Tuesday, September 13, 2016

HOW LONG? a poem

     'Tis man's perdition to be safe,
     When for the truth he ought to die." 
How long must we blush for the land of our love—
     We, sons of her honor, who fain would defend her?
How long must we wait, our own manhood to prove,
     While that poor protection she has others lend her?

Oh, heroes there were in the days that are gone,
     Who recked not of danger, who asked but of duty;
Men for whose guidance perpetual shone
     The Patriot Vision, in glorified beauty!

What is our life worth, if life be not living
     Up to the best and the highest we know?
What is life's gain but the glad power of giving,
     To the full measure, the debt that we owe?

God of our fathers, now in our need, hearken!
     Perils that shame us are here at our door;
They who should guide us with tame counsels darken;
     God of our fathers, inspire us once more!
"How Long?" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger (? 1917) and The Wall Street Journal (23 March 1917).

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