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

Various Islands: St. Helena

Passing St. Helena

By Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836–1907)

AND this is St. Helena? This the spot

Haunted forever by an Emperor!

Methinks ’t were meet that such a royal ghost

Should pace these gloomy battlements by night!

—The ship veered off, and we passed out to sea:

And in the first fair moonrise of the month,

I watched the island, till it seemed a speck

No bigger than Astarte. Year by year,

The picture came and went upon my brain,

Like frost-work on the windows: in my dreams

I saw those jagged turrets of dull rock

Uplifted in the moonlight; saw the gulls

Darting in sudden circles; heard the low

And everlasting anthem of the sea!

And from the nether world a voice would come,

Here did they bring the Corsican, and here

Died the chained eagle by these dismal cliffs!