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Dur Country

(Read July 4, 1883)


(New England Quaker poet, 1807-1892; a prominent antislavery advocate)

WE give thy natal day to hope,

O country of our love and prayer!

Thy way is down no fatal slope,
But up to freer sun and air.

Tried as by furnace fires, and yet

By God's grace only stronger made,

In future task before thee set

Thou shalt not lack the old-time aid.

Great, without seeking to be great
By fraud of conquest; rich in gold,
But richer in the large estate

Of virtue which thy children hold.

With peace that comes of purity,
And strength to simple justice due-
So runs our loyal dream of thee;
God of our fathers! make it true.

O land of lands! to thee we give
Our love, our trust, our service free;
For thee thy sons shall nobly live,
And at thy need shall die for thee.


The New Freedom


(President of the United States, born 1856. The following is from his campaign speeches, 1912)


RE we preserving freedom in this land of ours, the hope of all the earth? Have we, inheritors of this continent and of the ideals to which the fathers consecrated it, have we maintained them, realizing them, as each generation must, anew? Are we, in the consciousness that the life of man is pledged to higher levels here than elsewhere, striving still to bear aloft the standards of liberty and hope; or, disillusioned and defeated, are we feeling the disgrace of having had a free field in which to do new things and of not having done them?

The answer must be, I am sure, that we have been in a fair way of failure,-tragic failure. And we stand in danger of utter failure yet, except we fulfil speedily the determination we have reached, to deal with the new and subtle tyrannies according to their deserts. Don't deceive yourselves for a moment as to the power of the great interests which now dominate our development. They are so great that it is almost an open question whether the government of the United States can dominate them or not. Go one step further, make their organized power permanent, and it may be too late to turn back. The roads diverge at the point where we stand.

An Ode in Time of hesitation


(In these noble words the poet voices his pain at the Philippine war, and the wave of "imperialism" which then swept over


WAS it for this our fathers kept the law?

This crown shall crown their struggle and their ruth?

Are we the eagle nation Milton saw

Mewing its mighty youth,

Soon to possess the mountain winds of truth,

And be a swift familiar of the sun

Where aye before God's face his trumpets run?

Or have we but the talons and the maw,
And for the abject likeness of our heart

Shall some less lordly bird be set apart?

Some gross-billed wader where the swamps are fat?
Some gorger in the sun? Some prowler with the bat?

Ah, no!

We have not fallen so.

We are our fathers' sons: let those who lead us know! . .

We charge you, ye who lead us,

Breathe on their chivalry no hint of stain!

Turn not their new-world victories to gain!

One least leaf plucked for chaffer from the bays

Of their dear praise,

One jot of their pure conquest put to hire,

The implacable republic will require;

With clamor, in the glare and gaze of noon,

Or subtly, coming as a thief at night,

But surely, very surely, slow or soon
That insult deep we deeply will requite.
Tempt not our weakness, our cupidity!
For save we let the island men go free,
Those baffled and dislaureled ghosts
Will curse us from the lamentable coasts
Where walk the frustrate dead,

The cup of trembling shall be drained quite,
Eaten the sour bread of astonishment,

With ashes of the heart shall be made white
Our hair, and wailing shall be in the tent;
Then on your guiltier head

Shall our intolerable self-disdain

Wreak suddenly its anger and its pain;

For manifest in that disastrous light

We shall discern the right

And do it, tardily.-O ye who lead,

Take heed!

Blindness we may forgive, but baseness we will smite.


The Price of Liberty


(See pages 228, 332)

HERISH the spirit of our people and keep alive their attention. Do not be too severe upon their errors, but reclaim them by enlightening them. If once they become inattentive to public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, judges and governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions; and

experience declares that man is the only animal which devours his own kind; for I can apply no milder term to the governments of Europe, and to the general prey of the rich on the poor.

To the Goddess of Liberty

(New York Harbor)


(See pages 504, 552)

H! is it bale-fire in thy brazen hand


The traitor-light set on betraying coasts
To lure to doom the mariner? Art thou
Indeed that Freedom, gracious and supreme,
By France once sighted over seas of blood-
A beacon to the ages, and their hope,
A star against the midnight of the race,
A vision, an announcement? Art thou she
For whom our fathers fought at Lexington
And trod the ways of death at Gettysburg?
Thy torch is lit, thy steadfast hand upheld,
Before our ocean-portals. For a sign
Men set thee there to welcome-loving men,
With faith in man. Thou wast upraised to tell,
To simple souls that seek from over-seas
Our rumored liberty, that here no chains
Are on the people, here no kings can stand,
Nor the old tyranny confound mankind,
Sapping with craft the ramparts of the Law

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