George Edward Woodberry

(1855-1930 / United States)

On a Portrait of Columbus


WAS this his face, and these the finding eyes
That plucked a new world from the rolling seas?
Who, serving Christ, whom most he sought to please,
Willed his one thought until he saw arise
Man’s other home and earthly paradise—
His early vision, when with stalwart knees
He pushed the boat from his young olive-trees,
And sailed to wrest the secret of the skies?
He on the waters dared to set his feet,
And through believing planted earth’s last race.
What faith in man must in our new world beat,
Thinking how once he saw before his face
The west and all the host of stars retreat
Into the silent infinite of space!

Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010

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