Read XXVIII — To An Island Princess of Songs of Travel and other verses, free online book, by Robert Louis Stevenson, on

   Since long ago, a child at home,
   I read and longed to rise and roam,
   Where’er I went, whate’er I willed,
   One promised land my fancy filled. 
   Hence the long roads my home I made;
   Tossed much in ships; have often laid
   Below the uncurtained sky my head,
   Rain-deluged and wind-buffeted: 
   And many a thousand hills I crossed
   And corners turned ­Love’s labour lost,
   Till, Lady, to your isle of sun
   I came, not hoping; and, like one
   Snatched out of blindness, rubbed my eyes,
   And hailed my promised land with cries.

   Yes, Lady, here I was at last;
   Here found I all I had forecast: 
   The long roll of the sapphire sea
   That keeps the land’s virginity;
   The stalwart giants of the wood
   Laden with toys and flowers and food;
   The precious forest pouring out
   To compass the whole town about;
   The town itself with streets of lawn,
   Loved of the moon, blessed by the dawn,
   Where the brown children all the day
   Keep up a ceaseless noise of play,
   Play in the sun, play in the rain,
   Nor ever quarrel or complain; ­
   And late at night, in the woods of fruit,
   Hark! do you hear the passing flute?

   I threw one look to either hand,
   And knew I was in Fairyland. 
   And yet one point of being so
   I lacked.  For, Lady (as you know),
   Whoever by his might of hand,
   Won entrance into Fairyland,
   Found always with admiring eyes
   A Fairy princess kind and wise. 
   It was not long I waited; soon
   Upon my threshold, in broad noon,
   Gracious and helpful, wise and good,
   The Fairy Princess Moe stood.

Tantira, Tahiti, Nov. 5, 1888.