The Island Hunting-Song
The island referred to is a domain of princely proportions, which has long been the seat of a generous hospitality. Naushon is its old Indian name. William Swain, Esq., commonly known as "the Governor," was the proprietor of it at the time when this song was written. Mr. John M. Forbes is his worthy successor in territorial rights and as a hospitable entertainer. The Island Book has been the recipient of many poems from visitors and friends of the owners of the old mansion.
No more the summer floweret charms, The leaves will soon be sere, And Autumn folds his jewelled arms Around the dying year; So, ere the waning seasons claim Our leafless groves awhile, With golden wine and glowing flame We 'll crown our lonely isle. Once more the merry voices sound Within the antlered hall, And long and loud the baying hounds Return the hunter's call; And through the woods, and o'er the hill, And far along the bay, The driver's horn is sounding shrill,— Up, sportsmen, and away! No bars of steel or walls of stone Our little empire bound, But, circling with his azure zone, The sea runs foaming round; The whitening wave, the purpled skies, The blue and lifted shore, Braid with their dim and blending dyes Our wide horizon o'er. And who will leave the grave debate That shakes the smoky town, To rule amid our island-state, And wear our oak-leaf crown? And who will be awhile content To hunt our woodland game, And leave the vulgar pack that scent The reeking track of fame? Ah, who that shares in toils like these Will sigh not to prolong Our days beneath the broad-leaved trees, Our nights of mirth and song? Then leave the dust of noisy streets, Ye outlaws of the wood, And follow through his green retreats Your noble Robin Hood.
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