The Island: Canto Ii. Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis

Rhyme Scheme: ABCDEFEEEGEHIBBCCJKB B ALLMMNNOOPPBBQRSTUUB BEEEEAAEEVVII AWWEEEPXXYYEE AZZA2A2EEBBAAB2B2AA AC2C2BBAAD2E2AAEEF2G 2H2H2NNEEI2I2EE AI2I2CAJ2J2AAK2K2EEE 2E2I2AAAAA AAAJ2J2L2L2I2I2M2M2Y YPPAAAAI2I2I2I2AAI2I 2AAI2I2N2N2AAI2I2O2O 2QQ AAAI2I2AAJ2J2I2I2E2P 2I2I2P2P2AAQ2R2

IA
How pleasant were the songs of ToobonaiB
When Summer's Sun went down the coral bayC
Come let us to the islet's softest shadeD
And hear the warbling birds I the damsels saidE
The wood dove from the forest depth shall cooF
Like voices of the Gods from BolotooE
We'll cull the flowers that grow above the deadE
For these most bloom where rests the warrior's headE
And we will sit in Twilight's face and seeG
The sweet Moon glancing through the Tooa tree toE
The lofty accents of whose sighing boughH
Shall sadly please us as we lean belowI
Or climb the steep and view the surf in vainB
Wrestle with rocky giants o'er the mainB
Which spurn in columns back the baffled sprayC
How beautiful are these how happy theyC
Who from the toil and tumult of their livesJ
Steal to look down where nought but Ocean strivesK
Even He too loves at times the blue lagoonB
And smooths his ruffled mane beneath the MoonB
-
IIA
Yes from the sepulchre we'll gather flowersL
Then feast like spirits in their promised bowersL
Then plunge and revel in the rolling surfM
Then lay our limbs along the tender turfM
And wet and shining from the sportive toilN
Anoint our bodies with the fragrant oilN
And plait our garlands gathered from the graveO
And wear the wreaths that sprung from out the braveO
But lo I night comes the Mooa woos us backP
The sound of mats are heard along our trackP
Anon the torchlight dance shall fling its sheenB
In flashing mazes o'er the Marly's greenB
And we too will be there we too recallQ
The memory bright with many a festivalR
Ere Fiji blew the shell of war when foesS
For the first time were wafted in canoesT
Alas for them the flower of manhood bleedsU
Alas for them our fields are rank with weedsU
Forgotten is the rapture or unknownB
Of wandering with the Moon and Love aloneB
But be it so they taught us how to wieldE
The club and rain our arrows o'er the fieldE
Now let them reap the harvest of their artE
But feast to night to morrow we departE
Strike up the dance the Cava bowl fill highA
Drain every drop to morrow we may dieA
In summer garments be our limbs arrayedE
Around our waists the Tappa's white displayedE
Thick wreaths shall form our coronal like Spring'sV
And round our necks shall glance the Hooni stringsV
So shall their brighter hues contrast the glowI
Of the dusk bosoms that beat high belowI
-
IIIA
But now the dance is o'er yet stay awhileW
Ah pause nor yet put out the social smileW
To morrow for the Mooa we departE
But not to night to night is for the heartE
Again bestow the wreaths we gently wooE
Ye young Enchantresses of gay LicooP
How lovely are your forms how every senseX
Bows to your beauties softened but intenseX
Like to the flowers on Mataloco's steepY
Which fling their fragrance far athwart the deepY
We too will see Licoo but oh my heartE
What do I say to morrow we departE
-
IVA
Thus rose a song the harmony of timesZ
Before the winds blew Europe o'er these climesZ
True they had vices such are Nature's growthA2
But only the barbarian's we have bothA2
The sordor of civilisation mixedE
With all the savage which Man's fall hath fixedE
Who hath not seen Dissimulation's reignB
The prayers of Abel linked to deeds of CainB
Who such would see may from his lattice viewA
The Old World more degraded than the NewA
Now new no more save where Columbia rearsB2
Twin giants born by Freedom to her spheresB2
Where Chimborazo over air earth waveA
Glares with his Titan eye and sees no slaveA
-
VA
Such was this ditty of Tradition's daysC2
Which to the dead a lingering fame conveysC2
In song where Fame as yet hath left no signB
Beyond the sound whose charm is half divineB
Which leaves no record to the sceptic eyeA
But yields young History all to HarmonyA
A boy Achilles with the Centaur's lyreD2
In hand to teach him to surpass his sireE2
For one long cherished ballad's simple staveA
Rung from the rock or mingled with the waveA
Or from the bubbling streamlet's grassy sideE
Or gathering mountain echoes as they glideE
Hath greater power o'er each true heart and earF2
Than all the columns Conquest's minions rearG2
Invites when Hieroglyphics are a themeH2
For sages' labours or the student's dreamH2
Attracts when History's volumes are a toilN
The first the freshest bud of Feeling's soilN
Such was this rude rhyme rhyme is of the rudeE
But such inspired the Norseman's solitudeE
Who came and conquered such wherever riseI2
Lands which no foes destroy or civiliseI2
Exist and what can our accomplished artE
Of verse do more than reach the awakened heartE
-
VIA
And sweetly now those untaught melodiesI2
Broke the luxurious silence of the skiesI2
The sweet siesta of a summer dayC
The tropic afternoon of ToobonaiA
When every flower was bloom and air was balmJ2
And the first breath began to stir the palmJ2
The first yet voiceless wind to urge the waveA
All gently to refresh the thirsty caveA
Where sat the Songstress with the stranger boyK2
Who taught her Passion's desolating joyK2
Too powerful over every heart but mostE
O'er those who know not how it may be lostE
O'er those who burning in the new born fireE2
Like martyrs revel in their funeral pyreE2
With such devotion to their ecstacyI2
That Life knows no such rapture as to dieA
And die they do for earthly life has noughtA
Matched with that burst of Nature even in thoughtA
And all our dreams of better life aboveA
But close in one eternal gush of LoveA
-
VIIA
There sat the gentle savage of the wildA
In growth a woman though in years a childA
As childhood dates within our colder climeJ2
Where nought is ripened rapidly save crimeJ2
The infant of an infant world as pureL2
From Nature lovely warm and prematureL2
Dusky like night but night with all her starsI2
Or cavern sparkling with its native sparsI2
With eyes that were a language and a spellM2
A form like Aphrodite's in her shellM2
With all her loves around her on the deepY
Voluptuous as the first approach of sleepY
Yet full of life for through her tropic cheekP
The blush would make its way and all but speakP
The sun born blood suffused her neck and threwA
O'er her clear nut brown skin a lucid hueA
Like coral reddening through the darkened waveA
Which draws the diver to the crimson caveA
Such was this daughter of the southern seasI2
Herself a billow in her energiesI2
To bear the bark of others' happinessI2
Nor feel a sorrow till their joy grew lessI2
Her wild and warm yet faithful bosom knewA
No joy like what it gave her hopes ne'er drewA
Aught from Experience that chill touchstone whoseI2
Sad proof reduces all things from their huesI2
She feared no ill because she knew it notA
Or what she knew was soon too soon forgotA
Her smiles and tears had passed as light winds passI2
O'er lakes to ruffle not destroy their glassI2
Whose depths unsearched and fountains from the hillN2
Restore their surface in itself so stillN2
Until the Earthquake tear the Naiad's caveA
Root up the spring and trample on the waveA
And crush the living waters to a massI2
The amphibious desert of the dank morassI2
And must their fate be hers The eternal changeO2
But grasps Humanity with quicker rangeO2
And they who fall but fall as worlds will fallQ
To rise if just a Spirit o'er them allQ
-
VIIIA
And who is he the blue eyed northern childA
Of isles more known to man but scarce less wildA
The fair haired offspring of the HebridesI2
Where roars the Pentland with its whirling seasI2
Rocked in his cradle by the roaring windA
The tempest born in body and in mindA
His young eyes opening on the ocean foamJ2
Had from that moment deemed the deep his homeJ2
The giant comrade of his pensive moodsI2
The sharer of his craggy solitudesI2
The only Mentor of his youth where'erE2
His bark was borne the sport of wave and airP2
A careless thing who placed his choice in chanceI2
Nursed by the legends of his land's romanceI2
Eager to hope but not less firm to bearP2
Acquainted with all feelings save despairP2
Placed in the Arab's clime he would have beenA
As bold a rover as the sands have seenA
And braved their thirst with as enduring lipQ2
As IshmaelR2

George Gordon Byron



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