The Great War

from A Calendar of Verse, an electronic edition

America

For Thee my heart leaps up; stern judgments spring;

And lo, a mighty music shakes my soul!

Before me flash great names that crowd Time's scroll --

Proud deeds that sprang from men's high visioning.

For Liberty! -- life seems a tawdry thing

To grasp and hold, when Duty marks the goal;

What matter if Death strike, -- naught can control

Unconquerable songs that freemen sing.

My Country! Ah, my country! let me be

A ladder-rung, by which Thy feet may climb

To heights of ideality sublime,

Above all nations; yea, the memory

Of sacrificial labors borne by Thee,

Burns like a beacon on the hills of time.