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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Poetry Corner (Columbus Day)

(If you must have politics, please scroll down)

Columbus by Joaquin Miller (1837 – 1913)

BEHIND him lay the gray Azores,
Behind the Gates of Hercules;
Before him not the ghost of shores,
Before him only shoreless seas.
The good mate said: "Now we must pray,
For lo! the very stars are gone.
Brave Admiral, speak, what shall I say?"
"Why, say, 'Sail on! sail on! and on!'"

"My men grow mutinous day by day;
My men grow ghastly wan and weak."
The stout mate thought of home; a spray
Of salt wave washed his swarthy cheek.
"What shall I say, brave Admiral, say,
If we sight naught but seas at dawn?"
"Why, you shall say at break of day,
'Sail on! sail on! and on!'"

They sailed and sailed, as winds might blow,
Until at last the blanched mate said:
"Why, now not even God would know
Should I and all my men fall dead.
These very winds forget their way,
For God from these dead seas is gone.
Now speak, brave Admiral, speak and say" --
He said, "Sail on! sail on! and on!"

They sailed. They sailed. Then spake the mate:
"This mad sea shows his teeth tonight.
He curls his lip, he lies in wait,
With lifted teeth, as if to bite!
Brave Admiral, say but one good word:
What shall we do when hope is gone?"
The words leapt like a leaping sword:
"Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!"

Then pale and worn, he kept his deck,
And peered through darkness. Ah, that night
Of all dark nights! And then a speck --
A light! a light! at last a light!
It grew, a starlit flag unfurled!
It grew to be Time's burst of dawn.
He gained a world; he gave that world
Its grandest lesson: "On! sail on!"

— Joaquin Miller



  1. It is easy to forget what bravery it took to discover and develop our great nation.

  2. Idealistic and naive. Surely the nations of the world have endured tyrants and despots. But the United States has a bleak track record where assuring tyrants and despots are eliminated from leadership roles.

    We have supported some of the most despicable leaders in an effort to access resources and trade from their nations. The people of the Philippines, Iraq, Iran, Panama, Argentina, Chile, Columbia, Honduras, Thailand, Nicaragua and Cuba could answer your argument far more effectively than I.

    That's not to say that the United States is an evil nation or a nation that deals exclusively with propping up despots. But our history makes your argument ring hollow

    1. History is what it is.

      The point of the posted poem is that it took admirable courage to make such ventures across the uncharted seas.

      Recently, I visited Jamestown and boarded the ship replicas. What the passengers had to endure in the crossing in the 1600s -- only to arrive to an untamed wilderness and uncounted hours of labors and dangers.

      I'm not sure that mankind has that same kind of courage today.

    2. It is hard to imagine people nowadays willingly undertaking such a dangerous voyage, and in such conditions! Comparing how we live now vs those times... Wow.

  3. There is but one direction in life, forward. That does not mean that by going forward we can not find what we have lost.

  4. "They were completely sure that Columbus was not telling the truth about the distance to sail to find land, and that they were being deceived into thinking they were not lost. This time the Pinta's captain, Martin Alonso Pinzon had to intervene, because the crew even thought of throwing Columbus off the ship. As Alonso Pinzon was a well known mariner who counted on the admiration of the crew, the seafarers calmed down, but Columbus had to commit himself to return if they did not find land in three days. Two days later, they finally came across the New World."

    1. Duck,
      It's a poem. Artistic license is to be expected and admired. Consider these lines also penned by Joaquin Miller:

      In men whom men condemn as ill

      I find so much of goodness still.

      In men whom men pronounce divine

      I find so much of sin and blot

      I do not dare to draw a line

      Between the two, where God has not.

      Joaquin Miller himself was a man who possessed a spirit of adventure: he was a Pony Express rider.

  5. I'm so glad for Ducky's post because I was already countering it as I read your post, knowing SOMEONE would be here taking the air out of Columbus' sails.
    I'd LOVE to know where that information came from :-) His G.I.Joe Diary? :-)
    Also, I don't give a crap if Columbus did NONE of this; what we celebrate is that America was a raw land of few civilized people and this paved the way for our great country. Poor leftwingers, America just can't do ANYTHING right, can it :-(

    1. Z,
      knowing SOMEONE would be here taking the air out of Columbus' sails

      I, too, knew that someone would be coming along to do so.

      Funny thing....Leftists often criticize Conservatives for being too literal.

  6. I don't need no more "Foreign Guests" who are taking from my nation,
    they're ruining my country, with their immigration,
    they refuse to speak the language, they refuse to integrate,
    they have no respect for us at all, with us they won't relate,
    instead of waiving red, white, and blue, they waive red, white, and green,
    fifteen people, crammed in one house, it's just fucking obscene,
    they're taking all our jobs, and they drive the wages down,
    they invade our neighborhoods, leaving shopping carts all around,
    they're getting Obamacare, they're getting section 8,
    welfare, food stamps, and unemployment, they're always willing to take,
    they work under the table, they contribute not a buck,
    and people wonder why, our economy's in the tank!,
    every year they're sending billions, from here to Mexico,
    it's just like dropping all that cash, into a big black hole,
    they put out their own newspapers, radio, and TV,
    "Pura Raza" radio, sounds pretty racist to me!,
    MECHA, MALDEF, and LA RAZA, their racist organizations,
    yet they claim we're the racists, if we try any retaliation,
    of these facts, the mainstream media, refuses to report,
    and the INS, has had it's hands tied, the illegal’s they can't deport,
    if things don't change real soon, America is doomed,
    our future is a “turd”-world nation, our citizens filled with gloom,
    we need our troops to patrol the line, and the seal the Mexican border,
    but that will never happen, with Obama taking charge
    Obama is giving worker amnesty to llegal’s, he's sold America out!,
    selling out his own country, for the prospect of votes, is what he's all about,
    I've nothing personal against Hispanics, it's not a racial deal,
    but America is for Americans, that's the way I feel,
    Borders, Language, Culture to keep America strong,
    the Mexicans....they don't belong!!
    you have your own damn home, so stay there!, and I'll stay here in mine,
    and as long as we do just that, everything should work out just fine..

  7. Careful now ... the owner of the Redskins already has the natives (and Ducky) aroused and then here you come along honoring Columbus. They don't like Columbus, as you know. Meanwhile, Pocahontas Warren can manufacture her Native American ancestry and all is well. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

  8. America just can't do ANYTHING right, can it

    The Left MUST have something to "fix"... even if they need PRETEND that what they are fixing was ever broken. It's a "psychological" need, nothing in any way, shape, or form, REAL.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. _________ POST SCRIPT _________

    And after 1492, despite a great deal of ado,
    Great struggle and inventiveness,
    And wars both tiny and immense,
    Development given to few
    And much invention great and new,
    It all turned out that battles fought
    And victories won have come to naught.
    Columbus to whom you've referred
    Should have his exploits just deferred.

    ~ FreeThinke (10/14/13)

  11. I thank you for putting me in your links. I will do the same.

  12. Well, it's obvious the liberals have done their dirty work very well. No one gives a good country crap about Columbus anymore, do they?

    Dick Wilde

  13. Columbus and Islam:

    In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. We all know the New World was discovered because Christopher Columbus was looking for a trade route to the East.

    But why was he looking for a trade route? Because during its second great jihad, Islam had invaded Central Asia and defeated Constantinople in 1453, cutting off the overland route for Europeans. Islamic armies continued their jihad northward, and conquered much of what is now Eastern Europe, until they were finally stopped at the gates of Vienna in 1683 (on September 11th)....

  14. I can't imagine what conditions were like on the open seas.

    Right Truth

  15. On Columbus Day I was walking and heard a mother tell her child that it was Indigenous Peoples' Day and that Columbus was a bad man.

    Welcome to the future!

    1. Harrison,
      Indigenous Peoples' Day

      I'm not surprised. A lot of that comes via the public education system.


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