O VAST, unwieldy land of ours !
Like some huge Titan-boy thou art
Whose young blood surges through his heart
In a crude strife of powers,
Until some tingling moment when
One cry wrings all true souls, and then
Thou standest in the strength of wrath and tears, —
Thou gatherest all thyself to tower above thy peers!
Thee, new born far beyond the main,
God cradled in a new-found clime
That wistful Europe’s dreams sublime
Might not seem all in vain :
Hope, reawakening at thy birth,
Thrilled the droop’d songsters of the earth
To brief ecstatic joy. Erelong in thee
Shall they behold the pledge of one Humanity ?
The nations, ay, the nations wait
Thy ripening. Shall they lift their eyes
To see thee knit thy thews and rise,
Single, and whole, and great ?
Not sooner for the bugle call,
Not sooner for the sound of all
The cannonades that roar beneath the sun.
Knowledge and Love and Toil shall slowly make thee one.
What song shall hail yon far-off morn ?
Must Hope be sung in sweet, sad wails
By Europe’s rich-voiced nightingales,
Bleeding against a thorn ?
Come, New World lark ! Come, future seer !
In thy strong chanting men shall hear
Love dominant through the triumph hymn of Life,
While long-retreating drums beat the dead march of strife.
William Miller Gamble.