The Land of the Cocoa-Nut Tree

By James Stanley Gilbert

 

Away down south in the Torrid Zone,

North latitude nearly nine,

Where the eight months' pour once past and o'er,

The sun four months doth shine;

Where 'tis eighty-six the year around,

And people rarely agree;

Where the plaintain grows and the hot wind blows,

Lies the Land of the Cocoanut-Tree.

 

'Tis the land where all the insects breed

That live by bite and sting;

Where the birds are quite winged rainbows bright,

Tho' seldom one doth sing!

Here radiant flowers and orchids thrive

And bloom perenially—

All beauteous, yes—but odorless!

In the Land of the Cocoanut-Tree.

 

'Tis a land profusely rich, 'tis said,

In mines of yellow gold,

That, of claims bereft, the Spaniards left,

In the cruel days of old!

And many a man has lost his life

That treasure-trove to see,

Or doth agonize with streaming eyes

In the Land of the Cocoanut-Tree!

 

'Tis a land that still with potent charm

And wondrous, lasting spell

With mighty thrall enchaineth all

Who long within it dwell;

'Tis a land where the Pale Destroyer waits

And watches eagerly;

'Tis, in truth, but a breath from life to death,

In the Land of the Cocoanut-Tree!

 

Then, go away if you have to go,

Then, go away if you will!

To return again you will always yearn

While the lamp is burning still!

You've drank the Chagres water,

And the mango eaten free,

And, strange tho' it seems, 'twill haunt your dreams—

This Land of the Cocoanut-Tree!