Madagascar Song

John Leyden

Beneath the shade of orange-trees,   
    Where streams with stilly murmurs run,   
’T is sweet to breathe the fanning breeze,   
    And watch the broad descending sun;   
While youths and maids, a jocund throng,           
    With measured tinkling steps appear,   
And pour the sweet soul-lulling song,   
    That melts and lingers on the ear.   
How softly wild the maiden’s lay   
    Whose pliant hand the rush-grass weaves!           
But sweeter hers who drives away   
    The reed-birds from the ricen sheaves.   
My soul is bathed in song;—the dance   
    Is sweeter than the maiden’s kiss,   
As half-receding steps advance           
    To picture love’s enchanting bliss.   
Soft fall your voices, breathing kind   
    The passion ne’er to be withstood,   
As raptured gestures slowly wind,   
    To image pleasure’s melting mood.           
The gales of evening breathe; the moon   
    Is glimmering through the leaves above:   
Ah! cease, dear maids, the mellow tune,   
    And give the night to joy and love!

Main Location:


The coast of the great island of Madagascar