Friday, September 30, 2016

OUR LAND, a poem

THE gift of an idealist,
She came of vision, and the dream
Of one who saw beyond vast waters gleam
The light of a new world without a name:
     A gift of Life she came—.
She, the renascence from Earth's ancient woe,
With Raphael born and Michel Angelo.

Noiseless, the patient years went by,
And only red-men cared to roam
Her glorious streams, and call her mountains home.
Then came to her, like pilgrims of the Grail
     Whose courage could not fail,
Others, sad exiles, longing to be free—
Seekers of God and human liberty!

A blessèd, blessèd Land! She gave
Ideals, to mankind unknown,
And toiling, taught a wondering world to own
The dignity of toil, despised before:
     She opened a great Door;
Enlarged the human mind, and made men see
That he who shares his freedom is most free.

Oh, strong and beautiful and brave,—
The Titan-Mother of the West,—
Gathering in her arms and to her breast
The hurt, unfriended, weary, and forlorn,
     Outcast, and alien-born!
How should the unfriended poor beyond the seas
Not yearn to her—the new Hesperides?. . .

Full garners were her toil's reward;
But, laboring, alway she dreams.
Mistake her not! Mid clouds her eagle screams,
Emblem of liberty that nothing bars,
     And on her brow are stars—
Stars whose pure radiance is not all of earth,
Enkindled there where Justice had its birth.

Belovèd Land! Apart, she smiled!
But, oh, more glorious to-day,
Life's Larger Summons eager to obey,
Her strength outpoured to succor and befriend
     A World, wide without end,
She waits—how yearningly!—the hour to come
When laurelled Peace shall lead her heroes home!
"Our Land" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Harper's Monthly Magazine (April 1919).

"Unveiling the Statue of Liberty" (1886)
by Edward Moran

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