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Two Years in the French West Indies By Lafcadio Hearn Characters: 1486

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02

And ever through tepid nights and azure days the Guadeloupe rushes on,-her wake a river of snow beneath the sun, a torrent of fire beneath the stars,-steaming straight for the North.

Under the peaking of Montserrat we steam,-beautiful Montserrat, all softly wrinkled like a robe of greenest velvet fallen from the waist!-breaking the pretty sleep of Plymouth town behind its screen of palms... young palms, slender and full of grace as creole children are;-

And by tall Nevis, with her trinity of dead craters purpling through ocean-haze;-by clouded St. Christopher's mountain-giant;-past ghostly St. Martin's, far-floating in fog of gold, like some dream of the Saint's own Second Summer;-

Past low Antigua's vast blue harbor,-shark-

haunted, bounded about by huddling of little hills, blue and green.

Past Santa Cruz, the "Island of the Holy Cross,"-all radiant with verdure though well nigh woodless,-nakedly beautiful in the tropic light as a perfect statue;-

Past the long cerulean reaching and heaping of Porto Rico on the left, and past hopeless St. Thomas on the right,-old St. Thomas, watching the going and the coming of the commerce that long since abandoned her port,-watching the ships once humbly solicitous for patronage now turning away to the Spanish rival, like ingrates forsaking a ruined patrician;-

And the vapory Vision of, St. John;-and the grey ghost of Tortola,-and further, fainter, still more weirdly dim, the aureate phantom of Virgin Gorda.

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