The Native Star

I have sailed South to a new light,
New stars, and seen the Plough
Dip to the Cross, and watched the bright
Fish spraying from the prow.
Lagoons and palmgroves I have spied,
And loom of mangrove tree;
Yet craved for a salt heaven wide
Above the English sea.

I have been far afoot among
Old deserts and great hills,
And trailed across the forests long
That feed the lumber mills.
At memory of smiling downs
Those grander visions pass,
For well I know to me the crown's
A day on English grass.

I have been mazed and mazed again
Where California glows;
And marvelled at a flowered Spain—
Her orange and her rose;
I've dreamed Japan, all cherry white;
Yet would I liefer see
The Springtime stars of blossom light
An English apple tree.

In many countries I have stood
Where miracles have thronged
To God's imaginative mood,
And yet my heart has longed
For English sound and scent and scene
Though all my reason knows
They'll never be, have never been
Fit to compare with those.

Why this should be I cannot tell,
Of Man it seems decreed
That he shall feel the moving spell
Of his especial breed.
Muezzin call to night and morn—
“Brothers, or near or far,
Be not dismayed that each is born
Under his native star!”
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