The Hunter of the Uruguay to his Love

Louisa Stuart Costello

Would'st thou be happy, would'st thou be free,

Come to our woody islands with me!

Come, while the summer sun is high,

Beneath the peach tree's shade to lie;

Or thy hunter will shield thee the live-long day

In his hut of reeds from the scorching ray.

There countless birds with wings of light

Shall flit and glitter before thy sight,

And their songs from the stately palm trees nigh

Shall charm thee with ceaseless melody.

The Cayman shall not lurk within

To steal around thy bed;

But the leopard shall yield his spotted skin

That thy couch may be warmly spread.

The river-serpent, with glittering coil,

Shall plunge beneath the tide;

And the Ao shall shun the happy isle

That hails my gentle bride.

Thou shalt list to the hymn of the forest choir

As eve comes gently on,

How the woods resound

With the lengthen'd sound,

Till in distance it is gone.

Thou shalt mark the ounce in his leafy shade,

How he lures his finny prey—

Whose colours, in the gleam display'd,

Illumine the wat'ry way.

The bright dorado shall glitter by

With scales of gold and blue,

As the lucid waters tremblingly

Reflect each varying hue.

Come, my beloved, delay no more;

I linger for thee upon the shore.

Fear not the rocks that darken our course;

Our canoes are swift and strong:

Fear not the eddy's hurrying force;

We shall dart, like light, along.

The willows are waving to hail us home;

When the hunter and his bride shall come:

All the joys of summer stay for thee—

Oh, come to our woody islands with me.

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