Friday, September 15, 2017

AMERICA, a poem

PATIENT she is—long-suffering, our Land;
     Wise with the strength of one whose soul in calm
Weighs and considers, and would understand
     Ere it gives way to anger: fearing wrong
Of her own doing more than any planned
     Against her peace by others deemed more strong.

Mother of many children alien born,
     Whom she has gathered into her kind arms,—
Safe-guarding most the weakest, most forlorn,—
     The mother's patience she has learned to know,
Which passes trifles by with smiling scorn—
     The mother's hopefulness, to anger slow.

Yet, oh, beware! nor, over-bold, presume
     Upon a gentleness enlikened with Power!
Her torch still burns, to kindle or consume,
     And 'gainst the time when she must prove her might,
Vast energy is stored in her soul's room—
     Undreamed of strength to battle for the Right!
"America" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Pro Patria (1917) and in the New York Times Magazine (25 February 1917).

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