The Celebes

DEAR islands of the Orient,
Where Nature's first of love was spent;
Sweet hill-tops of the summered land
Where gods and men went hand in hand
In golden days of sinless earth!
Woe rack the womb of time, that bore
The primal evil to its birth!
It came; the gods were seen no more:
The fields made sacred by their feet,
The flowers they loved, grown all too sweet,
The streams their bright forms mirrored,
The fragrant banks that made their bed,
The human hearts round which they wove
Their threads of superhuman love—
These were too dear and desolate
To sink to fallen man's estate;
The gods who loved them loosed the seas,
Struck free the barriers of the deep,
That rolled in one careering sweep
And filled the land, as 'twere a grave,
And left no beauteous remnant, save
Those hill-tops called the Celebes.

by John Boyle O'Reilly

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