An Italian boy that liked to play
In Genoa about the ships all day,
With curly head and dark, dark eyes,
That gazed at earth in child surprise;
And dreamed of distant stranger skies.

He watched the ships that came crowding in
With cargo of riches; he loved the din
Of the glad rush out and the spreading sails
And the echo of far-off windy gales.

He studied the books of the olden day;
He studied but knew far more than they;
He talked to the learned men of the school—
So wise he was they thought him a fool,
A fool with the dark, dark dreamful eyes,
A child he was—grown wonder-wise.

Youth and dreams are over, past
And out, far out he is sailing fast
Toward the seas he dreamed;
—strange lands arise—
The world is made rich by his great emprise—
And the wisest know he was more than wise.

1418 Chinese World Map by Gavin Menzies Posters

In Columbus’ Time

Suppose you lived then, do you think that you
Would believe what Columbus said was true?
Or would you be like the wise men who
Laughed in his face and said “Pooh, pooh”?

From For Days and Days: A Year Round Treasury
of Child Verse
by Annette Wynne (1919)

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