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trees of immense height, and which I believe to retain their foliage in all seasons; for when I saw them they were as verdant and luxuriant as they usually are in Spain in the month of May - some of them were blossoming, some bearing fruit, and all flourishing in the greatest perfection, according to their respective stages of growth, and the nature and quality of each; yet the islands are not so thickly wooded as to be impassable. The various birds were singing in countless numbers, and that in November, the month in which I arrived there.
The inhabitants are very simple and honest, and exceedingly liberal with all they have; none of them refusing anything he may possess when he is asked for it, but on the contrary inviting us to ask them. They exhibit great love toward all others in preference to themselves; they also give objects of great value for trifles, and content themselves with very little or nothing in return.
I however forbade that these trifles and articles of no value (such as pieces of dishes, plates, and glass, keys, and leather straps) should be given to them, although, if they could obtain them, they imagined themselves to be possessed of the most beautiful trinkets in the world.
It even happened that a sailor received for a leather strap as much gold as was worth three golden nobles, and for things of more trifling value offered by our men, the Indian would give whatever the seller required.
On my arrival I had taken some Indians from the first island that I came to, in order that they might learn our language. These men are still traveling with me, and although they have been with us now a long time, they continue to entertain the idea that I have descended from heaven; and on our arrival at any new place they publish
this, crying out immediately in a loud voice to the other Indians, "Come, come and look upon the beings of a celestial race": upon which both men and women, children and adults, young men and old, when they get rid of the fear they at first entertained, come out in throngs, crowding the roads to see us, some bringing food, others drink, with astonishing affection and kindness.
Thus it has happened to me to have accomplished a task to which the powers of mortal men had never hitherto attained. Therefore let the king and queen, our princes and their most happy kingdoms, and all the other provinces of Christendom, render thanks to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who has granted us so great a victory and such prosperity. CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS
Behind him lay the gray Azores;
Behind the Gates of Hercules;
Before him not the ghost of shores,
Before him only shoreless seas.
The good mate said: "Now must we pray,
For, lo! the very stars are gone.
Brave Admiral, speak; what shall I say?"
"My men grow mutinous day by day;
"What shall I say, brave Admiral, say, If we sight naught but seas at dawn?" “Why, you shall say, at break of day: 'Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!""
They sailed and sailed as winds might blow,
For God from these dread seas is gone.
Now speak, brave Admiral, speak and say "
They sailed. They sailed. Then spake the mate:
Brave Admiral, say but one good word;
Then, pale and worn, he kept his deck
It grew, a starlit flag unfurled!
It grew to be Time's burst of dawn.
He gained a world; he gave that world.
gain! Heave ho,
my lads, heave
CHANTEY No. 2
for lands and cit ies old, Heave ho! my lads,heave