October 22, 2011
By Virginia PLATINUM, Bartonville, Texas
Virginia PLATINUM, Bartonville, Texas
21 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night
And the flame struck out by the steed in its flight
Kindled the land into flame with its heat

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Ere thrashes foaming waves on the turf
Of rocky coasts, black and weathered, with no mirth,
Whatsoever as a greeting, for that weary band
Of travelers of the eastern lands.
Their jubilance, uncontained, coaxes a yell from their awestruck lips.
No, not a treasure, a marble hall, or mammoth ships,
Could bring such awe
As did this sight—the Pacific.

This clan—a bedraggled one—hardly worth a second glance
Stood lofty on their battered canoes, which had so long been their manse.
Now glory shines from their haggard faces,
Throwing aside their burdens; quite soulful mazes.
Lust of the hungry explorer evaporates,
Like a morning mist exposed to the sun, and exonerates.
Since beheld, this watery body,
Brought forth wonder—the Pacific.

There steps forward, one man
Tall and swarthy, with a sober countenance viewing the span
His gray eyes full of haunting dreams incessantly,
Remembering the leader back abroad—those poignant words; Manifest Destiny.

Another moves forward, with haste, dashing down a word or two,
Glancing up with eyes of sapphire, to the ocean blue,
That he ponders, with a bright face, Is at last; destination.
These two men, with burning eyes view—the Pacific.

The author's comments:
As an avid lover of history, I have a fascination for many different time periods in history, including Lewis and Clark. I wrote this poem, wanting to portray the magnificence of that moment when the men, who had just crossed an entire continent, at last caught a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean. In 1805 they beheld the western ocean, that to them seemed a world away, as America at that time had mainly settled in the Eastern region of North America. Only traders, Indians, and animals could be found in these parts. Thanks to the vision of Thomas Jefferson, who purchased the vast Louisiana Territory, and the ambition and courage of Lewis and Clark, America now stretches across an entire continent. 'Twas our Manifest Destiny.

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