Ah, explorer! Why are you not far away, on a ship
covering great ocean’s breadth, seeing new peoples
and listening to unknown tongues, studying the
vast wastes of planet, traversed by humans yet?
Yea, glob reveals all there is to tell, and every map
combines work and legacy of so many men, who
even crossed over both the world’s poles, the empires
of ice that made them unconquerable till our age.
Do you accept concession of this planet? This rock
so neatly contained within these drawings, with
no secret left to tell? What of the summits untouched
that lay beneath the oceans, and the seas of rock below them?
Who spoke that you shall have air and water were you
shall go? Who said warmth and comfort awaited him
who goes into the world? Who said you shall carry your
foot and hand so far as to touch the things you’ll discover?
For you mount a different helm, and speak in new tongue
of command: you are captain of crewless ship, worked
by men light-leaps away, which you doth govern with
light’s meaning that moves its masts and solar sails.
Your ocean now is void of space, which you will never
feel, but one which holds peril for thine vessel, so vested
with the labor and travel of generations, which holds only
key to domains beyond our own, the rest of unknown universe.
You can make no mistake, lest your life languish with loss
of vision for humanity, that which even in the fraction
of reality hast seen unreal beauty: oceans sealed by crust
of ice, orbs made of pure diamond, life in foreign language writ.
Witness, Columbus! From heaven peer Cook and Amundsen
upon your son, who ventures as Admiral of the Milky Galaxy
into worlds so ancient, they doth show only faintest spark in sky!
Bless him, and with them us, and draw wonder from his chart.
Let his report, even if link is lost or beyond the echo of light,
or mutinies and carries human legacy as monument for those
far beyond and far from now, inspire in us wonder to be great,
to build a metropole of God, Whose Genius guides us still
upon seas endless and far away.