Translation Of A South American Ode

IN all my Enna's beauties blest,
Amidst profusion still I pine;
For though she gives me up her breast,
Its panting tenant is not mine.

by Oliver Goldsmith.

How would you have us, as we are?
Or sinking 'neath the load we bear?
Our eyes fixed forward on a star?
Or gazing empty at despair?

Rising or falling? Men or things?
With dragging pace or footsteps fleet?
Strong, willing sinews in your wings?
Or tightening chains about your feet?

by James Weldon Johnson.

Once in English they said America. Was it English to them.
Once they said Belgian.
We like a fog.
Do you for weather.
Are we brave.
Are we true.
Have we the national colour.
Can we stand ditches.
Can we mean well.
Do we talk together.
Have we red cross.
A great many people speak of feet.
And socks.

by Gertrude Stein.

Long, Too Long America

Long, too long America,
Traveling roads all even and peaceful you learn'd from joys and prosperity only,
But now, ah now, to learn from crises of anguish, advancing, grappling with direst fate and recoiling not,
And now to conceive and show to the world what your children en-masse really are,
(For who except myself has yet conceiv'd what your children en-masse really are?)

by Walt Whitman.

England To America

And what of thee, O Lincoln's Land? What gloom
Is darkening above the Sunset Sea?
Vowed Champion of Liberty, deplume
Thy war-crest, bow thy knee,
Before God answer thee.

What talk is thine of rebels? Didst thou turn,
My very child, thy vaunted sword on me,
To scoff to-day at patriot fires that burn
In hearts unbound to thee,
Flames of the Sunset Sea?

by Katharine Lee Bates.

I love thine inland seas,
Thy groves of giant trees,
Thy rolling plains;
Thy rivers' mighty sweep,
Thy mystic canyons deep,
Thy mountains wild and steep,
All thy domains;

Thy silver Eastern strands,
Thy Golden Gate that stands
Wide to the West;
Thy flowery Southland fair,
Thy sweet and crystal air, --
O land beyond compare,
Thee I love best!

Additional verses for the
National Hymn,
March, 1906.

by Henry Van Dyke.

To Dr. Priestly, On His Going To America

Had I the key that ope's the golden doors,
That hide the Heavenly Muse from earthly gaze,
Sweet Poesy, I'd haunt thy choicest bowers,
And crown fair Science with immortal bays;
And I would bear my PRIESTLY'S name along,
In rich harmonic streams of never-ending song.

But needs the sacred Sun, supremely bright,
The less resplendent light of meaner fires?
So Genius shines with pure unborrow'd light,
So Virtue lives, when ev'n the Muse expires:
To distant lands fair Fame shall wait on thee,
And Melancholy stay, and think and weep with me.

by George Dyer.

An American To France

O FRANCE, with what a shamed and sorry smile
We now recall that in a bygone day
We sought of you art, wit, perfection, style;
You were to us a playground and a play.
Paris was ours - its sudden green edged spaces
And sweeping vistas to the coming night,
Brocades and jewels, porcelains and laces
All these we took for leisure and delight.
And all the time we should have drunk our fill
Of wisdom known to you and you alone,
Clear-eyed self-knowledge, silent courage, will;
And now too late, we see these things are one:
That art is sacrifice and self-control,
And who loves beauty must be stern of soul.

by Alice Duer Miller.

Sonnet On The American War.

She has gone down! Woe for the world, and all
Its weary workers! gazing from afar
At the clear rising of that hopeful star;
Star of redemption to each weeping thrall
Of pow'r decrepit, and of rule outworn;
Beautiful shining of that blessed morn,
Which was to bring leave for the poor to live;
To work and rest, to labour and to thrive,
And righteous room for all who nobly strive:
She has gone down! Woe for the struggling world,
Back on its path of progress sternly hurled!
Land of sufficient harvests for all dearth,
Home of far-seeing Hope, Time's latest birth,—
Woe for the promised land of the whole earth!

by Frances Anne Kemble.

NOR force nor fraud shall sunder us! O ye
Who north or south, on east or western land,
Native to noble sounds, say truth for truth,
Freedom for freedom, love for love, and God
For God; O ye who in eternal youth
Speak with a living and creative flood
This universal English, and do stand
Its breathing book; live worthy of that grand
Heroic utterance—parted, yet a whole,
Far yet unsever’d,—children brave and free
Of the great Mother-tongue, and ye shall be
Lords of an empire wide as Shakespeare’s soul,
Sublime as Milton’s immemorial theme,
And rich as Chaucer’s speech, and fair as Spenser’s dream.

by Sydney Thompson Dobell.

To An American Embassy

Written At Florence, 1866:


Since Sovereign Nature, at the happy best,
Is rightful and sole paragon of Art,
Who, tho' she but in part, and part by part,
Paints, carves, or sings the whole, is still possest
By thee, all thee, oh somewhere unconfest
Apollo! in the worlds of men who art
A man, and, with a human body and heart,
Lookest her visible truths, and livest the rest;
Surely that strategy was well design'd
Which, laying siege to Art's proud Capital,
Armed not, against her matchless pow'rs-that-be,
Music, Painting, Sculpture, Poetry,
But sent a living womanhood of all
To queen, by their own laws, the masters of mankind.

by Sydney Thompson Dobell.

To The United States Of America

Brothers in blood! They who this wrong began
To wreck our commonwealth, will rue the day
When first they challenged freeman to the fray,
And with the Briton dared the American.
Now are we pledged to win the Rights of man:
Labour and Justice now shall have their way,
And in a League of Peace -- God grant we may --
Transform the earth, not patch up the old plan.

Sure is our hope since he who led your nation
Spake for mankind, and ye arose in awe
Of that high call to work the world's salvation;
Clearing your minds of all estrangling blindness
In the vision of Beauty and the Spirit's law,
Freedom and Honour and sweet Lovingkindness.

by Robert Seymour Bridges.

The American Mercury

Thwarted your dreams'?
Withheld the fruits of hope?
The fruits of wit?
Of toil?
Of strength?
Of pain?
Has it blasted all
And left you chill,
Afraid,
Alone,
Yet facing still
A darker path
That must be trod
Alone?
Take hands with all who live
To left,
To right,
Or,
Make a gloomy choice of feiv
And with them sit
In some lone, sheltered place
Asking of each his story.
Or, better yet,
Or, best,
In silence sit
Harking the hopeless beat
Of each one's lonely heart
And wait,
Or dream,
Trusting a common misery to make soft
Or dull
The gorgon story
Of the human soul

by Theodore Dreiser.

One Song, America, Before I Go


ONE song, America, before I go,
I'd sing, o'er all the rest, with trumpet sound,
For thee--the Future.

I'd sow a seed for thee of endless Nationality;
I'd fashion thy Ensemble, including Body and Soul;
I'd show, away ahead, thy real Union, and how it may be accomplish'd.

(The paths to the House I seek to make,
But leave to those to come, the House itself.)

Belief I sing--and Preparation;
As Life and Nature are not great with reference to the Present
only, 10
But greater still from what is yet to come,
Out of that formula for Thee I sing.

by Walt Whitman.

The German-American

HONOR to him whose very blood remembers
The old, enchanted dream-song of the Rhine,
Although his house of life. is fair with shine
Of fires new-kindled on the buried embers;
Whose heart is wistful for the flowers he tended
Beside his mother, for the caryen gnome
And climbing bear and cuckoo-clock of home,
For the whispering forest path two lovers wended;
Who none the less, still strange in speech and manner,
With our young Freedom keeps his plighted faith,
Sides with his children's hope against the wraith
Of his own childhood, hails the Starry Banner
As emblem of his country now, to-morrow;
A patriot by duty, not by birth.
The costliest loyalty has purest worth.
Honor to him who draws the sword in sorrow!

by Katharine Lee Bates.

The American Soldier

Deep in a vale, a stranger now to arms,
Too poor to shine in courts, too proud to beg,
He, who once warred on Saratoga's plains,
Sits musing o'er his scars, and wooden leg.

Remembering still the toil of former days,
To other hands he sees his earnings paid;-
They share the due reward—he feeds on praise.
Lost in the abyss of want, misfortune's shade.

Far, far from domes where splendid tapers glare,
‘Tis his from dear bought peace no wealth to win,
Removed alike from courtly cringing ‘squires,
The great-man's Levee, and the proud man's grin.

Sold are those arms which once on Britons blazed,
When, flushed with conquest, to the charge they came;
That power repelled, and Freedom's fabrick raised,
She leaves her soldier—famine and a name!

by Philip Freneau.

The Choice (The American Spirit Speaks)

To the Judge of Right and Wrong
With Whom fulfillment lies
Our purpose and our power belong,
Our faith and sacrifice.

Let Freedom's land rejoice!
Our ancient bonds are riven;
Once more to us the eternal choice
Of good or ill is given.

Not at a little cost,
Hardly by prayer or tears,
Shall we recover the road we lost
In the drugged and doubting years,

But after the fires and the wrath,
But after searching and pain,
His Mercy opens us a path
To live with ourselves again.

In the Gates of Death rejoice!
We see and hold the good-
Bear witness, Earth, we have made our choice
For Freedom's brotherhood.

Then praise the Lord Most High
Whose Strength hath saved us whole,
Who bade us choose that the Flesh should die
And not the living Soul!

by Rudyard Kipling.

I Hear America Singing

I Hear America singing, the varied carols I hear;
Those of mechanics--each one singing his, as it should be, blithe and strong;
The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work;
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat--the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck;
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench--the hatter singing as he stands;
The wood-cutter's song--the ploughboy's, on his way in the morning, or at the noon intermission, or at sundown;
The delicious singing of the mother--or of the young wife at work--or of the girl sewing or washing--Each singing what belongs to her, and to none else;
The day what belongs to the day--At night, the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing, with open mouths, their strong melodious songs.

by Walt Whitman.

To The Teachers Of America

TEACHERS of teachers! Yours the task,
Noblest that noble minds can ask,
High up Aonia's murmurous mount,
To watch, to guard the sacred fount
That feeds the streams below;
To guide the hurrying flood that fills
A thousand silvery rippling rills
In ever-widening flow.

Rich is the harvest from the fields
That bounteous Nature kindly yields,
But fairer growths enrich the soil
Ploughed deep by thought's unwearied toil
In Learning's broad domain.
And where the leaves, the flowers, the fruits,
Without your watering at the roots,
To fill each branching vein ?

Welcome! the Author's firmest friends,
Your voice the surest Godspeed lends.
Of you the growing mind demands
The patient care, the guiding hands,
Through all the mists of morn.
And knowing well the future's need,
Your prescient wisdom sows the seed
To flower in years unborn.

by Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Who Shall Rule This American Nation?

Who shall rule this American Nation?
Say, boys, say!
Who shall sit in the loftiest station?
Say, boys, say!
Shall the men who trampled on the banner?
They who now their country would betray?
They who murder the innocent freedmen?
Say, boys, say!

"No, never! no, never!"
The loyal millions say;
And 'tis they who rule this American Nation!
They, boys, they!

Who shall rank as the family royal?
Say, boys, say!
If not those who are honest and loyal?
Say, boys, say!
Then shall one elected as our servant,
In his pride, assume a regal sway?
Must we bend to a human Dictator?
Say, boys, say!

Shall we tarnish our national glory?
Say, boys, say!
Blot one line from the wonderful story?
Say, boys, say!
Did we vainly shed our blood in battle?
Did our troops resultless win the day?
Was our time and our treasure all squander'd?
Say, boys, say!

by Henry Clay Work.

American Boys, Hello!

Oh! we love all the French, and we speak in French
As along through France we go.
But the moments to us that are keen and sweet
Are the ones when our khaki boys we meet,
Stalwart and handsome and trim and neat;
And we call to them-'Boys, hello!'
'Hello, American boys,
Luck to you, and life's best joys!
American boys, hello!'


We couldn't do that if we were at home-
It never would do you know!
For there you must wait till you're told who's who,
And to meet in the way that nice folks do.
Though you knew his name, and your name he knew-
You never would say 'Hello, hello, American boy!'
But here it's just a joy,
As we pass along in the stranger throng,
To call out, 'Boys, hello!'


For each is a brother away from home;
And this we are sure is so,
There's a lonesome spot in his heart somewhere,
And we want him to feel there are friends
right there

In this foreign land, and so we dare
To call out 'Boys, hello!'
'Hello, American boys,
Luck to you, and life's best joys!
American boys, hello!'

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

The American Party

Oh, Marcus D. Boruck, me hearty,
I sympathize wid ye, poor lad!
A man that's shot out of his party
Is mighty onlucky, bedad!
An' the sowl o' that man is sad.

But, Marcus, gossoon, ye desarve it
Ye know for yerself that ye do,
For ye j'ined not intendin' to sarve it,
But hopin' to make it sarve you,
Though the roll of its members wuz two.

The other wuz Pixley, an' 'Surely,'
Ye said, 'he's a kite that wall sail.'
An' so ye hung till him securely,
Enactin' the role of a tail.
But there wuzn't the ghost of a gale!

But the party to-day has behind it
A powerful backin', I'm told;
For just enough Irish have j'ined it
(An' I'm m'anin' to be enrolled)
To kick ye out into the cold.

It's hard on ye, darlint, I'm thinkin'
So young-so American, too-
Wid bypassers grinnin' an' winkin',
An' sayin', wid ref'rence to you:
'Get onto the murtherin' Joo!'

Republicans never will take ye
They had ye for many a year;
An' Dimocrats-angels forsake ye!
If ever ye come about here
We'll brand ye and scollop yer ear!

by Ambrose Bierce.

America The Beautiful

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

by Katharine Lee Bates.

Song Of The American Indian

Stranger, stay, nor wish to climb
The heights of yonder hills sublime;
For there strange shapes and spirits dwell,
That oft the murmuring thunders swell,
Of power from the impending steep
To hurl thee headlong to the deep;
But secure with us abide,
By the winding river's side;
Our gladsome toil, our pleasures share,
And think not of a world of care.
The lonely cayman, where he feeds
Among the green high-bending reeds,
Shall yield thee pastime; thy keen dart
Through his bright scales shall pierce his heart.
Home returning from our toils,
Thou shalt bear the tiger's spoils;
And we will sing our loudest strain
O'er the forest-tyrant slain!
Sometimes thou shalt pause to hear
The beauteous cardinal sing clear;
Where hoary oaks, by time decayed,
Nod in the deep wood's pathless glade;
And the sun, with bursting ray,
Quivers on the branches gray.
By the river's craggy banks,
O'erhung with stately cypress-ranks,
Where the bush-bee hums his song,
Thy trim canoe shall glance along.
To-night at least, in this retreat,
Stranger! rest thy wandering feet;
To-morrow, with unerring bow,
To the deep thickets fearless we will go.

by William Lisle Bowles.

America To England

1899

Who would trust England, let him lift his eyes
To Nelson, columned o'er Trafalgar Square,
Her hieroglyph of duty, written where
The roar of traffic hushes to the skies;
Or mark, while Paul's vast shadow softly lies
On Gordon's statued sleep, how praise and prayer
Flush through the frank young faces clustering there
To con that kindred rune of sacrifice.
O England, no bland cloud-ship in the blue,
But rough oak plunging on o'er perilous jars
Of reef and ice, our faith will follow you
The more for tempest roar that strains your spars
And splits your canvas, be your helm but true,
Your courses shapen by the eternal stars.



1900

The nightmare melts at last, and London wakes
To her old habit of victorious ease.
More men, and more, and more for over-seas,
More guns until the giant hammer breaks
That patriot folk whom even God forsakes.
Shall not Great England work her will on these,
The foolish little nations, and appease
An angry shame that in her memory aches?
But far beyond the fierce-contested flood,
The cannon-planted pass, the shell-torn town,
The last wild carnival of fire and blood,
Beware, beware that dim and awful Shade,
Armored with Milton's sword and Cromwell's frown,
Affronted Freedom, of her own betrayed!

by Katharine Lee Bates.

Salvini In America

Come, gentlemen-your gold.
Thanks: welcome to the show.
To hear a story told
In words you do not know.

Now, great Salvini, rise
And thunder through your tears,
Aha! friends, let your eyes
Interpret to your ears.

Gods! 't is a goodly game.
Observe his stride-how grand!
When legs like his declaim
Who can misunderstand?

See how that arm goes round.
It says, as plain as day:
'I love,' 'The lost is found,'
'Well met, sir,' or, 'Away!'

And mark the drawing down
Of brows. How accurate
The language of that frown:
Pain, gentlemen-or hate.

Those of the critic trade
Swear it is all as clear
As if his tongue were made
To fit an English ear.

Hear that Italian phrase!
Greek to your sense, 't is true;
But shrug, expression, gaze
Well, they are Grecian too.

But it is Art! God wot
Its tongue to all is known.
Faith! he to whom 't were not
Would better hold his own.

Shakespeare says act and word
Must match together true.
From what you've seen and heard,
How can you doubt they do?

Enchanting drama! Mark
The crowd 'from pit to dome',
One box alone is dark
The prompter stays at home.

Stupendous artist! You
Are lord of joy and woe:
We thrill if you say 'Boo,'
And thrill if you say 'Bo.'

by Ambrose Bierce.

To The Republicans Of North America

I.
Brothers! between you and me
Whirlwinds sweep and billows roar:
Yet in spirit oft I see
On thy wild and winding shore
Freedom’s bloodless banners wave,--
Feel the pulses of the brave
Unextinguished in the grave,--
See them drenched in sacred gore,--
Catch the warrior's gasping breath
Murmuring 'Liberty or death!'

II.
Shout aloud! Let every slave,
Crouching at Corruption's throne,
Start into a man, and brave
Racks and chains without a groan:
And the castle's heartless glow,
And the hovel's vice and woe,
Fade like gaudy flowers that blow--
Weeds that peep, and then are gone
Whilst, from misery's ashes risen,
Love shall burst the captive's prison.

III.
Cotopaxi! bid the sound
Through thy sister mountains ring,
Till each valley smile around
At the blissful welcoming!
And, O thou stern Ocean deep,
Thou whose foamy billows sweep
Shores where thousands wake to weep
Whilst they curse a villain king,
On the winds that fan thy breast
Bear thou news of Freedom's rest!

IV.
Can the daystar dawn of love,
Where the flag of war unfurled
Floats with crimson stain above
The fabric of a ruined world?
Never but to vengeance driven
When the patriot's spirit shriven
Seeks in death its native Heaven!
There, to desolation hurled,
Widowed love may watch thy bier,
Balm thee with its dying tear.

by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

America To Russia

AUGUST 5, 1866

THOUGH watery deserts hold apart
The worlds of East and West,
Still beats the selfsame human heart
In each proud Nation's breast.

Our floating turret tempts the main
And dares the howling blast
To clasp more close the golden chain
That long has bound them fast.

In vain the gales of ocean sweep,
In vain the billows roar
That chafe the wild and stormy steep
Of storied Elsinore.

She comes! She comes! her banners dip
In Neva's flashing tide,
With greetings on her cannon's lip,
The storm-god's iron bride!

Peace garlands with the olive-bough
Her thunder-bearing tower,
And plants before her cleaving prow
The sea-foam's milk-white flower.

No prairies heaped their garnered store
To fill her sunless hold,
Not rich Nevada's gleaming ore
Its hidden caves infold,

But lightly as the sea-bird swings
She floats the depths above,
A breath of flame to lend her wings,
Her freight a people's love!

When darkness hid the starry skies
In war's long winter night,
One ray still cheered our straining eyes,
The far-off Northern light.

And now the friendly rays return
From lights that glow afar,
Those clustered lamps of Heaven that burn
Around the Western Star.

A nation's love in tears and smiles
We bear across the sea,
O Neva of the banded isles,
We moor our hearts in thee!

by Oliver Wendell Holmes.

An American In Europe

'Tis fine to see the Old World, and travel up and down
Among the famous palaces and cities of renown,
To admire the crumbly castles and the statues of the kings, --
But now I think I've had enough of antiquated things.

So it's home again, and home again, America for me!
My heart is turning home again, and there I long to be,
In the land of youth and freedom beyond the ocean bars,
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars.

Oh, London is a man's town, there's power in the air;
And Paris is a woman's town, with flowers in her hair;
And it's sweet to dream in Venice, and it's great to study Rome;
But when it comes to living there is no place like home.

I like the German fir-woods, in green battalions drilled;
I like the gardens of Versailles with flashing fountains filled;
But, oh, to take your hand, my dear, and ramble for a day
In the friendly western woodland where Nature has her way!

I know that Europe's wonderful, yet something seems to lack:
The Past is too much with her, and the people looking back.
But the glory of the Present is to make the Future free, --
We love our land for what she is and what she is to be.

So it's home again, and home again, America for me!
I want a ship that's westward bound to plough the rolling sea,
To the blessed Land of Room Enough beyond the ocean bars,
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars.

by Henry Van Dyke.

'Tis fine to see the Old World and travel up and down
Among the famous palaces and cities of renown,
To admire the crumblyh castles and the statues and kings
But now I think I've had enough of antiquated things.

So it's home again, and home again, America for me!
My heart is turning home again and there I long to be,
In the land of youth and freedom, beyond the ocean bars,
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars.

Oh, London is a man's town, there's power in the air;
And Paris is a woman's town, with flowers in her hair;
And it's sweet to dream in Venice, and it's great to study Rome;
But when it comes to living there is no place like home.

I like the German fir-woods in green battalions drilled;
I like the gardens of Versailles with flashing foutains filled;
But, oh, to take your had, my dear, and ramble for a day
In the friendly western woodland where Nature has her sway!

I know that Europe's wonderful, yet something seems to lack!
The Past is too much with her, and the people looking back.
But the glory of the Present is to make the Future free--
We love our land for what she is and what she is to be.

Oh, it's home again, and home again, America for me!
I want a ship that's westward bound to plough the rolling sea,
To the blessed Land of Room Enough, beyond the ocean bars,
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars.

by Henry Van Dyke.

America: From The National Ode, July 4, 1876

FORESEEN in the vision of sages,
Foretold when martyrs bled,
She was born of the longing of ages,
By the truth of the noble dead
And the faith of the living fed!
No blood in her lightest veins
Frets at remembered chains,
Nor shame of bondage has bowed her head.
In her form and features still
The unblenching Puritan will,
Cavalier honor, Huguenot grace,
The Quaker truth and sweetness,
And the strength of the danger-girdled race
Of Holland, blend in a proud completeness.
From the homes of all, where her being began,
She took what she gave to Man;
Justice, that knew no station,
Belief, as soul decreed,
Free air for aspiration,
Free force for independent deed!
She takes, but to give again,
As the sea returns the rivers in rain;
And gathers the chosen of her seed
From the hunted of every crown and creed.
Her Germany dwells by a gentler Rhine;
Her Ireland sees the old sunburst shine;
Her France pursues some dream divine;
Her Norway keeps his mountain pine;
Her Italy waits by the western brine;
And, broad-based under all,
Is planted England’s oaken-hearted mood,
As rich in fortitude
As e’er went worldward from the island-wall!
Fused in her candid light,
To one strong race all races here unite;
Tongues melt in hers, hereditary foemen
Forget their sword and slogan, kith and clan.
’T was glory, once, to be a Roman:
She makes it glory, now, to be a man!

by James Bayard Taylor.

I have fallen in love with American names,
The sharp names that never get fat,
The snakeskin-titles of mining-claims,
The plumed war-bonnet of Medicine Hat,
Tucson and Deadwood and Lost Mule Flat.

Seine and Piave are silver spoons,
But the spoonbowl-metal is thin and worn,
There are English counties like hunting-tunes
Played on the keys of a postboy's horn,
But I will remember where I was born.

I will remember Carquinez Straits,
Little French Lick and Lundy's Lane,
The Yankee ships and the Yankee dates
And the bullet-towns of Calamity Jane.
I will remember Skunktown Plain.

I will fall in love with a Salem tree
And a rawhide quirt from Santa Cruz,
I will get me a bottle of Boston sea
And a blue-gum nigger to sing me blues.
I am tired of loving a foreign muse.

Rue des Martyrs and Bleeding-Heart-Yard,
Senlis, Pisa, and Blindman's Oast,
It is a magic ghost you guard
But I am sick for a newer ghost,
Harrisburg, Spartanburg, Painted Post.

Henry and John were never so
And Henry and John were always right?
Granted, but when it was time to go
And the tea and the laurels had stood all night,
Did they never watch for Nantucket Light?

I shall not rest quiet in Montparnasse.
I shall not lie easy at Winchelsea.
You may bury my body in Sussex grass,
You may bury my tongue at Champmedy.
I shall not be there. I shall rise and pass.
Bury my heart at Wounded Knee.

by Stephen Vincent Benet.

A Prophecy: To George Keats In America

'Tis the witching hour of night,
Orbed is the moon and bright,
And the stars they glisten, glisten,
Seeming with bright eyes to listen --
For what listen they?
For a song and for a charm,
See they glisten in alarm,
And the moon is waxing warm
To hear what I shall say.
Moon! keep wide thy golden ears --
Hearken, stars! and hearken, spheres! --
Hearken, thou eternal sky!
I sing an infant's lullaby,
A pretty lullaby.
Listen, listen, listen, listen,
Glisten, glisten, glisten, glisten,
And hear my lullaby!
Though the rushes that will make
Its cradle still are in the lake --
Though the linen that will be
Its swathe, is on the cotton tree --
Though the woollen that will keep
It warm, is on the silly sheep --
Listen, starlight, listen, listen,
Glisten, glisten, glisten, glisten,
And hear my lullaby!
Child, I see thee! Child, I've found thee
Midst of the quiet all around thee!
And thy mother sweet is nigh thee!
But a Poet evermore!
See, see, the lyre, the lyre,
In a flame of fire,
Upon the little cradle's top
Flaring, flaring, flaring,
Past the eyesight's bearing,
Awake it from its sleep,
And see if it can keep
Its eyes upon the blaze --
Amaze, amaze!
It stares, it stares, it stares,
It dares what no one dares!
It lifts its little hand into the flame
Unharm'd, and on the strings
Paddles a little tune, and sings,
With dumb endeavour sweetly --
Bard art thou completely!
Little child
O' th' western wild,
Bard art thou completely!
Sweetly with dumb endeavour,
A Poet now or never,
Little child
O' th' western wild,
A Poet now or never!

by John Keats.

For , O America, our country!—land
Hid in the west through centuries, till men
Through countless tyrannies could understand
The priceless worth of freedom,—once again
The world was new-created when thy shore
First knew the Pilgrim keels, that one last test
The race might make of manhood, nor give o'er
The strife with evil till it proved its best.
Thy true sons stand as torch-bearers, to hold
A guiding light. Here the last stand is made.
If we fail here, what new Columbus bold,
Steering brave prow through black seas unafraid,
Finds out a fresh land where man may abide
And freedom yet be saved? The whole round earth
Has seen the battle fought. Where shall men hide
From tyranny and wrong, where life have worth,
If here the cause succumb? If greed of gold
Or lust of power or falsehood triumph here,
The race is lost! A globe dispeopled, cold,
Rolled down the void a voiceless, lifeless sphere,
Were not so stamped by all which hope debars
As were this earth, plunging along through space
Conquered by evil, shamed among the stars,
Bearing a base, enslaved, dishonored race!
Here has the battle its last vantage ground;
Here all is won, or here must all be lost,
Here freedom's trumpets one last rally sound;
Here to the breeze its blood-stained flag is tossed.
America, last hope of man and truth,
Thy name must through all coming ages be
The badge unspeakable of shame and ruth,
Or glorious pledge that man through truth is free.
This is thy destiny; the choice is thine
To lead all nations and outshine them all:
But if thou failest, deeper shame is thine,
And none shall spare to mock thee in thy fall.

by Arlo Bates.

OH mother of a mighty race,
Yet lovely in thy youthful grace!
The elder dames, thy haughty peers,
Admire and hate thy blooming years.
With words of shame
And taunts of scorn they join thy name.

For on thy cheeks the glow is spread
That tints thy morning hills with red;
Thy step—the wild deer’s rustling feet
Within thy woods are not more fleet;
Thy hopeful eye
Is bright as thine own sunny sky.

Ay, let them rail—those haughty ones,
While safe thou dwellest with thy sons.
They do not know how loved thou art,
How many a fond and fearless heart
Would rise to throw
Its life between thee and the foe.

They know not, in their hate and pride,
What virtues with thy children bide;
How true, how good, thy graceful maids
Make bright, like flowers, the valley shades;
What generous men
Spring, like thine oaks, by hill and glen;—

What cordial welcomes greet the guest
By thy lone rivers of the West;
How faith is kept, and truth revered,
And man is loved, and God is feared,
In woodland homes,
And where the ocean border foams.

There ’s freedom at thy gates and rest
For Earth’s down-trodden and opprest,
A shelter for the hunted head,
For the starved laborer toil and bread.
Power, at thy bounds,
Stops and calls back his baffled hounds.

Oh, fair young mother! on thy brow
Shall sit a nobler grace than now.
Deep in the brightness of the skies
The thronging years in glory rise,
And, as they fleet,
Drop strength and riches at thy feet.

Thine eye, with every coming hour,
Shall brighten, and thy form shall tower;
And when thy sisters, elder born,
Would brand thy name with words of scorn,
Before thine eye,
Upon their lips the taunt shall die.

by William Cullen Bryant.

The American Rebellion

Before
Twas not while England's sword unsheathed
Put half a world to flight,
Nor while their new-built cities breathed
Secure behind her might;
Not while she poured from Pole to Line
Treasure and ships and men--
These worshippers at Freedoms shrine
They did not quit her then!

Not till their toes were driven forth
By England o'er the main--
Not till the Frenchman from the North
Had gone with shattered Spain;
Not till the clean-swept oceans showed
No hostile flag unrolled,
Did they remember that they owed
To Freedom--and were bold!


After

The snow lies thick on Valley Forge,
The ice on the Delaware,
But the poor dead soldiers of King George
They neither know nor care.

Not though the earliest primrose break
On the sunny side of the lane,
And scuffling rookeries awake
Their England' s spring again.

They will not stir when the drifts are gone,
Or the ice melts out of the bay:
And the men that served with Washington
Lie all as still as they.

They will not stir though the mayflower blows
In the moist dark woods of pine,
And every rock-strewn pasture shows
Mullein and columbine.

Each for his land, in a fair fight,
Encountered strove, and died,
And the kindly earth that knows no spite
Covers them side by side.

She is too busy to think of war;
She has all the world to make gay;
And, behold, the yearly flowers are
Where they were in our fathers' day!

Golden-rod by the pasture-wall
When the columbine is dead,
And sumach leaves that turn, in fall,
Bright as the blood they shed.

by Rudyard Kipling.

I

Where the wings of a sunny Dome expand
I saw a Banner in gladsome air-
Starry, like Berenice's Hair-
Afloat in broadened bravery there;
With undulating long-drawn flow,
As rolled Brazilian billows go
Voluminously o'er the Line.
The Land reposed in peace below;
The children in their glee
Were folded to the exulting heart
Of young Maternity.

II

Later, and it streamed in fight
When tempest mingled with the fray,
And over the spear-point of the shaft
I saw the ambiguous lightning play.
Valor with Valor strove, and died:
Fierce was Despair, and cruel was Pride;
And the lorn Mother speechless stood,
Pale at the fury of her brood.


III

Yet later, and the silk did wind
Her fair cold for;
Little availed the shining shroud,
Though ruddy in hue, to cheer or warm
A watcher looked upon her low, and said-
She sleeps, but sleeps, she is not dead.
But in that sleep contortion showed
The terror of the vision there-
A silent vision unavowed,
Revealing earth's foundation bare,
And Gorgon in her hidden place.
It was a thing of fear to see
So foul a dream upon so fair a face,
And the dreamer lying in that starry shroud.

IV

But from the trance she sudden broke-
The trance, or death into promoted life;
At her feet a shivered yoke,
And in her aspect turned to heaven
No trace of passion or of strife-
A clear calm look. It spake of pain,
But such as purifies from stain-
Sharp pangs that never come again-
And triumph repressed by knowledge meet,
Power delicate, and hope grown wise,
And youth matured for age's seat-
Law on her brow and empire in her eyes.
So she, with graver air and lifted flag;
While the shadow, chased by light,
Fled along the far-brawn height,
And left her on the crag.

by Herman Melville.

England And America

1. ON A RHINE STEAMER.

Republic of the West,
Enlightened, free, sublime,
Unquestionably best
Production of our time.

The telephone is thine,
And thine the Pullman Car,
The caucus, the divine
Intense electric star.

To thee we likewise owe
The venerable names
Of Edgar Allan Poe,
And Mr. Henry James.

In short it's due to thee,
Thou kind of Western star,
That we have come to be
Precisely what we are.

But every now and then,
It cannot be denied,
You breed a kind of men
Who are not dignified,

Or courteous or refined,
Benevolent or wise,
Or gifted with a mind
Beyond the common size,

Or notable for tact,
Agreeable to me,
Or anything, in fact,
That people ought to be.


2. ON A PARISIAN BOULEVARD.

Britannia rules the waves,
As I have heard her say;
She frees whatever slaves
She meets upon her way.

A teeming mother she
Of Parliaments and Laws;
Majestic, mighty, free:
Devoid of common flaws.

For here did Shakspere write
His admirable plays:
For her did Nelson fight
And Wolseley win his bays.

Her sturdy common sense
Is based on solid grounds:
By saving numerous pence
She spends effective pounds.

The Saxon and the Celt
She equitably rules;
Her iron rod is felt
By countless knaves and fools.

In fact, mankind at large,
Black, yellow, white and red,
Is given to her in charge,
And owns her as a head.

But every here and there--
Deny it if you can--
She breeds a vacant stare
Unworthy of a man:

A look of dull surprise;
A nerveless idle hand:
An eye which never tries
To threaten or command:

In short, a kind of man,
If man indeed he be,
As worthy of our ban
As any that we see:

Unspeakably obtuse,
Abominably vain,
Of very little use,
And execrably plain.

by James Kenneth Stephen.

The American Spirit speaks:


"If the Led Striker call it a strike,
Or the papers call it a war,
They know not much what I am like,
Nor what he is, my Avatar."

Through many roads, by me possessed,
He shambles forth in cosmic guise;
He is the Jester and the Jest,
And he the Text himself applies.

The Celt is in his heart and hand,
The Gaul is in his brain and nerve;
Where, cosmopolitanly planned,
He guards the Redskin's dry reserve.

His easy unswept hearth he lends
From Labrador to Guadeloupe;
Till, elbowed out by sloven friends,
He camps, at sufferance, on the stoop.

Calm-eyed he scoffs at sword and crown,
Or panic-blinded stabs and slays:
Blatant he bids the world bow down,
Or cringing begs a crust of praise;

Or, sombre-drunk, at mine and mart,
He dubs his dreary brethren Kings.
His hands are black with blood -- his heart
Leaps, as a babe's, at little things.

But, through the shift of mood and mood,
Mine ancient humour saves him whole --
The cynic devil in his blood
That bids him mock his hurrying soul;

That bids him flout the Law he makes,
That bids him make the Law he flouts,
Till, dazed by many doubts, he wakes
The drumming guns that -- have no doubts;

That checks him foolish -- hot and fond,
That chuckles through his deepest ire,
That gilds the slough of his despond
But dims the goal of his desire;

Inopportune, shrill-accented,
The acrid Asiatic mirth
That leaves him, careless 'mid his dead,
The scandal of the elder earth.

How shall he clear himself, how reach
Your bar or weighed defence prefer?
A brother hedged with alien speech
And lacking all interpreter.

Which knowledge vexes him a space;
But while Reproof around him rings,
He turns a keen untroubled face
Home, to the instant need of things.

Enslaved, illogical, elate,
He greets th' embarrassed Gods, nor fears
To shake the iron hand of Fate
Or match with Destiny for beers.

Lo, imperturbable he rules,
Unkempt, disreputable, vast --
And, in the teeth of all the schools,
I -- I shall save him at the last!

by Rudyard Kipling.

America, A Prophecy

The shadowy Daughter of Urthona stood before red Orc,
When fourteen suns had faintly journey'd o'er his dark abode:
His food she brought in iron baskets, his drink in cups of iron:
Crown'd with a helmet and dark hair the nameless female stood;
A quiver with its burning stores, a bow like that of night,
When pestilence is shot from heaven: no other arms she need!
Invulnerable though naked, save where clouds roll round her loins
Their awful folds in the dark air: silent she stood as night;
For never from her iron tongue could voice or sound arise,
But dumb till that dread day when Orc assay'd his fierce embrace.
'Dark Virgin,' said the hairy youth, 'thy father stern, abhorr'd,
Rivets my tenfold chains while still on high my spirit soars;
Sometimes an Eagle screaming in the sky, sometimes a Lion
Stalking upon the mountains, and sometimes a Whale, I lash
The raging fathomless abyss; anon a Serpent folding
Around the pillars of Urthona, and round thy dark limbs
On the Canadian wilds I fold; feeble my spirit folds,
For chain'd beneath I rend these caverns: when thou bringest food
I howl my joy, and my red eyes seek to behold thy face--
In vain! these clouds roll to and fro, and hide thee from my sight.'

Silent as despairing love, and strong as jealousy,
The hairy shoulders rend the links; free are the wrists of fire;
Round the terrific loins he seiz'd the panting, struggling womb;
It joy'd: she put aside her clouds and smiled her first-born smile,
As when a black cloud shews its lightnings to the silent deep.

Soon as she saw the terrible boy, then burst the virgin cry:

'I know thee, I have found thee, and I will not let thee go:
Thou art the image of God who dwells in darkness of Africa,
And thou art fall'n to give me life in regions of dark death.
On my American plains I feel the struggling afflictions
Endur'd by roots that writhe their arms into the nether deep.
I see a Serpent in Canada who courts me to his love,
In Mexico an Eagle, and a Lion in Peru;
I see a Whale in the south-sea, drinking my soul away.
O what limb-rending pains I feel! thy fire and my frost
Mingle in howling pains, in furrows by thy lightnings rent.
This is eternal death, and this the torment long foretold.'

by William Blake.

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