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So mock'd, so spurn'd, so baited two

whole days I lost myself and fell from evenness, And rail'd at all the Popes, that ever

since Sylvester shed the venom of world

wealth Into the church, had only prov'n them

selves Poisoners, murderers. Well — God par

don all Me, them, and all the world – yea, that

proud Priest, That mock-meek mouth of utter Anti

christ, That traitor to King Richard and the

truth, Who rose and doom'd me to the fire.

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. These Pharisees, this Caiaphas-Arundel What miracle could turn? He here

again, He thwarting their traditions of Him

self, He would be found a heretic to Himself, And doom'd to burn alive.

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

mine. 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.

Who comes?

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Sank from their thrones, and melted into

tears, And knelt, and listed hand and heart and

voice In praise to God who led me thro’ the

waste. And then the great. Laudamus' rose to


Chains for the Admiral of the Ocean !

chains For him who gave a new heaven, a new

earth, As holy John had prophesied of me, Gave glory and more empire to the kings Of Spain than all their battles! chains

for him Who push'd his prows into the setting

sun, And made West East, and sail'd the

Dragon's mouth,
And came upon the Mountain of the

And saw the rivers roll from Paradise !

Some thought it heresy, but that would

not hold. King David call'd the heavens a hide, a

tent Spread over earth, and so this earth was

flat: Some cited old Lactantius : could it be That trees grew downward, rain fell

upward, men Walk'd like the fly on ceilings? and be.

sides, The great Augustine wrote that none

could breathe Within the zone of heat; so might there

be Two Adams, two mankinds, and that

was clean Against God's word : thus was I beaten

back, And chiefly to my sorrow by the Church, And thought to turn my face from Spain,

appeal Once more to France or England; but

our Queen Recall'd me, for at last their Highnesses Were half-assured this earth might be a


Chains ! we are Admirals of the Ocean,

we, We and our sons for ever. Ferdinand Hath sign’d it and our Holy Catholic

queen Of the Ocean- of the Indies – Admirals


All glory to the all-blessed Trinity, All glory to the mother of our Lord, And Holy Church, from whom I never

swerved Not even by one hair's-breadth of heresy, I have accomplish'd what I came to do.

Not yet

Our title, which we never mean to yield, Our guerdon not alone for what we did, But our amends for all we might have

done The vast occasion of our stronger life Eighteen long years of waste, seven in

your Spain, Lost, showing courts and kings a truth

the babe Will suck in with his milk hereafter —

earth A sphere.

Were you at Salamanca? No. We fronted there the learning of all

Spain, All their cosmogonies, their astronomies : Guess-work they guess'd it, but the golden

guess Is morning-star to the full round of truth. No guess-work! I was certain of my goal;

not all

- last night a dream I sail'd On my first voyage, harass'd by the frights Of my first crew, their curses and their

groans. The great flame-banner borne by Tene

riffe, The compass, like an old friend false at

last In our most need, appallid them, and the

wind Still westward, and the weedy seas at

length The landbird, and the branch with berries

on it, The carven staff — and last the light, the

light On Guanahani! but I changed the name;

San Salvador I call'd it; and the light Grew as I gazed, and brought out a broad

sky Of dawning over — not those alien palms, The marvel of that fair new nature

not That Indian isle, but our most ancient

East Moriah with Jerusalem; and I saw The glory of the Lord flash up, and beat Thro' all the homely town from jasper,

sapphire, Chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, sardius, Chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, Jacynth, and amethyst — and those twelve

gates, Pearl — and I woke, and thought-death

-- I shall die I am written in the Lamb's own Book of

Life To walk within the glory of the Lord Sunless and moonless, utter light - but

no! The Lord had sent this bright, strange

dream to me To mind me of the secret vow I made When Spain was waging war against the

Moor I strove myself with Spain against the

Moor. There came two voices from the Sepul

chre, Two friars crying that if Spain should

oust The Moslem from her limit, he, the fierce Soldan of Egypt, would break down and

And given the Great Khan's palaces to

the Moor, Or clutch'd the sacred crown of Prester

John, And cast it to the Moor: but had I

brought From Solomon's now-recover'd Ophir all The gold that Solomon's navies carried

home, Would that have gilded me? Blue blood

of Spain, Tho' quartering your own royal arms of

Spain, I have not: blue blood and black blood

of Spain, The noble and the convict of Castile, Howl'd me from Hispaniola; for you

know The flies at home, that ever swarm about And cloud the highest heads, and mur

mur down Truth in the distance these outbuzz'd

me so That even our prudent king, our right

eous queen I pray'd them being so calumniated They would commission one of weight

and worth To judge between my slander'd self and



The blessed tomb of Christ; whereon I

vow'd That, if our Princes harken’d to my

prayer, Whatever wealth I brought from that new

world Should, in this old, be consecrate to lead A new crusade against the Saracen, And free the Holy Sepulchre from thrall.

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Gold? I had brought your Princes

gold enough If left alone! Being but a Genovese, I am handled worse than had I been a

Moor, And breach'd the belting wall of Cambalu,

They tell me - weigh'd him down into

the abysm The hurricane of the latitude on him fell, The seas of our discovering over-roll Him and his gold; the frailer caravel,

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 Ocean

sea ? 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,

that men Cry out against thee: was it otherwise With mine own Son?'

Their innocent hospitalities quench'd in

blood, Some dead of hunger, some beneath the

scourge, Some over-labour'd, some by their own

hands, Yea, the dear mothers, crazing Nature,

kill Their babies at the breast for hate of

Spain Ah God, the harmless people whom we

found In Hispaniola's island-Paradise ! Who took us for the very Gods from

Heaven, And we have sent them very fiends from

Hell; And I myself, myself not blameless, I Could sometimes wish I had never led

the way.

Only the ghost of our great Catholic

Queen Smiles on me, saying, “Be thou com

forted! This creedless people will be brought to

Christ And own the holy governance of Rome.'

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

I know that he has led me all my life,
I am not yet too old to work his will -
His voice again.

Still for all that, my lord,
I lying here bedridden and alone,
Cast off, put by, scouted by court and

But who could dream that we, who bore

the Cross Thither, were excommunicated there, For curbing crimes that scandalised the

Cross, By him, the Catalonian Minorite, Rome's Vicar in our Indies? who believe These hard memorials of our truth to

Spain Clung closer to us for a longer term Than any friend of ours at Court? and yet Pardon - too harsh, unjust. I am rack'd

with pains.

king The first discoverer starves — his followFlower 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


ers, all

You see that I have hung them by my

bed, And I will have them buried in my grave.

Sir, in that flight of ages which are

God's Own voice to justify the dead - per

chance Spain once the most chivalric race on


Spain then the mightiest, wealthiest realm

on earth, So made by me, may seek to unbury me, To lay me in some shrine of this old

Spain, Or in that vaster Spain I leave to Spain. Then some one standing by my grave will

say, • Behold the bones of Christopher

Colòn'• Ay, but the chains, what do they mean

- the chains?'. I sorrow for that kindly child of Spain Who then will have to answer, “These

same chains Bound these same bones back thro' the

Atlantic sea, Which he unchain'd for all the world to


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O Queen of Heaven who seest the souls

in Hell And purgatory, I suffer all as much As they do for the moment. Stay, my


A.D. 700.)



Is here anon: my son will speak for me Ablier than I can in these spasms that

grind Bone against bone. You will not. One

last word.

You move about the Court, I pray you

tell King Ferdinand, who plays with that

I was the chief of the race - he had

stricken my father dead But 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 that

have done one another a wrong. He lived on an isle in the ocean — **

sail'd on a Friday morn He that had slain my father the day

before I was born.




Whose life has been no play with him and

his Hidalgos - shipwrecks, famines, fevers,

fights, Mutinies, treacheries wink'd at, and

condoned That I am loyal to him till the death, And ready — tho' our Holy Catholic

Queen, Who fain had pledged her jewels on my

first voyage, Whose hope was mine to spread the

Catholic faith, Who wept with me when I return'd in

chains, Who sits beside the blessed Virgin now, To whom I send my prayer by night and


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 á

silent shore,

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