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

Introductory to New England

Rhode Island

By Charlotte Fiske Bates (1838–1916)

FROM that far island in the midland sea,

Where Rhodian art wrought out the world’s surprise,

Did our own Eden island’s name arise,

And then, at last, the State’s it grew to be.

Loved of all generous souls her Founder’s name;

And forth from her what stalwart men have sprung!

Gallant in battle, eloquent of tongue,

Philanthropist and soldier give her fame.

Of seven and thirty, this the smallest State,

And yet how powerful and how populous!

Where will and deed, like hers, are valorous,

To narrow bounds is set how large a fate!

No steadier brilliance has been thrown afar

Throughout our history’s every darkest night

Than hers,—how lustrous and how wide her light,

Though of the Nation’s cluster, smallest star!