Forth sped thy gallant sailors, blithe and free,
Fearing nor foeman’s hate, nor iron clime,
Nor Lima’s flame, nor Plata’s fever-slime,
So they might give thee far Cathay in fee;
Yet swept thy poets o’er a vaster sea,
’Neath fairer gales to Indies more sublime,
Questing along the golden shores of Rhyme
For all the treasure of eternity.
One will, one end, one pulse of deep desire,
Drove Hudson through the ice to joy and death,
Sped Drake to glory through the long South roll:
And kindled Marlowe’s eager heart with fire,
Set Spenser voyaging ’neath the spirit’s breath,
And won the world for Shakespeare’s captain soul.