The child the while, with soft,
Forgetful of all sorrow,
Lay soundly sleeping in his bed.
The good man kissed him there, and said:
“You leave us not to-morrow!
“I pray you, rest the
This 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!
By permission of the author.
* * * * *
Where is Palos? What is it noted for?
Who was the “good man” spoken of in the poem?
In the line “The traveler’s dreams he heard,” who was the traveler? Relate the story of his dreams. Why are they called dreams? Did the dreams become facts? In what way?
How did the monks of this convent assist Columbus?
How did the Queen of Spain assist him?
Why is it that in the geography of our country we
meet with so many
* * * * *
There’s no such word as fail!
Push nobly on! The goal is near!
Ascend the mountain! Breast the gale!
Look upward, onward,—never fear!
* * * * *
A great many centuries ago, when the earth was even more beautiful than it is now, there grew in one of the many valleys a dainty little fern leaf. All around the tiny plant were many others, but none of them so graceful and delicate as this one I tell you of. Every day the cheery breezes sought out their playmate, and the merry sunbeams darted in and out, playing hide-and-seek among reeds and rushes; and when the twilight shadows deepened, and the sunbeams had all gone away, the little fern curled itself up for the night with only the dewdrops for company.
So day after day went by: and no one knew of, or found the sweet wild fern, or the beautiful valley it grew in. But—for this was a very long time ago—a great change took place in the earth; and rocks and soil were upturned, and the rivers found new channels to flow in.
Now, when all this happened, the little fern was quite covered up with the soft moist clay, and perhaps you think it might as well never have lived as to have been hidden away where none could see it.
But after all, it was not really lost; for hundreds of years afterwards, when all that clay had become stone, and had broken into many fragments, a very wise and learned man found the bit of rock upon which was all the delicate tracery of the little fern leaf, with outline just as perfect and lovely as when, long, long ago it had swayed to the breezes in its own beautiful valley.