(12TH OCTOBER 1492)

From his adventurous prime
He dreamed the dream sublime:
Over his wandering youth
It hung, a beckoning star.
At last the vision fled,
And left him in its stead
The scarce sublimer truth,
The world he found afar.

The scattered isles that stand
Warding the mightier land
Yielded their maidenhood
To his imperious prow.
The mainland within call
Lay vast and virginal:
In its blue porch he stood:
No more did fate allow.

No more! but ah, how much,
To be the first to touch
The veriest azure hem
Of that majestic robe!
Lord of the lordly sea,
Earth's mightiest sailor he:
Great Captain among them,
The captors of the globe.

When shall the world forget
Thy glory and our debt,
Indomitable soul,
Immortal Genoese?
Not while the shrewd salt gale
Whines amid shroud and sail,
Above the rhythmic roll
And thunder of the seas.

More verses by William Watson

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