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  Our Country  

 

Over the waves of the Western sea,
    Led by the hand of Hope she came--
The beautiful Angel of Liberty--
    When the sky was red with the sunset's flame,--
Came to a rocky and surf-beat shore,
    Lone, and wintry, and stern, and wild,
The waves behind her, and wastes before,
    And the Angel of Liberty, pausing, smiled.

"Here, O Sister, shall be our rest!"
    Softly she sang, and the waters shone
While a mellower radiance flushed the west,
    Lingering mountain and vale upon;--
Sweetly the murmurous melody blent
    With flow of rivers and woodland song,
And wandering breezes that singing went,
    Joyously wafted the notes along.

Acadia lifted her mist-wreathed brow,
    Westerly gazing with eager eye,
And lakes that sat in the sunset glow
    Flashed back upon her in glad reply;--
On, with every murmuring stream,
    On, with every wandering breeze,
Floated the strain through the New World's dream,
    Till it died on the far Pacific seas.

Many a season came and went,--
    Many a changeful year sped by,--
Many a forest its proud head bent,--
    Many a valley looked up to the sky;
Patient Labor and bold Emprise,
    Art, Invention, Science, Skill,
Each for each 'neath those northern skies
    Toiled together with earnest will.

Up the mountain, and down the glen,
    And far away to the level West,
Hosts of dauntless, unwearied men
    Onward ever with firm foot pressed;
The blue axe gleamed in the wintry light,
    And forests melted like mist away,
Through virgin soils went the ploughshare bright.
    And harvests brightened the summer day.

Learning gathered around her feet
    Listening crowds of aspiring youth;
Meek Religion with accents sweet
    Guided her vot'ries in ways o' truth;
Countless church-spires pierced the skies,
    Countless temples of Science wooed
To thought's arena of high emprise
    An eager, emulous multitude.

White sails dotted the waters blue,
    Hamlets smiled amid valleys green,
Populous cities sprang and grew
    Where swamp and wilderness erst were seen;
Fleet as the tempest the iron-steed
    Shook the hills with his thunderous tread;
From shore to shore, with the lightning's speed,
    Couriers electric man's errands sped.

Then kindred States that had stood apart
    Stretched to each other fraternal hands,
And, each to all, with a loyal heart,
    Bound themselves with enduring bands;--
Then the Angel of Liberty smiled once more,
    Softly singing--"O Lands, well done!"
And the strains were wafted from shore to shore
    To the far-off climes of the setting sun.

"Here, O Sister, shall be our rest!"
    --Again the beautiful Angel sung--
Long, oh long, shall these climes be blessed,
    Free and fetterless, brave and young,
If only loyal to Him who reigns
    Over all nations the Lord Most-High,
Monarch of Heaven's serene domains,
    Ruler of all things below the sky.

"Bow to His service, O young, bright lands!
    Give Him the bloom of your joyous youth!
Lift to Him alway adoring hands!
    Worship Him ever in love and truth!
So shall ye still, as the glad years rise,
    Ever more stable and glorious be,
Heir of all loftiest destinies,
    HOPE OF HUMANITY! HOME OF THE FREE!"

       - Mrs. J. C. Yule


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