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Edmund Clarence Stedman (Эдмунд Кларенс Стедман)

The Discoverer

    I HAVE a little kinsman 
Whose earthly summers are but three,
    And yet a voyager is he 
    Greater than Drake or Frobisher, 
    Than all their peers together! 
    He is a brave discoverer, 
    And, far beyond the tether 
    Of them who seek the frozen Pole, 
Has sailed where the noiseless surges roll.
    Ay, he has travelled whither 
    A winged pilot steered his bark 
    Through the portals of the dark, 
    Past hoary Mimir's well and tree, 
         Across the unknown sea.

    Suddenly, in his fair young hour, 
    Came one who bore a flower, 
    And laid it in his dimpled hand 
         With this command: 
    "Henceforth thou art a rover! 
    Thou must make a voyage far 
    Sail beneath the evening star, 
    And a wondrous land discover." 
    --With his sweet smile innocent 
         Our little kinsman went.

    Since that time no word 
    From the absent has been heard. 
         Who can tell 
    How he fares, or answer well 
    What the little one has found 
    Since he left us, outward bound? 
    Would that he might return! 
    Then we should learn 
    By the pricking of his chart 
    How the skyey roadways part. 
Hush! does not the baby this way bring,
    To lay beside this severed curl, 
         Some starry offering 
    Of chrysolite or pearl?

         Ah, no! not so! 
    We may follow on his track, 
         But he comes not back. 
         And yet I dare aver 
    He is a brave discoverer 
    Of climes his elders do not know. 
    He has more learning than appears 
    On the scroll of twice three thousand years, 
    More than in the groves is taught, 
    Or from furthest Indies brought; 
    He knows, perchance, how spirits fare,-- 
    What shapes the angels wear, 
    What is their guise and speech 
    In those lands beyond our reach,-- 
         And his eyes behold 
Things that shall never, never be to mortal hearers told.

Edmund Clarence Stedman's other poems:
  1. How Old Brown Took Harper's Ferry
  2. Sumter
  3. Kearny at Seven Pines
  4. Wanted—A Man
  5. Treason's Last Device

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