Mr. John Hawkins
His Opinion of This Intended Voyage


John Hawkins
(1583)

[Commendary verse prefacing Sir George Peckham's
A True Report of the Late Discoveries of the New-Found Lands (1583)]

If zeal to God, or country's care, with private gain's access,
Might serve for spurs unto th' attempt, this pamphlet does express
One coast, one course, one toil might serve at full to make declar'd
A zeal to God, with country's good, and private gain's regard.
And, for the first, this enterprise the name of God shall found
Among a nation in whose ears the same did never sound.
Next, as an endless running stream her channels doth discharge,
That swell above their bounds into an ocean wide and large;
So England, that is pestered now and choked through want of ground,
Shall find a soil where room enough and profit doth abound.
The Romans, when the number of their people grew so great
As neither wars could waste nor Rome suffice them for a seat,
They led them forth by swarming troops to foreign lands amain,
And founded divers colonies unto the Roman reign.
Th' Athenians used the like device, the Argives thus have done,
And fierce Achilles' Myrmidons when Troy was overrun.
But Rome nor Athens nor the rest were never pestered so
As England, where no room remains her dwellers to bestow,
But shuffled in such pinching bonds that very breath doth lack,
And for the want of place they crawl one o'er another's back.
How nobly, then, shall they provide that for redress herein,
With ready hand and open purse this action doth begin;
Whence glory to the name of God and country's good shall spring,
And unto all that further it, a private gain shall bring.
Then, noble youths, courageously this enterprise discharge;
And age, that cannot manage arms, let them support the charge.
The issue of your good intent undoubted will appear
Both gracious in the sight of God and full of honour here.


The Political Garden