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THE

VOYAGE OF COLUMBUS.

CHI SE' TU, CHE VIENI— ?
DA ME STESSO NON VEGNO.

DANTE.

PREFACE.

The following Poem (or, to speak more properly, what remains of it *) has here and there a lyrical turn of thought and expression. It is sudden in its transitions, and full of historical allusions; leaving much to be imagined by the reader.

The subject is a voyage the most memorable in the annals of mankind. Columbus was a person of extraordinary virtue and piety, acting under the sense of a divine impulse; and his achievement the discovery of a New World, the inhabitants of which were shut out from the light of Revelation, and given up, as they believed, to the dominion of malignant spirits.

Many of the incidents will now be thought extravagant; yet they were once perhaps received with something more than indulgence. It was an age of

* The Original in the Castilian language, according to the Inscription that follows, was found among other MSS. in an old religious house near Palos, situated on an island formed by the river Tinto, and dedicated to our Lady of La Rábida. The Writer describes himself as having sailed with Columbus; but his style and manner are evidently of an after-time.

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