Oct 312013
 
The wind lay like enamel on the emerald waves,
Like enamel the eyes that on that emerald gazed;
They couldn't tell, those old sailors, not tell at all
The green of the wave from the green of the hill;
Columbus drew with practiced compass point upon 
The monstered blank of nameless seas;  beyond 
His circle-eye revolved a circle world.
A crimson cross beat on the mainsail's square
Barren as a cloud in the azure glare;
One miraculous push broke the sumptuous hush,
New world and new day born in the luminous surf;
They couldn't tell, those old sailors, not tell at all
The green of the wave from the green of the hill;
Were it not for the fragrant tide, and the cry
Of land-hungry gulls--broken crosses in brawny skies--
No midnight cove would bear a rowboat's divot
For all the Catholic gold Queen Isabella spent.
The old sailors in plangent prayer hung their heads;
In Santa Maria's oaken hold sang manacles and beads.
The land a blade at dawn past the hashing wash,
Driven from Plato's Cave in one flash of truth;
Land that'd been small as a green-fly in the spyglass
Grown great beyond the circuit of the compass;
The Captain's edgeless map unfolded to a fantastic shape:
A misty moon, a calm palmetto tree, a sandy cape.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.