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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 5.djvu/636

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596
[CANTO I.
THE ISLAND.

To tell as true a tale of dangers past,
As ever the dark annals of the deep
Disclosed for man to dread or woman weep.200


X.

We leave them to their fate, but not unknown
Nor unredressed. Revenge may have her own:[1]
Roused Discipline aloud proclaims their cause,
And injured Navies urge their broken laws.
Pursue we on his track the mutineer,
Whom distant vengeance had not taught to fear.
Wide o'er the wave—away! away! away!
Once more his eyes shall hail the welcome bay;
Once more the happy shores without a law
Receive the outlaws whom they lately saw;210
Nature, and Nature's goddess—Woman—woos
To lands where, save their conscience, none accuse;
Where all partake the earth without dispute,[2]
And bread itself is gathered as a fruit;[3]
Where none contest the fields, the woods, the streams:—
The goldless Age, where Gold disturbs no dreams,
Inhabits or inhabited the shore,
Till Europe taught them better than before;
Bestowed her customs, and amended theirs,
But left her vices also to their heirs.[4]220
Away with this! behold them as they were,
Do good with Nature, or with Nature err.
"Huzza! for Otaheite!" was the cry,
As stately swept the gallant vessel by.
The breeze springs up; the lately flapping sail

Extends its arch before the growing gale;
  1. Nor yet unpitied. Vengeance had her own.—[MS. D. erased.]
  2. ——the undisputed root.—[MS. D. erased.]
  3. The now celebrated bread fruit, to transplant which Captain Bligh's expedition was undertaken.

    [The bread-fruit (Autocarpus incisa) was discovered by Dampier, in 1688. "Cook says that its taste is insipid, with a slight sweetness, somewhat resembling that of the crumb of wheaten bread mixed with a Jerusalem artichoke."—The Eventful History, etc., 1831, p. 43.]

  4. [See Letters from Mr. Fletcher Christian (pseud.), 1796. pp. 48, 49.]