Gateway to the Classics: Oxford Book of English Verse, Part 1 by Arthur Quiller-Couch
Oxford Book of English Verse, Part 1 by  Arthur Quiller-Couch

To the Virginian Voyage

You brave heroic minds

Worthy your country's name,

That honour still pursue;

Go and subdue!

Whilst loitering hinds

Lurk here at home with shame.

Britons, you stay too long:

Quickly aboard bestow you,

And with a merry gale

Swell your stretch'd sail

With vows as strong

As the winds that blow you.

Your course securely steer,

West and by south forth keep!

Rocks, lee-shores, nor shoals

When Eolus scowls

You need not fear;

So absolute the deep.

And cheerfully at sea

Success you still entice

To get the pearl and gold,

And ours to hold


Earth's only paradise.

Where nature hath in store

Fowl, venison, and fish,

And the fruitfull'st soil

Without your toil

Three harvests more,

All greater than your wish.

And the ambitious vine

Crowns with his purple mass

The cedar reaching high

To kiss the sky,

The cypress, pine,

And useful sassafras.

To whom the Golden Age

Still nature's laws doth give,

No other cares attend,

But them to defend

From winter's rage,

That long there doth not live.

When as the luscious smell

Of that delicious land

Above the seas that flows

The clear wind throws,

Your hearts to swell

Approaching the dear strand;

In kenning of the shore

(Thanks to God first given)

O you the happiest men,

Be frolic then!

Let cannons roar,

Frighting the wide heaven.

And in regions far,

Such heroes bring ye forth

As those from whom we came;

And plant our name

Under that star

Not known unto our North.

And as there plenty grows

Of laurel everywhere—

Apollo's sacred tree—

You it may see

A poet's brows

To crown, that may sing there.

Thy Voyages  attend,

Industrious Hakluyt,

Whose reading shall inflame

Men to seek fame,

And much commend

To after times thy wit.

— Michael Drayton

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