It waved not through an Eastern sky,
Beside a fount of Araby;
It was not fann'd by Southern breeze
In some green isle of Indian seas;
Nor did its graceful shadow sleep
O'er stream of Afric, lone and deep.
But fair the exiled Palm-tree grew,
'Midst foliage of no kindred hue:
Through the laburnum's dropping gold
Rose the light shaft of Orient mould;
And Europe's violets, faintly sweet,
Purpled the moss-beds at its feet.
Strange look'd it there!--the willow
Where silv'ry waters near it gleam'd;
The lime-bough lured the honey-bee
To murmur by the Desert's tree,
And showers of snowy roses made
A lustre in its fan-like shade.
There came an eve of festal hours—
Rich music fill'd that garden's bowers;
Lamps, that from flow'ring branches hung,
On sparks of dew soft colours flung;
And bright forms glanced—a fairy show,
Under the blossoms to and fro.
But one, a lone one, 'midst the throng,
Seem'd reckless all of dance or song:
He was a youth of dusky mien,
Whereon the Indian sun had been;
Of crested brow, and long black hair—
A stranger, like the Palm-tree, there.
And slowly, sadly, moved his plumes,
Glittering athwart the leafy glooms:
He pass'd the pale green olives by,
Nor won the chesnut flowers his eye;
But when to that sole Palm he came,
Then shot a rapture through his frame.
To him, to him its rustling spoke;
The silence of his soul it broke.
It whisper'd of his own bright isle,
That lit the ocean with a smile.
Aye to his ear that native tone
Had something of the sea-wave's moan.
His mother's cabin-home, that lay
Where feathery cocoos fringe the bay;
The dashing of his brethren's oar,
The conch-note heard along the shore—
All through his wak'ning bosom swept:
He clasp'd his country's tree, and wept.
Oh! scorn him not. The strength whereby
The patriot girds himself to die;
The unconquerable power which fills
The foeman battling on his hills:
These have one fountain deep and clear,
The same whence gush'd that child-like