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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 5.djvu/629

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CANTO I.]
589
THE ISLAND.

His name was added to the glorious roll
Of those who search the storm-surrounded Pole.
The worst was over, and the rest seemed sure,[1]
And why should not his slumber be secure?
Alas! his deck was trod by unwilling feet,
And wilder hands would hold the vessel's sheet;
Young hearts, which languished for some sunny isle,
Where summer years and summer women smile;
Men without country, who, too long estranged,
Had found no native home, or found it changed,30
And, half uncivilised, preferred the cave
Of some soft savage to the uncertain wave—
The gushing fruits that nature gave untilled;
The wood without a path—but where they willed;
The field o'er which promiscuous Plenty poured
Her horn; the equal land without a lord;
The wish—which ages have not yet subdued
In man—to have no master save his mood;[2]
The earth, whose mine was on its face, unsold,
The glowing sun and produce all its gold;40
The Freedom which can call each grot a home;
The general garden, where all steps may roam,
Where Nature owns a nation as her child,

Exulting in the enjoyment of the wild;[3]

    Narrative, etc., 1790; The Naval History of Great Britain, by E. P. Brenton, 1823. i. 96, sq.; Royal Naval Biography, by John Marshall, 1823-35, ii. pp. 747, sq.; Mutineers of the Bounty, by Lady Belcher, 1870, p. 8; Dictionary of National Biography, art. "Bligh.")]

  1. ["A few hours before, my situation had been peculiarly flattering. I had a ship in the most perfect order, and well stored with every necessary, both for service and health; ... the voyage was two thirds completed, and the remaining part in a very promising way."—A Narrative of the Mutiny, etc., by Lieut. W. Bligh, 1790, p. 9.]
  2. ["The women at Otaheite are handsome, mild, and cheerful in their manners and conversation, possessed of great sensibility, and have sufficient delicacy to make them admired and beloved. The chiefs were so much attached to our people, that they rather encouraged their stay among them than otherwise, and even made them promises of large possessions. Under these and many other attendant circumstances equally desirable, it is now, perhaps, not so much to be wondered at ... that a set of sailors, most of them void of connections, should be led away, especially when they imagined it in their power to fix themselves, in the midst of plenty ... on the finest island in the world, where they need not labour, and where the allurements of dissipation are beyond anything that can be conceived."—ibid., p. 10.]
  3. And all enjoy the exuberance of the wild.—[MS. D. erased.]