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Stopt to solicit at the gate
A pittance for his child.
’T was here, unknowing and unknown,
He stood upon the threshold-stone.
But hope was his --- a faith sublime, ,
That triumphs over place and time;
And here, his mighty labor done,
And his course of glory run,
A while as more than man he stood,
So large the debt of gratitude !

One hallowed morn, methought, I felt As if a soul within me dwelt ! But who arose and gave to me The sacred trust I keep for thee, And in his cell at even-tide Knelt before the cross and died Inquire not now. His name no more Glimmers on the chancel-floor, Near the lights that ever shine Before ST. MARY's blessed shrine.

To me one little hour devote, And lay thy staff and scrip beside thee;

the testimony of Garcia Fernandez, the physician of Palos, a sea-faring man, accompanied by a very young boy, stopped one day at the gate of the Convent of La Rábida, and asked of the porter a little bread and water for his child. While they were receiving this humble refreshment, the prior, Juan Perez, happening to pass by, was struck with the look and manner of the stranger, and, entering into conversation with him, soon learnt the particulars of his story. The stranger was Columbus ; the boy was his son Diego ; and, but for this accidental interview, America might have remained long undiscovered : for it was to the zeal of Juan Perez that he was finally indebted for the accomplishment of his great purpose. — See Irving's History of Columbus.

Read in the temper that he wrote,
And may his gentle spirit guide thee!
My leaves forsake me, one by one;
The book-worm through and through has gone.
0, haste — unclasp me, and unfold;
The tale within was never told !

PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.

TIERE is a spirit in the old Spanish chroniclers of the sixteenth century that may be compared to the freshness of water at the fountain-head. Their simplicity, their sensibility to the strange and the wonderful, their very weaknesses, give an infinite value, by giving a life and a character to everything they touch; and their religion, which bursts out everywhere, addresses itself to the imagination in the highest degree. If they err, their errors are not their own. They think and feel after the fashion of the time ; and their narratives are so many moving pictures of the actions, manners and thoughts, of their contemporaries.

What they had to communicate might well make them eloquent; but, inasmuch as relates to Columbus, the inspiration went no further. No national poem appeared on the subject ; no Camoëns did honor to his genius and his virtues. Yet the materials that have descended to us are surely not unpoetical ; and a desire to avail myself of them, to convey in some instances as far as I could, in others as far as I dared, their warmth of coloring and wildness of imagery, led me to conceive the idea of a poem written not long after his death, when the great consequences of the discovery were beginning to unfold themselves, but while the minds of men were still clinging to the superstitions of their fathers.

The event here described may be thought too recent for the machinery ; but I found them together.* A belief in the agency of evil spirits prevailed over both hemispheres ; and even yet seems almost necessary to enable us to clear up the darkness,

And justify the ways of God to men.

* Perhaps even a contemporary subject should not be rejected as such, however wild and extravagant it may be, if the manners be foreign and the place distant, — major è longinquo reverentia. L'éloignement des pays, says Racine, répare en quelque sorte la trop grande proximité des temps ; car le peuple ne met guere de différence entre ce qui est, si j'ose ainsi parler, à mille ans de lui, et ce qui en est d mille lieues.

THE ARGUMENT.

COLUMBUS, having wandered from kingdom to kingdom, at length obtains three ships, and sets sail on the Atlantic. The compass alters from its ancient direction; the wind becomes constant and unremitting ; night and day he advances, till he is suddenly stopped in his course by a mass of vegetation, extending as far as the eye can reach, and assuming the appearance of a country overwhelined by the sea. Alarm and despondence on board. He resigns himself to the care of Heaven, and proceeds on his voyage.

Meanwhile the deities of America assemble in council ; and one of the Zemi, the gods of the islanders, announces his approach. “In vain," says he, “have we guarded the Atlantic for ages. A mortal has baffled our power ; nor will our votaries arm against him. Yours are a sterner race. Hence; and, while we have recourse to stratagem, do you array the nations round your altars, and prepare for an exterminating war.” They disperse while he is yet speaking ; and, in the shape of a condor, he directs his flight to the fleet. IIis journey described. He arrives there. A panic. A mutiny. Columbus restores order ; continues on his voyage ; and lands in a New World. Ceremonies of the first interview. Rites of hospitality. The ghost of Cazziva.

Two months pass away, and an angel, appearing in a dream to Columbus, thus addresses him : “Return to Europe ; though your adversaries, such is the will of Heaven, shall let loose the hurricane against you. A little while shall they triumph ; insinuating themselves into the hearts of your followers, and making the world, which you came to bless, a scene of blood and slaughter. Yet is there cause for rejoicing. Your work is done. The cross of Christ is planted here ; and, in due time, all things shall be made

perfect !"

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