Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, COLUMBUS AT THE CONVENT [JULY, 1491], by JOHN TOWNSEND TROWBRIDGE



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COLUMBUS AT THE CONVENT [JULY, 1491], by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Dreary and brown the night comes down
Last Line: And gratitude are due!
Subject(s): Columbus, Christopher (1451-1506); Explorers; Exploring; Discovery; Discoverers


DREARY and brown the night comes down;
Gloomy, without a star.
On Palos town the night comes down;
The day departs with a stormy frown;
The sad sea moans afar.

A convent-gate is near; 't is late;
Ting-ling! the bell they ring.
They ring the bell, they ask for bread --
"Just for my child," the father said.
Kind hands the bread will bring.

White was his hair, his mien was fair,
His look was calm and great.
The porter ran and called a friar;
The friar made haste and told the prior;
The prior came to the gate.

He took them in, he gave them food;
The traveller's dreams he heard;
And fast the midnight moments flew,
And fast the good man's wonder grew,
And all his heart was stirred.

The child the while, with soft, sweet smile
Forgetful of all sorrow,
Lay soundly sleeping in his bed.
The good man kissed him then, and said:
"You leave us not to-morrow!

"I pray you rest the convent's guest;
The child shall be our own --
A precious care, while you prepare
Your business with the court, and bear
Your message to the throne."

And so his guest he comforted.
O wise, good prior! to you,
Who cheered the stranger's darkest days,
And helped him on his way, what praise
And gratitude are due!





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