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To Kalakaua


(With a present of a Pearl)


THE Silver Ship, my King-- that was her name
In the bright islands whence your fathers came--
The Silver Ship, at rest from winds and tides,
Below your palace in your harbour rides:
And the seafarers, sitting safe on shore,
Like eager merchants count their treasures o'er.
One gift they find, one strange and lovely thing,
Now doubly precious since it pleased a king.

The right, my liege, is ancient as the lyre
For bards to give to kings what kings admire.
'Tis mine to offer for Apollo's sake;
And since the gift is fitting, yours to take.
To golden hands the golden pearl I bring:
The ocean jewel to the island king.


Written at Honolulu, Feb. 3, 1889.


Robert Louis Stevenson