be my track,

It is never too far for looking back;

And I see them,—see them, over the sea,

As I saw them when youth still dwelt with me,—

The brown-eyed girls of Jersey!

They are Quakers, half,—half maids of Spain;

Half Yankees, with fiery Southern brain;

They are English, French,—they are Irish elves;

They are better than all, in being themselves!

They are coaxing things,—then wild and coy;

They are full of tears,—full of mirth and joy.

They madden the brain, like rich old wine:

And no wonder at all if they ’ve maddened mine,—

Those brown-eyed girls of Jersey!

Some day, when distant enough my track,

To the Land of the Free I shall wander back;

And if not too gray, both heart and hair,

To win the regard of a thing so fair,—

I shall try the power of the blarney-stone

In making some darling girl my own,—

Some darling girl, that still may be

Keeping all her beauty and grace for me,—

Some brown-eyed girl of Jersey!