Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > America
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX.  1876–79.
 
Introductory to America
A Poet’s Prophecy
Luigi Pulci (1432–1484)
 
(From Morgante Maggiore)
Translated by W. H. Prescott

KNOW that this theory is false; his bark
The daring mariner shall urge far o’er
The western wave,—a smooth and level plain,
Albeit the earth is fashioned like a wheel.
Man was in ancient days of grosser mould,        5
And Hercules might blush to learn how far
Beyond the limits he had vainly set,
The dullest sea-boat soon shall wing her way.
 
Men shall descry another hemisphere,
Since to one common centre all things tend;        10
So earth, by curious mystery divine
Well balanced, hangs amid the starry spheres.
At our Antipodes are cities, states,
And throngéd empires, ne’er divined of yore.
But see, the sun speeds on his western path        15
To glad the nations with expected light.
 
 
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