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Not undelightful now to roam,
The forest's ample round;
And see the spangled branches shine,
Or o'er the gray stone spreads.
The clustered berries claim the eye
Clasps its full foliage close.
There is the barn, — and, as of yore,
So Virtue, difficult of strength,
Nor void of beauties now the Spring,
With more than melody.
The green moss shines with icy glare ;
When faint the sunbeams smile.
Deal kindly with these orchard trees,
Reflection too may love the hour
Or bids the fiow'ret bloom.
1 The sweet-flag, or flag-root.
Graingers “Sugar Cane."
Hath given to wield the sceptre of those isles, Where first the Muse beheld the spiry cane, Supreme of plants, rich subject of my song.
BOOK I. 1
ARGINEXT. Subject proposed. Invocation and address. What soils the
cane grows best in. The gray light earth. Praise of Jamaica, and of Christopher Columbus. The black soil mixed with clay and gravel. Praise of Barbadoes, Nevis, and Mountserrat. Composts may improve other soils. Advantages and disadvantages of a level plantation. Of a mountain estate. Or a midland one. Advantages of proper cultivation. Of fallowing. Of compost. Of leaving the Woura, and penning cattle on the distant cane-pieces. Whether yams improve the soil. Whether dung should be buried in each hole, or scattered over the piece. Canelands may be holed at any time. The ridges should be open to the trade-wind. The beauty of holding reguJarly by a line. Alternate holing, and the wheel-plough, recommended to trial. When to plant. Wet weather the best. Rain often falls in the West Indies almost without any previous signs. The signs of rainy weather. Of fogs round the high mountains. Planting described. Begin to plant mountain-land in July ; the low ground in November, and the subsequent months, till May. The advantage of changing tops in planting. Whether the moon has any influence over the cane-plant. What quantity of mountain and of low cane-land may be annually planted. The last cane-piece should be cut off before the end of July. Of hedges. Of stone enclosures. Myrtle hedges recommended. Whether trees breed the blast. The character of a good planter. Of weeding. Of moulding. Of stripping.
BEST SOIL FOR THE CASE. - CLEARING. Where'er the clouds relent in frequent rains, And the sun fiercely darts his tropic beam, The cane will joint, ungenial though the soil. But wouldst thou see huge casks, in order due, Rolled numerous on the bay, all fully fraught With strong-grained Muscovado, silvery-gray, Joy of the planter; and if happy Fate Permit a choice ; avoid the rocky slope, The clay-cold bottom, and the sandy beach. But let thy biting axe, with ceaseless stroke, The wild red cedar, the tough locust, fell ; Nor let his nectar, nor his silken pods, The sweet-smelled cassia or vast ceiba save.
THE SUBJECT STATED. --SUGAR-CANE CULTURE.
GUAVA, GAIAC, SHADDOC, ACAJOC, SABBACA. Yet spare the guava, yet the guaiac spare ; A wholesome food the ripened guava yields, Boast of the housewife ; while the guaiac grows A sovereign antidote, in wood, bark, gum, To cause the lame his useless crutch forego, And dry the sources of corrupted love. Nor let thy bright impatient flames destroy The golden shaddoc, the forbidden fruit, The white acajou, and rich sabbaca :
What soil the cane affects ; what care demands ; Beneath what signs to plant; what ills await ; How the hot nectar best to crystallize, And Afric's sable progeny to treat : A Muse, that long hath wandered in the groves Of myrtle-indolence, attempts to sing.
THE LIGHT-GRAY SOIL BEST.
INVOCATION. — HESIOD, VIRGIL, DYER, PHILIPS, SMART, SOM
ERVILLE. Spirit of inspiration, that didst lead Th’ Ascrean poet to the sacred mount, And taught'st him all the precepts of the swain, Descend from heaven, and guide my trembling steps To Fame's eternal dome, where Maro reigns ; Where pastoral Dyer, where Pomona's bard, And Smart and Somerville, in varying strains, Their sylvan lore convey : 0 may I join This choral band, and from their precepts learn To deck my theme, which, though to song unknown, Is most momentous to my country's weal!
For, where these trees their leafy banners raise Aloft in air, a gray deep earth abounds, Fat, light; yet, when it feels the wounding hoe, Rising in clods, which ripening suns and rain Resolve to crumbles, yet not pulverize : In this the soul of vegetation wakes, Pleased at the planter's call, to burst on day.
Thrice happy ho, to whom such fields are given ! For him the cane with little labor grows ; Spite of the dog-star, shoots long yellow joints ; Concocts rich juice, though deluges des nd. What if an after-offspring it reject ? This land, for many a crop, will foed his mills ; Disdain supplies, nor ask from compost aid.
DEDICATION TO THE GOVERNOR OF THE LEEWARD ISLANDS. 1
So shall my numbers win the public car ; And not displease Aurelius ; him, to whom Imperial George, the monarch of the main,
ST. KITTS. - ITS SOIL, SCENERY, PEOPLE, FERTILITY. Such, green St. Christopher, thy happy soil ! Not Grecian Tempé, where Arcadian Pan, Knit with the Graces, tuned his sylvan pipe, While mute Attention hushed each charmed rill; Not purple Enna, whose irriguous lap, (smell, Strewed with each fruit of taste, each flower of
1 The 'Leeward Isles' are the northern portion of the Caribbee Islands, that is, those north of latitude 15° ; the Caribbee Islands south of 15° are called the Windward Isles.'
To whom thou gav'st the sceptre of that world.
Sicilian Proserpine, delighted, sought; (sound
THE DARK SOILS FOR CANE. -- THAT OF BARBADOES, NEVIS,
AND MONTSERRAT. Shall the Muse celebrate the dark deep mould, With clay or gravel mixed ? — This soil the cane, With partial fondness, loves ; and oft surveys Its progeny with wonder. - Such rich veins Are plenteous scattered o’er the Sugar-isles : But chief that land, to which the bearded fig, Prince of the forest, gave Barbadoes name ; Chief Nevis, justly for its hot baths famed : And breezy Mountserrat, whose wondrous springs Change, like Medusa's head, whate'er they touch, To stony hardness ; boast this fertile glebe.
RED SOILS. -JAMAICA LAUDED.
Scarce less impregnated, with every power
Such the glad soil from whenco Jamaica's sons
HOW OTHER SOILS MAY BE USEFULLY IMPROVED ; IRRIGA
TION; COMPOSTING. Though such the soils the Antillean cane Supremely loves, yet other soils abound, Which Art may tutor to obtain its smile. Say, shall the experienced Muse that Art recite ? How sand will fertilize stiff barren clay? How clay unites the light, the porous mould, Sport of each breeze? And how the torpid nymph Of the rank pool, so noisome to the smell, May be solicited, by wily ways, To draw her humid train, and, prattling, run Down the reviving slopes ? Or shall she say What glebes ungrateful to each other art, Their genial treasures ope to fire alone ? Record the different composts ; which the cold To plastic gladness warm ? The torrid, which By soothing coolness win? The sharp saline, Which best subdue? Which mollify the sour?
COLUMBUS ECLOGIZED AND APOSTROPHIZED.
Daughters of heaven, with reverential awe, Pause at that godlike name ; for not your flights of happiest fancy can out-soar his fame.
Columbus, boast of science, boast of man ! Yet, by the great, the learned, and the wise, Long held a visionary ; who, like thee, [court, Could brook their scorn ; wait seven long years at A selfish, sullen, dilatory court ; Yet never from thy purposed plan decline ? No god, no hero of poetic times, In Truth's fair annals, may compare with thee ! Each passion, weakness of mankind, thou knew'st, Thine own concealing ; firmest base of power : Rich in expedients; what most adverse seemed, And least expected, most advanced thine aim. What storms, what monsters, what new forms of In a vast ocean, never cut by keel, [death, And where the magnet first its aid declined, Alone, unterrified, didst thou not view ?
LOW LEVELS; THEIR DISADVANTAGES. - CHARACTER OF THEIR
To thee, if Fate low level land assign, Slightly cohering, and of sable hue, Far from the bill ; be parsimony thine, For though this year when constant showers descend; The speeding gale, thy sturdy numerous stock, Scarcely suffice to grind thy mighty canes : Yet thou, with rueful eye, for many a year, Shall view thy plants burnt by the torch of day; Hear their parched wan blades rustle in the air ; While their black sugars, doughy to the feel, Will not ev'n pay the labor of thy swains.
THE REJECTED ADVICE OF COLUMBUS. HIS FATE AND FAME.
Wise legislator, had the Iberian king Thy plan adopted, murder had not drenched In blood vast kingdoms ; nor had hell-born Zeal, And hell-born Avarice, his arms disgraced. Yet, for a world discovered and subdued, [out, What meed hadst thou? With toil, disease, worn Thine age was spent soliciting the prince,
DISADVANTAGES OF MOUNTAIN LAXD ; CHARACTER OF THEIR
SUGARS ; LAXD-SLIDES.
Never, ah, never, be ashamed to tread
HOW TO MANURE REMOTE FIELDS.
Yet will the arrow, ornament of woe
But, planter, if thy lands lie far remote,
EFFECTS OF YAM-CULTURE.
Some of the skilful teach, and some deny,
THE BEST LOCALITY.
HOW TO MANURE THE CANE.
But, as in life, the golden mean is best,
IMPORTANCE OF THOROUGH CULTURE.
Planter, if thou with wonder wouldst survey
Whether the fattening compost in each hole
CULTIVATION COMPARED TO DISCIPLINE.
Enough of composts, Muse, of soils enough : As, not indulged, the richest lands grow poor ; When best to dig, and when inhume the cane, And Liamuiga may, in future times,
A task how arduous ! next demands thy song. If too much urged, her barrenness bewail :
It not imports beneath what sign thy hoes So cultivation, on the shallowest soil,
The deep trough sink, and ridge alternate raise, O'erspread with rocky cliffs, will bid the cane, If this from washes guard thy gemmy tops, With spiry pomp, all-bountifully rise.
And that arrest the moisture these require. Thus Britain's flag, should discipline rolent,
Yet, should the site of thine estate permit, Spite of the native courage of her sons,
Let the trade-wind thy ridges ventilate ; Would to the lily strike : ah, very far,
So shall a greener, loftier cane arise,
And richest nectar in thy coppers foam.
As art transforms the savage face of things,
Let not thy Blacks irregularly hoe :
To drive invasion from his frighted realm,
AN ORDERLY SYMMETRY IN HOEING RECOMMENDED.
COMPOSTS IN CASE-CULTURE.
Nor all Apollo's arts, will always bribe
And to each squadron and brigade assigns
IMPROVEMENT. - PLOUGHING SUGGESTED.
Unprejudiced, then learn Of ancient modes to doubt, and new to try : And if Philosophy, with Wisdom, deign Thee to enlighten with their useful lore, Fair Fame and riches will reward thy toil. (spire,
Then say, ye swains, whom wealth and fame inMight not the plough, that rolls on rapid wheels, Save no small labor to the hoe-armed gang? Might not the culture taught the British hinds, By Ceres' son, unfailing crops secure, Though neither dung nor fallowing lent their aid ?
SIGNS OF RAIN; MOSQUITOES, SAND-FLIES, COCKROACHES,
LIZARDS, CRABS, DUCKS, AND DOVES. Yet future rains the careful may foretell : Mosquitoes, sand-flies, seek the sheltered roof, And with fell rage the stranger-guest assail, Nor spare the sportive child ; from their retreats Cockroaches crawl displeasingly abroad : These, without pity, let thy slaves destroy ; Like Harpies, they defile whate'er they touch, While those the smother of combustion quells. The speckled lizard to its hole retreats, And black crabs travel from the mountain down ; Thy ducks their feathers prune ; thy doves return, In faithful flocks, and on the neighboring roof Perch frequent; where, with pleased attention, they Behold the deepening congregated clouds, With sadness, blot the azure vault of heaven.
WHEN TO PLAXT THE BUD-TOPS.
The cultured land recalls the devious muse; Propitious to the planter be the call : For much, my friend, it thee imports to know The meetest season to commit thy tops, With best advantage, to the well-dug mould. The task how difficult, to cull the best From thwarting sentiments ; and best adorn What Wisdom chooses, in poetic garb! Yet, Inspiration, come ; the theme unsung, Whence never poet cropped one bloomy wreath ; Its vast importance to my native land, Whose sweet idea rushes on my mind, And makes me 'mid this paradise repine : Urge me to pluck, from Fancy's soaring wing, A plume to deck Experience' hoary brow.
WET WEATHER BEST FOR PLANTING THE CANE.
Attend ! — The son of Time and Truth declares ; Unless the low-hung clouds dropped fatness down, No bunching plants of vivid green will spring, In goodly ranks, to fill the planter's eyo. Let then Sagacity, with curious ken, Remark the various signs of future rain. The signs of rain the Mantuan bard hath sung In loftiest numbers ; friendly to thy swains, Once fertile Italy : but other marks Portend th' approaching shower, in these hot climes.
THE WEST INDIA SHOWER ; TORRENTS ; ENLIVENING EFFEI TS.
Now, while the shower depends, and rattle loud Your doors and windows, haste, ye housewives,
place Your spouts and pails ; ye negroes, seek the shade, Save those who open with the ready hoe The enriching water-course : for, see, the drops, Which fell with slight aspersion, now descend In streams continuous on the laughing land. The coyest Naiads quit their rocky caves, And with delight run brawling to the main ; While those who love still visible to glad The thirsty plains from never-ceasing urns Assume more awful majesty, and pour, With force resistless, down the channelled rocks. The rocks, or split or hurried from their base, With trees, are wbirled impetuous to the sea : Fluctuates the forest ; the torn mountains roar ; The main itself recoils for many a league, While its green face is changed to gordid brown. A grateful freshness every sense pervades ; While beats the heart with unaccustomed joy : Her stores fugacious Memory now recalls ; And Fancy prunes her wings for loftiest flights. The mute creation share the enlivening hour; Bounds the brisk kid, and wanton plays the lamb. The drooping plants revive ; ten thousand blooms, Which, with their fragrant scents, perfume the air, Burst into being ; while the canes put on Glad Nature's liveliest robe, the vivid green.
RAINS IN THE WEST INDIES; EFFECTS OF A WETTING ON
Short sudden rains, from Ocean's ruflled bed, Driven by some momentary equalls, will oft, With frequent heavy bubbling drops, down-fall, While yet the Sun in cloudless lustre shines, And draw their humid train o'er half the isle. l'nbappy he who journeys then from home, No shade to screen him. His untimely fate His wife, his babes, his friends, will soon deplore ; Unless hot wines, dry clothes, and friction's aid, His fleeting spirits stay. Yet not even these,
WOODY MOUNTAIN TOPS RESERVOIRS OF MOISTURE; FOGS;
RIVULETS ; RAINBOW.