Columbus



In trifles and failures, in sorrows and sufferings, in disdain and dismay, what we do? We complain, we curse, we grumble, we whine and we quit.  We get rid of putting efforts. We leave and say, “It’s not my cup of tea. It’s not possible. I can’t do it.” If these are my quotes in the hour of grief, this is the poem, that inspires to keep calm, be hopeful and sail on.

The road of life is full of hurdles. Life is not possible without difficulties. None has the plain and clean ground to play. Terrible and horrible are inevitable. We may get frightened and frustrated. We lose mentally. So it’s an opportunity to strengthen the mind and come out of the darkness of dismal.

Here is a well-known poem: Columbus. That has been inspiring the world for years. When Columbus started his sail in search of the land, he faced death dealing dangers. Due to shoreless seas, sailors lost hope, they were wane and weak, almost next to the death. They became ghastly and mutinous. They planned to kill their admiral. But the brave admiral was steady and firm. He demonstrated strong determination and faithful hope. And at last, they found the land.

So in life when we face disappointments, let’s be calm, firm and serene. Let’s have faith and hope in heart. The grandest lesson is: Sail on, whatever happens. Here I have tried to narrate a poem in my own words, as much as I can. I have tried to build up my own strength. If you choose to read and find any mistake, please overlook.

The Poem :
Behind him lay the grey Azores,
Behind the Gates of Hercules;
Before him not the ghost of shores,
Before him only shoreless seas.
The good mate said: "Now we must pray,
For lo! the very stars are gone.
Brave Admiral, speak, what shall I say?"
"Why, say, 'Sail on! sail on! and on!' "

"My men grow mutinous day by day;
My men grow ghastly wan and weak."
The stout mate thought of home; a spray
Of salt wave washed his swarthy cheek.
"What shall I say, brave Admiral, say,
If we sight nought but seas at dawn?"
"Why, you shall say at break of day,
'Sail on! sail on! and on!' "

They sailed and sailed, as winds might blow,
Until at last the blanched mate said:
"Why, now not even God would know
Should I and all my men fall dead?
These very winds forget their way,
For God from these dead seas is gone.
Now speak, brave Admiral, speak and say" --
He said, "Sail on! sail on! and on!"

They sailed. They sailed. Then spake the mate:
"This mad sea shows his teeth tonight.
He curls his lip, he lies in wait,
With lifted teeth, as if to bite!
Brave Admiral, say but one good word:
What shall we do when hope is gone?"
The words leapt like a leaping sword:
"Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!"

Then pale and worn, he kept his deck,
And peered through darkness. Ah, that night
Of all dark nights! And then a speck --
A light! a light! at last a light!
It grew, a starlit flag unfurled!
It grew to be Time's burst of dawn.
He gained a world; he gave that world
Its grandest lesson: "On! sail on!"

By Joaquin Miller

Meaning:

Sailors have left the grey land of volcanic island Azores. They have left Gates of Hercules behind. Hercules is a son of Zeus and Alcmene, a mythological hero of extraordinary strength who won immortality. Before them, they are even not able to see the ghost of shores. They have infinite shoreless seas before them. In such terrible situation, one good mate told that they must pray to God. They can’t see stars. It may be due to stormy and cloudy sea. In such horrifying atmosphere instead of uttering any other thing, Brave Admiral said, “Sail on! Sail on! and on!”    

Men were becoming rebellious day by day. They were becoming ghastly, distressed and weak. One strong and sturdy man thought of his home and as an answer salty wave washed his dark-coloured cheek. What could be told by him? He told to say something to brave admiral as he was not able to see except sea at dawn. Why he will say anything at the break of day …  'Sail on! sail on! and on!'

As winds might blow the sailed on. At last, one drained mate said that why shall they move on… ? Even only God would know that they will live or die. Such furiously blowing wind is forgetting his way. Now speak brave admiral… he said... "Sail on! sail on! and on!"

They sailed and sailed. The mad sea was showing his terrible teeth, curling his lips, lies in wait with lifted teeth to bite. What could be done when hope was gone? Like as leaping sword words came out …  "Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!"

He became pale and worn. He kept his deck and searched through the darkness. That was the darkest night. He found a bit of light. At last… a ray of light .. a ray of hope…  Then it grew. A flag was shining by starlight and unfurled. It seems to be a time’s burst of dawn. It was new hope and light. At last finally, they gained a land, a world. It was the grandest lesson to the world. "Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!"

*****

LIfe may puzzle us, life may feeble us, but fortitude is the main that keeps us going on.

When dreams smash,
Hopes break,
Efforts baffle.
Don’t cry but try.
Don’t give up but live up.
Don’t go through but grow though.  

No challenges, no success.
Know challenges, know success.

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