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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and Holland: Vols. XIV–XV. 1876–79.

Spain: Palos

Christopher Columbus

By Joanna Baillie (1762–1851)

ON Palos’ shore, whose crowded strand

Bore priests and nobles of the land,

And rustic hinds and townsmen trim,

And harnessed soldiers stern and grim,

And lowly maids and dames of pride,

And infants by their mother’s side,—

The boldest seaman stood that e’er

Did bark or ship through tempest steer;

And wise as bold, and good as wise;

The magnet of a thousand eyes,

That on his form and features cast;

His noble mien and simple guise,

In wonder seemed to look their last.

A form which conscious worth is gracing,

A face where hope, the lines effacing

Of thought and care, bestowed, in truth,

To the quick eyes’ imperfect tracing

The look and air of youth.


The signal given, with hasty strides

The sailors climbed their ships’ dark sides;

Their anchors weighed; and from the shore

Each stately vessel slowly bore.

High o’er the deeply shadowed flood,

Upon his deck their leader stood,

And turned him to the parted land,

And bowed his head and waved his hand.

And then, along the crowded strand,

A sound of many sounds combined,

That waxed and waned upon the wind,

Burst like heaven’s thunder, deep and grand;

A lengthened peal, which paused, and then

Renewed, like that which loathly parts,

Oft on the ear returned again,

The impulse of a thousand hearts.

But as the lengthened shouts subside,

Distincter accents strike the ear,

Wafting across the current wide,

Heart-uttered words of parting cheer:

“O, shall we ever see again

Those gallant souls recross the main?

God keep the brave! God be their guide!

God bear them safe through storm and tide!

Their sails with favoring breezes swell!

O brave Columbus! fare thee well!”