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Author of “THE MALAY ARCHIPELAGo,” “THE GEographical Distribution of ANIMALs,”
“contRIBUTIONs to THE THEory of NATURAL selection,” ETc., Etc.

£ombon :

[The Right of Translation and Reproduction is Reserved.]

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LAND of the Sun where joyous green-robed Spring
And leaf-crowned Summer deck the Earth for ever;
No Winter stern their sweet embrace to sever
And numb to silence every living thing,
But bird and insect ever on the wing,
Flitting 'mid forest glades and tangled bowers,
While the life-giving orb's effulgent beams
Through all the circling year call forth the flowers.
Here graceful palms, here luscious fruits have birth;
The fragrant coffee, life-sustaining rice,
Sweet canes, and wondrous gums, and odorous spice;
While Flora's choicest treasures crowd the teeming earth.
Beside each cot the golden Orange stands,
And broad-leaved Plantain, pride of Tropic lands.


Sweet changing Seasons ! Winter cold and stern,
Fair Spring with budding leaf and opening flower,
And Summer when the sun's creative power
Brings leafy groves and glades of feathery fern,
The glorious blossoms of sweet-scented May,
The flowery hedgerows and the fragrant hay,
And the wide landscape's many-tinted sheen.
Then Autumn's yellow woods and days serene;
And when we've gathered in the harvest's treasure,
The long nights bring us round the blazing hearth,
The chosen haunt of every social pleasure.
Land of green fields and flowers | Thou givest birth
To shifting scenes of beauty, which outshine
Th'unvarying splendours of the Tropic's clime.


THE luxuriance and beauty of Tropical Nature is a well-worn theme, and there is little new to say about it. The traveller and the naturalist have combined to praise, and not unfrequently to exaggerate the charms of tropical life—its heat and light, its superb vegetable forms, its brilliant tints of flower and bird and insect. Each strange and beautiful object has been described in detail; and both the scenery and the natural phenomena of the tropics have been depicted by master hands and with glowing colours. But, so far as I am aware, no one has yet attempted to give a general view of the phenomena which are essentially tropical, or to determine the causes and conditions of those phenomena. The local has not been separated from the general, the accidental from the essential ; and, as a natural result, many erroneous ideas have become current as to what are really the characteristics of the tropical as distinguished from the

temperate zones.

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