America or The Muse's Refuge

A Prophecy

by George Berkeley

The Muse, disgusted at an Age and Clime,

Barren of every glorious Theme,

In distant Lands now waits a better Time,

Producing subjects worthy Fame:


In happy Climes, where from the genial Sun

And virgin Earth such Scenes ensue,

The Force of Art by Nature seems outdone,

And fancied Beauties by the true:


There shall be sung another golden Age,

The rise of Empire and of Arts,

The Good and Great inspiring epic Rage,

The wisest Heads and noblest Hearts.


Not such as Europe breeds in her decay;

Such as she bred when fresh and young,

When heav'nly Flame did animate her Clay,

By future Poets shall be sung.


Westward the Course of Empire takes its Way;

The four first Acts already past,

A fifth shall close the Drama with the Day;

Time's noblest Offspring is the last.