Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  The Three Islands

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

New Zealand, New Guinea, and New Caledonia

The Three Islands

By Thomas Kibble Hervey (1804–1859)

(From Australia)

HERE lifts New Zealand, mid a sea of storms,

Her hills that threaten heaven like Titan forms,—

Where the long lizard on the herbage lies,

And clouds of emerald beauty paint the skies;

Where the dark savage courts the burning noon,

And counts his epochs by the hundredth moon!

And yonder, redolent with fruits and flowers,

With spicy gales and aromatic showers,

And shady palms that into mid-air run,

To meet the wingéd creatures of the sun,

Fair Papua calls upon the mourning muse

To pause and weep above the lost Pérouse!

But vain her wailing, as the toil was vain

That sought this second Hylas o’er the main!

Eastward she turns, where many an island smiles,

Each like a chief amid its vassal isles,

Where lie the lands so often lost and found,

And where, so long in circling silence bound,

New Caledonia sits upon the seas

That roll their waves amid the Cyclades!