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Two Years in the French West Indies By Lafcadio Hearn Characters: 1762

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02


How beautiful the mornes and azure-shadowed hollows in the jewel clearness of this perfect morning! Even Pelée wears only her very lightest head-dress of gauze; and all the wrinklings of her green robe take unfamiliar tenderness of tint from the early sun. All the quaint peaking of the colored town-sprinkling the sweep of blue bay with red and yellow and white-of-cream-takes a sharpness in this limpid light as if seen through a diamond lens; and there above the living green of the familiar hills I can see even the faces of the statues-the black Christ on his white cross, and the White Lady of the Morne d'Orange-among curving palms.... It is all as though the island were donning its utmost possible loveliness, exerting all its witchery,-seeking by supremest charm to win back and hold its wandering child,-Violet-Eyes over there!... She is looking too.

I wonder if she

sees the great palms of the Voie du Parnasse,-curving far away as to bid us adieu, like beautiful bending women. I wonder if they are not trying to say something to her; and I try myself to fancy what that something is:-

-"Child, wilt thou indeed abandon all who love thee!... Listen!-'tis a dim grey land thou goest unto,-a land of bitter winds,-a land of strange gods,-a land of hardness and barrenness, where even Nature may not live through half the cycling of the year! Thou wilt never see us there.... And there, when thou shalt sleep thy long sleep, child-that land will have no power to lift thee up;-vast weight of stone will press thee down forever;-until the heavens be no more thou shalt not awake!... But here, darling, our loving roots would seek for thee, would find thee: thou shouldst live again!-we lift, like Aztec priests, the blood of hearts to the Sun."...

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