The South Sea Islander

Year: 1897

by Albert Bayldon


Far away in the coral sea-isles 
That glisten like gems in the sea;
Where a tropical sun ever smiles
On groves of the cocoa-nut tree;
Where the beautiful warm sleepy waters 
Rise and sink with the blue of the tides
Bask the good-humoured mothers and daughters, 
The mirth-loving mothers and brides. 
Their life is a circle of pleasure;
They hunt, fish and lounge at their ease;
Their freedom is their only treasure;
Food falls from the full-fruited trees. 
They know not the sin and the sorrow
That hang round these kennels of ours;
They live for to-day not to-morrow 
And drop off to sleep in their bowers. 
Till we the selfish and cruel
By pressure of presents and lies
Rob them of their only jewel-
The freedom of earth’s Paradise. 
How their hearts must thrill with emotion
At thoughts of their purple-washed home
Where they slept on the breast of the ocean
And paddled about in its foam. 
How they silently clung to each other, 
Outcasts in an alien land;
How I pity each poor dark-skinned brother
That meets me for I understand.