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This poem is taken from PN Review 24, Volume 8 Number 4, March - April 1982.

The Log of 'The Beagle' John Heath-Stubbs

    1. JEMMY BUTTON AND FUEGIA BASKET
They were named from what they were sold for-a brass button,
A commonplace wicker basket, not worth three,
Much less thirty pieces of silver.

Magellan had gone that way, having rounded the stormy Horn.
His men, in the darkness, crossed themselves, seeing
The land to the south full of little points
Of glowing light. They crouched over their fires,
With only makeshift shelters. Houses they built,
But those were for their gods.

Jemmy and Fuegia were bought for Christian civilization.
It did not take. Jemmy was stripped and robbed
By his own comrades, once more a naked savage.
Fuegia, it seems, became
A sailors' communal drab.

The world was all before them, but no choice-
...


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