Paul Laurence Dunbar

(1872-1906 / Ohio / United States)

Columbian Ode


I.
FOUR hundred years ago a tangled waste
Lay sleeping on the west Atlantic's side;
Their devious ways the Old World's millions traced
Content, and loved, and labored, dared and died.
While students still believed the charts they conned,
And revelled in their thriftless ignorance,
Nor dreamed of other lands that lay beyond
Old Ocean's dense, indefinite expanse.
II.
BUT deep within her heart old Nature knew
That she had once arrayed, at Earth's behest,
Another offspring, fine and fair to view,—
The chosen suckling of the mother's breast.
The child was wrapped in vestments soft and fine,
Each fold a work of Nature's matchless art;
The mother looked on it with love divine,
And strained the loved one closely to her heart.
And there it lay, and with the warmth grew strong
And hearty, by the salt sea breezes fanned,
Till Time with mellowing touches passed along,
And changed the infant to a mighty land.
III.
BUT men knew naught of this, till there arose
That mighty mariner, the Genoese,
Who dared to try, in spite of fears and foes,
The unknown fortunes of unsounded seas.
O noblest of Italia's sons, thy bark
Went not alone into that shrouding night!
O dauntless darer of the rayless dark,
The world sailed with thee to eternal light!
The deer-haunts that with game were crowded then
To-day are tilled and cultivated lands;
The schoolhouse tow'rs where Bruin had his den,
And where the wigwam stood the chapel stands;
The place that nurtured men of savage mien
Now teems with men of Nature's noblest types;
Where moved the forest-foliage banner green,
Now flutters in the breeze the stars and stripes!

Submitted: Friday, April 02, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Columbian Ode by Paul Laurence Dunbar )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  3. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  4. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  5. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  6. Moonlit Night, Tu Fu
  7. If, Rudyard Kipling
  8. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  10. All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare

Poem of the Day

poet Tu Fu

Tonight at Fu-chou, this moon she watches
Alone in our room. And my little, far-off
Children, too young to understand what keeps me
Away, or even remember Chang'an. By now,

...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Francis Ledwidge

 

New Poems

  1. Cutters, Francie Lynch
  2. Seeing the Happiness of Souls, Sayeed Abubakar
  3. Let it come to war, James Jarrett
  4. Pee-On, Francie Lynch
  5. Oloso(Harlot), Olufayo Ezekiel
  6. Honest Lies, Francie Lynch
  7. Polarize, Francie Lynch
  8. A Blast of His Breath, Francie Lynch
  9. Disposition, Adriana Avila
  10. Leaving her, James Jarrett
[Hata Bildir]