Robert Louis Stevenson and the Hawaiian Pearl

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On February 3, 1889, Robert Louis Stevenson presented a golden pearl and the following sonnet to Hawaii’s King Kalakaua.

robert-louis-stevenson-hawaii-pearlThe 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

 

Stevenson and Hawaii King at Boat House

Robert Louis Stevenson and the Hawaiian King

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