ISLE WITHOUT BREAD; you know not of crops when, among the golden wheat, the red poppy and the blue cornflower bloom; your grindstones and your mills have ground other people's corn. Your soil is not ploughed; the scythe does not whizz in the days of the harvest. Despite this you have fed numberless children. You turn stones into meat, against men's hunger; into grass, against the hunger of flocks; into seeds and berries, against the hunger of birds; you cover with salt the rocks of the sea, for a covetous tongue. Island without bread, you gave me my first food; it was sweet and wholesome.
ISLE WITHOUT WATER; there are no murmuring springs in your glades nor flowing streams in your glens. You drink the morning dew and the night rain, brought to you by the stormy clouds, children of the Adriatic and the blue Mediterranean. Jets of water beat against my roof, stream bubbling through spouts and flow into the well which myself have sunk in the ground and lined with stone; and my heart swells with you for this gift that comes from above. Isle without water, I thank you for having taught me to yearn and thirst after something all my life.
ISLE WITHOUT ROADS; around you, even today, there are only paths and foot ways trodden by the primeval shepherds and muleteers, Hoof and horney claws crumble the stones which the human foot whets and, now and then, stains with drops of blood. Therefore your sons are not afraid even of the hardest roads over the wide world, across the Channel and beyond the Ocean. Their legs and handy, used to the stones and thorns. They tread fearless all the perlious paths and ways of going and coming. Isle without roads, you taught me how to walk, no matter whither, with tough ankles and soles proof against wounds.