Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1607–1764
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. I–II: Colonial Literature, 1607–1764
 
To the Virginian Voyage
By Michael Drayton (1563–1631)
 
YOU brave heroic minds,
Worthy your country’s name,
  That honour still pursue,
Whilst loit’ring hinds
Lurk here at home, with shame,        5
  Go, and subdue.
 
Britons, you stay too long,
Quickly aboard bestow you,
  And with a merry gale
  Swell your stretch’d sail,        10
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,        15
  When Eolus scowls,
You need not fear,
So absolute the deep.
 
And cheerfully at sea
Success you still entice,        20
  To get the pearl and gold,
  And ours to hold
Virginia,
Earth’s only paradise.
 
Where nature hath in store        25
Fowl, venison, and fish,
  And the fruitful’st soil,
  Without your toil,
Three harvests more,
All greater than your wish.        30
 
The ambitious vine
Crowns with his purple mass
  The cedar reaching high
  To kiss the sky,
The cypress, pine,        35
And useful sassafras.
*        *        *        *        *
When as the luscious smell
Of that delicious land,
  Above the seas that flows,
  The clear wind throws,        40
Your hearts to swell
Approaching the dear strand,
 
In kenning of the shore
(Thanks to God first given)
  O you the happy’st men,        45
  Be frolic then,
Let cannons roar,
Frighting the wide heaven.
 
And in regions far
Such heroes bring ye forth        50
  As those from whom we came,
  And plant our name
Under that star
Not known unto our north.
 
And as there plenty grows        55
Of laurel every where,
  Apollo’s sacred tree,
  You it may see,
A poet’s brows
To crown, that may sing there.        60
 
 
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