by Frank Weltner. All Rights Reserved.
Psalms of the Spanish Conquest of the Americas
11. Christopher Columbus
The roiling waves toss up and down these ships
Of wood and iron, in which I sailed from Spain
To seek the gold and spice of India
Whose silken gowns are sold throughout the world
I knew so many miles behind. My faith propels
My craft, this little fleet, whose mostly men
Of Christ know nothing of my Jewish ancestry
For I have had to hide this secret even from
The Queen, or else this trip would not have been
Approved. Oh, Lord of Heavens, be Ye God
Of Christ or Jew, please guide my vessels fast
And sure to that great shore where succor waits
With bowls of water fresh from mountain streams
Ice cold, refreshing, filling us anew with life.
12. Looking Looking Looking
Lord, help me find my way. The stars above
My ships turn round the watery orbs on which
We float so far from home. Oh, Lord, my God
I tremble in my heart from fear that we
Shall fall from off this flattened world's vast edge
Into Eternity, forever lost, that Earth shall not
As I believed, be round, but like a cube
And, we, storm hurled atop its upper square
Creep in dead of night onto our willing deaths.
I pray, Oh, Lord, please globe this planet round
So that, although so wrong I was, You
In your sure Vastness may expound your powers
By making round this globe so we shall fall
In gentleness toward your immensity in Peace.
13. The Jew Confesses
I once believed in Jesus Christ, although a Jew.
It was a difficult feat for me to give away
My ancient tribe's most sacred third Command,
"Put not another God before Me, I,
I am, I am, the one and only Lord,
Thy God." Had I forsaken Him by that
Belief in Jesus on that fateful day?
I know inside my heart I did, that I
Fell down upon my knees before His sword
Which shall destroy me and my tribe when they,
Those other tribes of Christians, Hindus, Jains,
And Buddhists, Allah's tribes, those totem men
Of Northern Lappish climes, of Greenland's ilk
Beet red my heart upon God's twinkling blade.
14. Song to The Emblems
I placed upon this shore of a new land
Which I discovered deep in Ocean's spray
Two wooden icons, both The Wooden Cross
Of Jesus and The Gallows of the Queen.
These emblems with Spain's flag I placed inside
These sandy beachheads, beat with waves
Into the finest pebbled shores, bright white,
New lands for me to conquer. This sword's
Bright image also lifted I into the Sun's
Sweet golden eye, its light-shaft beamed
Across a native brownish people here whose lives
Inferior and mean, condemned by Cross
And Gallows now to overwhelming odds
Are forfeit to the secret Queen's desires.
They stood respectful of our footprints soft
Upon their wetted beach unmindful that
Their doom I sealed with this brief prayer.
15. Thankfulness to the Lord
Oh, Lord, I claim these lands as far as eye
And ship can either see or sail within these vast
Untimely shores for Your great Queen, the one
And only Isabella, oiled from head to toe
In Christ's emollients, in rule by Him
And only Him, in rule before my tribal God,
Jehovah, through usurping powers of Jesus Christ
His Son, who boasts equality despite
The Ten Commandments. Yet, to His immense
Religious following the world now bows.
Their ships plow through the Ocean's waves
To bring what Thou has wrought upon a wild
And unsuspecting world that prays for peace
Yet finds no solace in our firing guns.
16. The Doubts of New World Man
What have I done? This world so innocent
And full of hope, now swarms with men
Like me, consumed by greed for gold
Where, once, the sounds of ocean waves bespoke
The goodness of the world, yet now coughs up
These tyrants of the Old World stomping on the New.
Together we have conquered lands ten times
The size of Spain and all in less than my
Own lifetime, I, servant of God and greed.
My name, Christopher Columbus, brought terror
To these sorrowed people I once kissed here.
My first glimpse of these fair lands was death
To them. Their destinies circled round
The pestilences brought by me. They died.
17. Forgiveness Prayer
Forgive me, God, that I became the man
Selected by your awesome edicts to transform
These lands into a European haven freed
From native disbelievers whom you doomed
To fast extinction by each lover's kiss
My men sequestered on their women's lips.
With head held high, I came at Your command
To these New Worlds where now Your Christian Faith
Is all that hails from church bells down
The valleys of these greenest hills. Your mind
Concocted all that I have thought, has used
My life to bring about this grand elusive thing
Which we call progress and the vast new start
Of Man's wet travels into worlds unknown.
18. The Columbus Prayer
Lord, lead me through the ocean's spray, lead fast
My ships into the winding waves. For I
Shall follow all the days of my life your Hands
Upon my shoulder. Like a falcon's face
All hooded darkly perched upon the hand
His Master holds up to the winds, I follow what
You will for me. For I, the falcon, You,
My Master. Even on your hand, I feel
Your steady hand upon my blind. Your eyes
Protect me from those things I never see.
You are my Power, my Glory, my Release.
To you, Oh, Lord, I dedicate my self's
Defiant gaze, for I am he who looked
Upon a stormy Sea and sailed into Eternity.
19. Columbus and the Children's Song
Upon this knobby hill, in Tennessee,
A State within a State of Many States,
School children placed a wreath upon the soil
For Christopher Columbus, he who sailed
The Seventh Sea into the void of fear
To overcome those unknown depths and find
These sacred lands which God ordained that men
Of European heritage should own
Forever. Men who live within these shores
Have now forgotten that command from God
To keep themselves within these shores, to keep
From them those evil ones who want to kill
The sparks of Godliness within their lands
By merging them with those who are not them.
20. Song of the Conquistadore
I am Cortez, Conquistadore de Mexico,
I, He who killed the Incan King,
Cut off his head, and tossed it to the dogs.
I came with muskets, swords, and ropes
To kill the Aztec Throne, besmirch the wild
And pagan men who offered ugly pagan gods
Those beating hearts they cut with obsidian
From little screaming virgins, arms held high,
Atop their pyramids, blood dripping wet
From reddened elbows, speaking of evils known
To them but not to us. We burnt their books.
We trashed their temples, burned them out. We cleaned
Their world of evils Christians never meant to see
Nor want to dredge across our holy hearts.