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Lydia Howard Huntley Sigourney

(1791-1865 / the United States)

Columbus


ST. STEPHEN'S cloistered hall was proud
In learning's pomp that day,
For there a robed and stately crowd
Pressed on in long array.
A mariner with simple chart
Confronts that conclave high,
While strong ambition stirs his heart.
And burning thoughts of wonder part
From lip and sparkling eye.

In whispered tones they speak.
And lines upon their tablets trace, What hath he said ? With frowning face,
Which flush each ashen cheek;
The Inquisition's mystic doom
Sits on their brows severe.
And bursting forth in visioned gloom.
Sad heresy from burning tomb
Groans on the startled ear.

Courage, thou Genoese! Old Time
Thy splendid dream shall crown;
Yon Western Hemisphere sublime,
Where unshorn forests frown,
Bold streams untamed by helm or prow,
And rocks of gold and diamonds, thou
To thankless Spain shalt show.

Courage, World-finder! Thou hast need!
In Fate's unfolding scroll,
Dark woes and ingrate wrongs I read,
That rack the noble soul,
On! on! Creation's secrets probe,
Then drink thy cup of scorn,
And wrapped in fallen Caesar's robe,
Sleep like that master of the globe,
All glorious, — yet forlorn.

Submitted: Saturday, September 25, 2010

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