Claude McKay

North and South

O sweet are tropic lands for waking dreams! 
There time and life move lazily along. 
There by the banks of blue-and-silver streams 
Grass-sheltered crickets chirp incessant song, 
Gay-colored lizards loll all through the day, 
Their tongues outstretched for careless little flies, 
And swarthy children in the fields at play, 
Look upward laughing at the smiling skies. 
A breath of idleness is in the air 
That casts a subtle spell upon all things, 
And love and mating-time are everywhere, 
And wonder to life’s commonplaces clings. 
The fluttering humming-bid darts through the trees 
And dips his long beak in the big bell-flowers, 
The leisured buzzard floats upon the breeze, 
Riding a crescent cloud for endless hours, 
The sea beats softly on the emerald strands-- 
O sweet for quiet dreams are tropic lands!

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