The Friends

Brazilian Sketches, 1927




I HAD some friends—but I dreamed that they were dead—
Who used to dance with lanterns round a little boy in bed;
Green and white lanterns that waved to and fro:
But I haven’t seen a Firefly since ever so long ago!

I had some friends—their crowns were in the sky—
Who used to nod and whisper when a little boy went by,
As the nuts began to tumble and the breeze began to blow:
And I haven’t seen a Cocoa-palm since ever so long ago!

I had a friend—he came up from Cape Horn,
With a Coal-sack on his shoulder when a little boy was born.
He heard me learn to talk, and he helped me thrive and grow:
But I haven’t seen the Southern Cross since ever so long ago!

I had a boat—I out and let her drive,
Till I found my dream was foolish, for my friends were all alive.
The Cocoa-palms were real, and the Southern Cross was true:
And the Fireflies were dancing—so I danced too!