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

West Indies: Trinidad, the Island


By Latham Cornell Strong (1845–1879)

(From The Treasure of the Tropic Seas)

WHERE down the purple slope that slants

Across the hills, the sun-rays glance

With hot stare through the cocoa-trees,

And wine-palms tent beside the seas,

To Port-of-Spain, long leagues away,

Just as the mellow mist of day

Was glowing in the east, there came

A wayworn man, whose feeble frame

And weary step and silent tears

Meant more of sorrow than of years.

But when he saw the seaport town,

With houses bamboo-thatched and brown,

And marked each winding lane and street,

Cool-shaded from the tropic heat,

He bent him prone upon the ground

For this,—that he at last had found

What brought a worn heart hope of rest.


The night was hot, and faint, and still,—

The moon, above the wooded hill,

A line of silver lances pressed

Across the sea-waves to the west.

The bell-bird, with metallic throat,

Sounded a dull and doleful note,

And in the distant depths of wood

The bittern broke the solitude.

But, save the sound of sea and bird,

Scarce anything the silence stirred.