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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX. 1876–79.

Introductory to Southern States

To the Virginian Voyage

By Michael Drayton (1563–1631)

YOU brave heroic minds,

Worthy your country’s name,

That honor still pursue,

Whilst loitering hinds

Lurk here at home, with shame.

Go and subdue.

Britons, you stay too long,

Quickly aboard bestow you,

And with a merry gale

Swell your stretched sail,

With vows as strong

As the winds that blow you.

Your course securely steer,

West and by south forth keep,

Rocks, lee-shores, nor shoals,

When Eolus scowls,

You need not fear,

So absolute the deep.

And cheerfully at sea,

Success you still entice,

To get the pearl and gold,

And ours to hold


Earth’s only paradise.

Where nature hath in store

Fowl, venison, and fish,

And the fruitful’st soil,

Without your toil,

Three harvests more,

All greater than your wish.

And the ambitious vine

Crowns with his purple mass

The cedar reaching high

To kiss the sky,

The cypress, pine,

And useful sassafras.

To whose, the golden age

Still nature’s laws doth give,

No other cares attend,

But them to defend

From winter’s rage,

That long there doth not live.

When as the luscious smell

Of that delicious land,

Above the seas that flows,

The clear wind throws,

Your hearts to swell

Approaching the dear strand;

In kenning of the shore

(Thanks to God first given)

O you the happiest men,

Be frolic then,

Let cannons roar,

Frighting the wide heaven;

And in regions far

Such heroes bring ye forth,

As those from whom we came,

And plant our name

Under that star

Not known unto our north;

And as there plenty grows

Of laurel everywhere,

Apollo’s sacred tree,

You it may see,

A poet’s brows

To crown, that may sing there.

Thy voyages attend,

Industrious Hackluit,

Whose reading shall inflame

Men to seek fame,

And much commend

To after-times thy wit.