Scottish Poetry Selection
- The Discovery of America

The poem below "The Discovery of America" by James Robertson (1849-1922) is subtitled "Seen from the Ochils (a range of hills in central Scotland) through the perspective of four centuries" - as Europe is woken up by the discovery of America.

The Discovery of America

All the mill-horses of Europe
Were plodding round and round.
All the mills were droning,
The same old sound.

The drivers were dozing, the millers
Were deaf - as millers will be;
When, startling them all, without warning
Came a great shout from the sea.

It startled them all. The horses,
Lazily plodding round,
Started and stopped; and the mills dropped
Like a mantle their sound.

The millers looked over their shoulders,
The drivers opened their eyes,
A silence, deeper than deafness,
Had fallen out of the skies.

"Halloa there!" - this time distinctly
It rose from the barren sea;
And Europe, turning in wonder,
Whispered, "What can it be?"

"Come down, come down to the shore here!"
And Europe was soon on the sand; -
It was the great Columbus
Dragging his prize to land.

Return to the Index of Scottish Poetry Selection

Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

Separator line