Islanders

I
The natives here enjoy a delicate
and tense society.
Their upper classes make an art
of conversation

so refined that no Caucasian ever
participates without
making at least one outrageous
faux pas.

Few Europeans, in fact, can manage
even the rudiments
of this language, which consists
of vowels only,

and, although several grammars have been composed
by reputable scholars,
these disagree on every major
point of syntax.

The chieftains are invariably stout:
a proverb says “Fat men must
be sure; doubt and misgivings need
agility.”

The special term for this is rendered as
“complacency” in all
the lexicons, but is in no wise
derogatory.
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