« PreviousContinue »
Amen! Nay, I can burn, so that the Lord of life Be by me in my death.
Those three! the fourth Was like the Son of God! Not burnt were they.
On them the smell of burning had not past.
That was a miracle to convert the king.
He thwarting their traditions of Him-
So, caught, I burn. Burn? heathen men have borne as much as this,
For freedom, or the sake of those they loved,
Or some less cause, some cause far less than mine;
For every other cause is less than
The moth will singe her wings, and singed return,
Her love of light quenching her fear of pain
How now, my soul, we do not heed the fire?
Faint-hearted? tut! - faint-stomach'd! faint as I am, God willing, I will burn for Him.
A thousand marks are set upon my head. Friend? foe perhaps―a tussle for it then!
Nay, but my friend. Thou art so well disguised,
I knew thee not. Hast thou brought bread with thee?
I have not broken bread for fifty hours. None? I am damn'd already by the Priest
For holding there was bread where bread
No bread. My friends await me yonder?
Up the mountain? Is
Climb first and reach me down thy hand. I am not like to die for lack of bread For I must live to testify by fire.1
CHAINS, my good lord: in your raised brows I read
Some wonder at our chamber ornaments. We brought this iron from our isles of gold.
Does the king know you deign to visit him
Whom once he rose from off his throne to greet
Before his people, like his brother king? I saw your face that morning in the crowd.
At Barcelona-tho' you were not then So bearded. Yes. The city deck'd herself
To meet me, roar'd my name; the king, the queen
Bade me be seated, speak, and tell them all
The story of my voyage, and while I spoke
The crowd's roar fell as at the Peace, be still!'
And when I ceased to speak, the king, the queen,
1 He was burnt on Christmas Day, 1417.
With what was mine, came happily to the shore.
There was a glimmering of God's hand. And God Hath more than glimmer'd on me. O my lord,
I swear to you I heard his voice between The thunders in the black Veragua nights, 'O soul of little faith, slow to believe! Have I not been about thee from thy birth?
Given thee the keys of the great Oceansea?
Set thee in light till time shall be no more?
Is it I who have deceived thee or the world?
Endure thou hast done so well for men,
And more than once in days Of doubt and cloud and storm, when drowning hope
Sank all but out of sight, I heard his voice,
'Be not cast down. I lead thee by the hand,
Fear not.' And I shall hear his voice again
I know that he has led me all my life,
Still for all that, my lord, I lying here bedridden and alone, Cast off, put by, scouted by court and kingThe first discoverer starves - his followers, all
Flower into fortune- our world's way and I,
Without a roof that I can call mine own, With scarce a coin to buy a meal withal, And seeing what a door for scoundrel scum I open'd to the West, thro' which the lust, Villany, violence, avarice, of your Spain Pour'd in on all those happy naked isles — Their kindly native princes slain or slaved, Their wives and children Spanish concu
I WAS the chief of the race stricken my father deadBut I gather'd my fellows together, I swore I would strike off his head. Each of them look'd like a king, and was noble in birth as in worth, And each of them boasted he sprang from the oldest race upon earth. Each was as brave in the fight as the bravest hero of song,
And each of them liefer had died than have done one another a wrong. He lived on an isle in the ocean-we sail'd on a Friday morn—
He that had slain my father the day before I was born.
And we came to the isle in the ocean, and there on the shore was he. But a sudden blast blew us out and away thro' a boundless sea.
And we came to the Silent Isle that we never had touch'd at before, Where a silent ocean always broke on a silent shore,