Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE DISCOVERY; SONNET, by JOHN COLLINGS SQUIRE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE DISCOVERY; SONNET, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: There was an indian, who had known no change
Last Line: Or silks or gold.
Alternate Author Name(s): Eagle, Solomon; Squire, J. C.
Variant Title(s): Sonnet
Subject(s): Columbus, Christopher (1451-1506); Explorers; Holidays; Exploring; Discovery; Discoverers

THERE was an Indian, who had known no change,
Who strayed content along a sunlit beach
Gathering shells. He heard a sudden strange
Commingled noise; looked up; and gasped for speech.
For in the bay, where nothing was before,
Moved on the sea, by magic, huge canoes,
With bellying cloths on poles, and not one oar,
And fluttering coloured signs and clambering crews.

And he, in fear, this naked man alone,
His fallen hands forgetting all their shells,
His lips gone pale, knelt low behind a stone,
And stared, and saw, and did not understand,
Columbus's doom-burdened caravels
Slant to the shore, and all their seamen land.

Her sails were brown and ragged,
And her crew hollow-eyed,
But their silent lips spoke content
And their shoulders pride;
Though she had no captives on her deck,
And in her hold
There were no heaps of corn or timber
Or silks or gold.

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