Agriculture of the Torrid Zone

An Electronic Edition · Andrés Bello (1781-1865)

Original Source: Hispanic Anthology Collected and Arranged by Thomas Walsh. New York: G. P. Putnam's Son, 1920, 390-394.

Copyright 2003. This text is freely available provided the text is distributed with the header information provided.

Full Colophon Information

The Agriculture of the Torrid Zone

Hail to thee, fertile zone,–  
Where the enamored sun in daily round  
Enfolds thee, where beneath thy kisses shows 
All that each various climate grows,  
Brought forth from out thy ground!–5.
In spring thou bindst her garlands of the ears 
Of richest corn; thou giv’st the grape  
Unto the sopping casé; no form nor shape 
Of purple, red or yellow flower appears  
Unknown to thy soft bowers;10.
The odors of thy thousand flowers  
The wind’s delight afford;  
Across thy pasture sward  
The countless flocks go grazing from the plain 
Whose only boundary the horizon sets, 15.
Unto the surging mountains, where 
Lifting the snows into the inaccessible air  
They hold their parapets. 
Thou givest, too, the beauty of the cane  
Where honey sweet is stored 20.
That leaves the beehive in disdain;  
Thou in thy coral urns bring’st forth the bean 
Which soon in chocolate in the cup is poured; 
With blaze of scarlet are thy nopals seen  
Such as the Tyrian sea-shell never knew; 25.
Thy plant of indigo such hues afford 
As ne’er from out the sapphire’s heart looked through 
Thine is the wine the piercéd agave stores  
To glad Anahuac’s joyous sons; and thine 
The fragrant leaf whose gentle steaming pours30.
With solace when their hearts aweary pine.  
Thy jasmines clothe the Arab brush,  
Whose perfumes rare the savage rage refine 
And cool the Bacchic flush;  
And for the children of thy land 35.
The stately palm-tree’s fronds are far displayed 
And the ambrosial pineapple’s shade.  
The yucca-tree holds forth its snowy breads; 
And ruddy glow the broad potato beds;  
The cotton bush to greet the lightest airs 40.
Its rose of gold and snowy fleece prepares.  
Within thy hand the passiflower blooms  
In branches of far-showing green  
And thy sarmentum’s twining fronds afford 44.
Nectarean globes and stripéd flowers’ perfumes. 
For thee the maize, the haughty lord  
Of all thy ripened harvests, high is seen;  
For thee the rich banana’s heavy tree  
Displays its sweetest store –49.
The proud banana, richest treasury  
That Providence in bounteousness could pour 
With gracious hand on Ecuador! 
It asks no human culture for its aid,  
Ere its first fruits are displayed, 54.
Nor with the pruning-knife nor plough it shares 
The honorable harvest that it bears.  
Not even the slightest care it needs  
Of pious hands about it shed,  
And to its ripeness so it speeds 59.
That hardly is it harvested, 
Ere a new crop is ripened in its stead.  
Oh, youngest of the nations, lift your brow  
Crowned with new laurels in the marveling West!63.
Give honor to the fields, the simple life endow, 
And hold the plains and modest farmer blest! 
So that among you evermore shall reign  
Fair Liberty enshrined,  
Ambition modified, and Law composed, 68.
Thy people’s paths immortal there to find 
Not fickle nor in vain!–  
So emulous Time shall see disclosed 
New generations and new names of might,  
Blazing in highest light Beside your heroes old! 73.
“These are my sons! Behold!”– 
(You shall declare amain)– 
Sons of the fathers who did climb  
The Andes’ peaks in years agone,– 
Of those who great Boyaca’s sands upon,–78.
In Maipu and in Junin sublime,–  
On Apurima’s glorious plain,  
Did triumph o’er the lion of old Spain 

–Thomas Walsh 

Full Colophon Information

Genre: Poetry
Subjects: agriculture, landscapes
Period: 1800-1850
Location: Spanish America
Format: verse

The text of the document was originally published in 1826.

The text of the present edition was prepared from and proofed against Hispanic Anthology. Collected and Arranged by Thomas Walsh (New York: G. P. Putnam's Son, 1920), 390-394. All preliminaries and notes have been omitted except those for which the author is responsible. All editorial notes have been omitted except those that indicate significant textual variations. Line and paragraph numbers contained in the source text have been retained. In cases where the source text displays no numbers, numbers are automatically generated. In the header, personal names have been regularized according to the Library of Congress authority files as "Last Name, First Name" for the REG attribute and "First Name Last Name" for the element value. Names have not been regularized in the body of the text.