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a poem and pilgrimage in the Holy Land

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The hill above the garden here
They rove; and chance ere long to meet
A second stranger, keeping cheer
Apart. Trapper or pioneer
He looked, astray in Judah's seat—
Or one who might his business ply
On waters under tropic sky.
Perceiving them as they drew near,
He rose, removed his hat to greet,
Disclosing so in shapely sphere
A marble brow over face embrowned:
So Sunium by her fane is crowned.


One read his superscription clear—
A genial heart, a brain austere—
And further, deemed that such a man
Though given to study, as might seem,
Was no scholastic partisan
Or euphonist of Academe,
But supplemented Plato's theme
With dædal life in boats and tents,
A messmate of the elements;
And yet, more bronzed in face than mind,
Sensitive still and frankly kind—
Too frank, too unreserved, may be,
And indiscreet in honesty.
But what implies the tinge of soil—
Like tarnish on Pizarro's spoil,
Precious in substance rudely wrought,
Peruvian plate—which here is caught?
What means this touch of the untoward
In aspect hinting nothing froward?