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Poems about America

Poem Recommendations

Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Concord Hymn

If you're looking for a poem about America for kids, try Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Paul Revere's Ride. For a short poem about America, you might like America by Walt Whitman. A long poem about America to try is Philip Freneau's Ode. And for a famous poem about America, there are several good ones to choose from, one of which being Katharine Lee Bates's America the Beautiful. Below is a more complete, categorized list of suggestions.

Poems about America for Kids

  • A Nation's Strength by Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • America the Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates
  • My Country 'Tis of Thee by Samuel Francis Smith
  • The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus
  • The People's Prayer by Anonymous
  • A Song of Our Nation by Anonymous
  • Great, Strong, Free, and True by Amos Russel Wells
  • An American Creed by Everard Jack Appleton
  • Song of Our Land by Annette Wynne
  • When Our Land Was New by Annette Wynne
  • There's No Land Like Our Land by Annette Wynne

Long Poems about America

  • Ode by Philip Freneau
  • American Spirit by Arthur Cleveland Coxe
  • The Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key

Famous Poems about America

  • America the Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates
  • My Country 'Tis of Thee by Samuel Francis Smith
  • The Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key
  • The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus
  • Marine's Hymn by Anonymous

Short Poems about America

  • America by Walt Whitman
  • An American Creed by Everard Jack Appleton
  • The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus
  • A Song of Our Nation by Anonymous
  • Song of Our Land by Annette Wynne
  • When Our Land Was New by Annette Wynne
  • There's No Land Like Our Land by Annette Wynne

Related Poems

  1. America the Beautiful

    View of the Yosemite Valley
    by Thomas Hill
    Lyrics by Katharine Lee Bates, 1893. Music by Samuel A. Ward.

    O beautiful for spacious skies,
    For amber waves of grain,
    For purple mountain majesties
    Above the fruited plain!

    America! America!
    God shed His grace on thee,
    And crown thy good with brotherhood
    From sea to shining sea!

    O beautiful for pilgrim feet
    Whose stern impassion'd stress
    A thoroughfare for freedom beat
    Across the wilderness

    America! America!
    God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
    Confirm thy soul in self-control,
    Thy liberty in law.

    O beautiful for heroes prov'd
    In liberating strife,
    Who more than self their country lov'd,
    And mercy more than life.

    America! America!
    May God thy gold refine
    Till all success be nobleness,
    And ev'ry gain divine.

    O beautiful for patriot dream
    That sees beyond the years
    Thine alabaster cities gleam
    Undimmed by human tears.

    America! America!
    God shed His grace on thee,
    And crown thy good with brotherhood
    From sea to shining sea.

  2. My Country 'Tis of Thee (America)

    Sheet music for
    My Country 'Tis of Thee
    Composed in 1831 by Samuel Francis Smith

    My country, 'tis of thee,
    Sweet land of liberty,
    Of thee I sing;
    Land where my fathers died,
    Land of the pilgrims' pride,
    From ev'ry mountainside
    Let freedom ring!

    My native country, thee,
    Land of the noble free,
    Thy name I love;
    I love thy rocks and rills,
    Thy woods and templed hills;
    My heart with rapture thrills,
    Like that above.

    Let music swell the breeze,
    And ring from all the trees
    Sweet freedom's song;
    Let mortal tongues awake;
    Let all that breathe partake;
    Let rocks their silence break,
    The sound prolong.

    Our fathers' God to Thee,
    Author of liberty,
    To Thee we sing.
    Long may our land be bright,
    With freedom's holy light,
    Protect us by Thy might,
    Great God our King.

    “When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.”

    – Alexis de Tocqueville

  3. Our Country

    by Julia Ward Howe

    On primal rocks she wrote her name;
    Her towers were reared on holy graves;
    The golden seed that bore her came
    Swift-winged with prayer o’er ocean waves.

    The Forest bowed his solemn crest,
    And open flung his sylvan doors;
    Meek Rivers led the appointed guest
    To clasp the wide-embracing shores;

    Till, fold by fold, the broidered land
    To swell her virgin vestments grew,
    While sages, strong in heart and hand,
    Her virtue’s fiery girdle drew.

    O Exile of the wrath of kings!
    O Pilgrim Ark of Liberty!
    The refuge of divinest things,
    Their record must abide in thee!

    First in the glories of thy front
    Let the crown-jewel, Truth, be found;
    Thy right hand fling, with generous wont,
    Love’s happy chain to farthest bound!

    Let Justice, with the faultless scales,
    Hold fast the worship of thy sons;
    Thy Commerce spread her shining sails
    Where no dark tide of rapine runs!

    So link thy ways to those of God,
    So follow firm the heavenly laws,
    That stars may greet thee, warrior-browed,
    And storm-sped angels hail thy cause!

    O Land, the measure of our prayers,
    Hope of the world in grief and wrong,
    Be thine the tribute of the years,
    The gift of Faith, the crown of Song!

  4. The Star Spangled Banner

    Francis Scott Key beholding the American flag still raised after the bombardment of Fort McHenry in
    By Dawn's Early Light by Edward Moran
    Composed in 1814 by Francis Scott Key

    O say can you see by the dawn's early light,
    What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
    Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
    O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
    And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
    Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
    O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

    On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
    Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
    What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
    As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
    Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
    In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
    'Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
    That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
    A home and a country, should leave us no more?
    Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
    No refuge could save the hireling and slave
    From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
    Between their loved home and the war's desolation.
    Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n rescued land
    Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
    Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
    And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave

  5. America

    by Walt Whitman

    Centre of equal daughters, equal sons,
    All, all alike endear’d, grown, ungrown, young or old,
    Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,
    Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love,
    A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother,
    Chair’d in the adamant of Time.

  6. The New Colossus

    Unveiling the Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World
    by Edward Moran, 1886
    Written by Emma Lazarus in 1883 to raise funds for the Statue of Liberty (completed in 1886), the poem was later engraved on the lower pedastal of the statue in 1903. The statue written about by Lazarus would become one of the most famous symbols of freedom in America, especially significant to immigrants just arriving at New York Harbor and beholding this "land of the free" for the first time.

    Full Text:

    Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
    "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
    With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

  7. Country of Freedom

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Country of freedom, be free in thy heart:
    Free from the shackles of prisoning pride,
    Free from the liar's contemptible art,
    Free from allurements that tempt thee aside,
    Free from the crafty and treacherous guide,
    Free from the ravening greed of the mart,
    Free from the snares that in opulence hide,—
    Country of freedom be free in thy heart!

    Country of freedom, find freedom for all:
    Freedom for thinkers' adventurous quest,
    Freedom for greatness to spring from the small,
    Freedom for better to grow to the best,
    Freedom for justice's rigorous test,
    Freedom for progress in hut and in hall,
    Freedom for labor's unwearying zest,—
    Country of freedom, be free for them all!

    Country of freedom, be free for the earth:
    Over the bloody and desperate main,
    Far in the regions of darkness and dearth,
    Challenge the tyrant's unmerciful reign,
    Pierce to the heart of his evil domain,
    Win for thy brothers the lands of their birth,
    Shatter the prison and sever the chain,—
    Country of freedom, be free for the earth!

  8. O Ship of State

    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State!
    Sail on, O UNION, strong and great!
    Humanity with all its fears,
    With all the hopes of future years,
    Is hanging breathless on thy fate!
    We know what Master laid thy keel,
    What Workmen wrought thy ribs of steel,
    Who made each mast, and sail, and rope,
    What anvils rang, what hammers beat,
    In what a forge and what a heat
    Were shaped the anchors of thy hope!
    Fear not each sudden sound and shock,
    ’T is of the wave and not the rock;
    ’T is but the flapping of the sail,
    And not a rent made by the gale!
    In spite of rock and tempest’s roar,
    In spite of false lights on the shore,
    Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea!
    Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee,
    Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
    Our faith triumphant o’er our fears,
    Are all with thee,—are all with thee!

  9. A Nation's Strength

    by Ralph Waldo Emerson

    What makes a nation's pillars high
    And its foundations strong?
    What makes it mighty to defy
    The foes that round it throng?

    It is not gold. Its kingdoms grand
    Go down in battle shock;
    Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,
    Not on abiding rock.

    Is it the sword? Ask the red dust
    Of empires passed away;
    The blood has turned their stones to rust,
    Their glory to decay.

    And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown
    Has seemed to nations sweet;
    But God has struck its luster down
    In ashes at his feet.

    Not gold but only men can make
    A people great and strong;
    Men who for truth and honor's sake
    Stand fast and suffer long.

    Brave men who work while others sleep,
    Who dare while others fly...
    They build a nation's pillars deep
    And lift them to the sky.

  10. What Constitutes a State

    by Sir William Jones

    What constitutes a state?
    Not high-raised battlement or labored mound,
    Thick wall or moated gate;
    Not cities proud with spires and turrets crowned;
    Not bays and broad-armed ports,
    Where, laughing at the storm, rich navies ride;
    Not starred and spangled courts,
    Where low-browed baseness wafts perfume to pride.

    No:—men, high-minded men,
    With powers as far above dull brutes endued
    In forest, brake, or den,
    As beasts excel cold rocks and brambles rude,—
    Men who their duties know,
    But know their rights, and, knowing, dare maintain,
    Prevent the long-aimed blow,
    And crush the tyrant while they rend the chain:
    These constitute a state;
    And sovereign Law, that state's collected will,
    O'er thrones and globes elate,
    Sits empress, crowning good, repressing ill.

  11. American Spirit

    by Arthur Cleveland Coxe

    Oh, who has not heard of the Northmen of yore,
    How flew, like the sea-bird, their sails from the shore;
    How, westward, they stayed not till, breasting the brine,
    They hailed Narragansett, the land of the vine!

    Then the war-songs of Rollo, his pennon and glaive,
    Were heard as they danced by the moon-lighted wave,
    And their golden-haired wives bore them sons of the soil,
    While raged with the redskins their feud and turmoil.

    And who has not seen, 'mid the summer's gay crowd,
    That old pillared tower of their fortalice proud,
    How it stands solid proof of the sea chieftains' reign
    Ere came with Columbus those galleys of Spain!

    'Twas a claim for their kindred: an earnest of sway,
    By the stout-hearted Cabot made good in its day;
    Of the Cross of St. George, on the Chesapeake's tide,
    Where lovely Virginia arose like a bride.

    Came the Pilgrims with Winthrop; and, saint of the West,
    Came Robert of Jamestown, the brave and the blest;
    Came Smith, the bold rover, and Rolfe—with his ring,
    To wed sweet Matoaka, child of a king.

    Undaunted they came, every peril to dare,
    Of tribes fiercer far than the wolf in his lair;
    Of the wild irksome woods, where in ambush they lay;
    Of their terror by night and their arrow by day.

    And so where our capes cleave the ice of the poles,
    Where groves of the orange scent sea-coast and shoals,
    Where the troward Atlantic uplifts its last crest,
    Where the sun, when he sets, seeks the East from the West;

    The clime that from ocean to ocean expands,
    The fields to the snow-drifts that stretch from the sands,
    The wilds they have conquered of mountain and plain,
    Those Pilgrims have made them fair Freedom's domain.

    And the bread of dependence if proudly they spurned,
    'Twas the soul of their fathers that kindled and burned,
    'Twas the blood of the Saxon within them that ran;
    They held—to be free is the birthright of man.

    So oft the old lion, majestic of mane,
    Sees cubs of his cave breaking loose from his reign;
    Unmeet to be his if they braved not his eye,
    He gave them the spirit his own to defy.

  12. To My Country

    by Marguerite Wilkinson

    Beams from your forest built my little home,
    And stones from your deep quarries flagged my hearth;
    Your streams have rippled swiftly in my blood,
    Your fertile acres made my flesh for me,
    And your clean-blowing winds have been my breath.
    Your prophets saw the visions of my youth,
    The dreams you gave have been my dearest dreams,
    And you have been the mother of my soul.

    Therefore, my country, take again at need
    Your excellent gifts, home, hearth, and flesh and blood,
    Young dreams and all the good I am or have,
    That all your later children may have peace
    In little homes built of your wood and stone
    And warmed and lighted by the love of man!

  13. Stanzas on Freedom

    by James Russell Lowell

    Men! whose boast it is that ye
    Come of fathers brave and free,
    If there breathe on earth a slave,
    Are ye truly free and brave?
    If ye do not feel the chain,
    When it works a brother's pain,
    Are ye not base slaves indeed,
    Slaves unworthy to be freed?

    Women! who shall one day bear
    Sons to breathe New England air,
    If ye hear, without a blush,
    Deeds to make the roused blood rush
    Like red lava through your veins,
    For your sisters now in chains,—
    Answer! are ye fit to be
    Mothers of the brave and free?

    Is true Freedom but to break
    Fetters for our own dear sake,
    And, with leathern hearts, forget
    That we owe mankind a debt?
    No! true freedom is to share
    All the chains our brothers wear,
    And, with heart and hand, to be
    Earnest to make others free!

    They are slaves who fear to speak
    For the fallen and the weak;
    They are slaves who will not choose
    Hatred, scoffing, and abuse,
    Rather than in silence shrink
    They are slaves who dare not be
    In the right with two or three.

  14. On Being Brought from Africa to America

    by Phillis Wheatley

    'Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land,
    Taught my benighted soul to understand
    That there's a God, that there's a Saviour too:
    Once I redemption neither sought nor knew.
    Some view our sable race with scornful eye,
    "Their colour is a diabolic die."
    Remember, Christians, Negros, black as Cain,
    May be refin'd, and join th' angelic train.

  15. On the Freedom of the Press

    by Ben Franklin

    While free from Force the Press remains,
    Virtue and Freedom chear our Plains,
    And Learning Largesses bestows,
    And keeps unlicens'd open House.
    We to the Nation's publick Mart
    Our Works of Wit, and Schemes of Art,
    And philosophic Goods, this Way,
    Like Water carriage, cheap convey.
    This Tree which Knowledge so affords,
    Inquisitors with flaming swords
    From Lay-Approach with Zeal defend,
    Lest their own Paradise should end.

    The Press from her fecundous Womb
    Brought forth the Arts of Greece and Rome;
    Her offspring, skill'd in Logic War,
    Truth's Banner wav'd in open Air;
    The Monster Superstition fled,
    And hid in Shades in Gorgon Head;
    And awless Pow'r, the long kept Field,
    By Reason quell'd, was forc'd to yield.

    This Nurse of Arts, and Freedom's Fence,
    To chain, is Treason against Sense:
    And Liberty, thy thousand Tongues
    None silence who design no Wrongs;
    For those who use the Gag's Restraint,
    First Rob, before they stop Complaint.

  16. A Song of Our Nation

    by Anonymous

    Crowding the eastern gates,
    Crowding the western gates,
    To these United States
    From all the earth,
    Here may they ever find
    Welcome and solace kind,
    Freedom of heart and mind,
    Fortune and worth.

    Here may we be as one,
    Here may the right be done,
    Here let our purpose run
    True evermore;
    Here in fair brotherhood
    Seeking the common good,
    Stand as our fathers stood,
    Bear as they bore.

    God of our liberty,
    Keep us securely free,
    Grant us on land and sea
    Blessings of peace;
    But for the stricken right
    May we be firm to fight.
    And may our honest might
    Ever increase.

  17. A Hymn of Brotherhood

    by Anonymous

    People of peoples, from far o'er the ocean
    Gathered in pilgrimage hopeful and free,
    Gladly we yield thee a grateful devotion;
    Son of all climes, we are loyal to thee.

    Deep in the ages thy freedom is rooted.
    Liberty groping through desperate years;
    Now in America flowered and fruited.
    Still it is fed with our blood and our tears.

    Not in the languor of ease and contentment,
    Not in the pride of a blinded conceit,
    Daring thy foes with a manly resentment,
    We shall not falter nor fear a defeat.

    Land of all peoples, to all is thy duty;
    Heir of the ages, how great is thy debt!
    Laden with power and riches and beauty,
    Those who bestowed it thou shalt not forget.

    Now in the power the nations have given,
    Country, our country, be brotherly brave.
    Strive till the last cursed chain has been riven;
    Thou who art ransomed, be eager to save!

  18. The People's Prayer

    by Anonymous

    God bless our dear United States,
    Preserve the land from evil fates,
    Lift high her banner fair and free,
    And guard her bounds from sea to sea.

    From foe without and foe within,
    From open shame and hidden sin,
    From boastful pride and greedy store.
    God keep our nation evermore.

    Forever may her friendly hands
    Receive the poor of other lands
    In kindliness of sisterhood,
    And fill their arms with ample good.

    Assailed by battle hosts of wrong,
    God help our country to be strong.
    Assailed by falsehood's crafty crew,
    God help our country to be true.

    God hold the nation's aim sincere,
    God save her heart from coward fear,
    God prosper her in true success,
    And crown her head with worthiness.

    God bless our dear United States,
    Preserve the land from evil fates,
    Lift high her banner fair and tree,
    And ever guard her liberty.

  19. Country, My Country

    by Amos Russel Wells. Written during World War I.

    Fair with the beauty of heaven on earth,
    Noble with honor's immutable worth,—
    Other lands also are noble and fair,
    Slaughter and ruin are ravaging there;
    Country, my country, give ear to the call,
    Guarding the beauty and honor of all.

    Rich with the store of a bountiful soil,
    Laden with fruit of invincible toil,—
    Wealth of the world is in peril to day,
    Riches of ages are lost in the fray;
    Country, my country, obeying the call,
    Lavish your wealth in the service of all.

    Strong with a young and exhilarant power,
    Brave in the dark of a desperate hour,—
    Other lands also heroic and strong
    Pour out their blood in the battle with wrong;
    Country, my country, where myriads fall,
    Venture your life for the lives of them all.

    Free with a liberty blessedly bold
    Born of the struggles of centuries old,—
    Justice and liberty, law and the right,
    All are at stake in the resolute fight;
    Country, my country, let nothing appall,
    Dare to be free for the freedom of all.

  20. Great, Strong, Free, and True

    by Amos Russel Wells. Written during World War I.

    Great, my country, great in gold,
    Great in riches manifold,
    Great in store of vital grain,
    Great in trade's benign domain,
    Ever great in kindly deed,
    All your wealth for all that need.

    Strong, my country, armed in might,
    Bold in battle for the right,
    Ready for the testing hour,
    Knowing not to faint or cower,
    And your valor all possessed
    For the weaker and oppressed.

    Free, my country, nobly free,
    Gracious land of liberty,
    Free in word and free in thought,
    Freedom's fabric freely wrought,
    Free to break the chains that bind
    Wretched millions of mankind.

    True, my country, grandly true
    To the task that calls for you,
    True in peril's dire despite
    To the challenge of the right,
    To the far ideal plan,
    Ever true to God and man.

  21. An American Creed

    by Everard Jack Appleton. Written during World War I.

    Straight thinking,
    Straight talking,
    Straight doing,
    And a firm belief in the might of right.

    Patience linked with patriotism,
    Justice added to kindliness,
    Uncompromising devotion to this country,
    And active, not passive, Americanism.

    To talk less, to mean more,
    To complain less, to accomplish more,
    And to so live that every one of us is ready to look
    Eternity in the face at any moment, and be unafraid!

  22. Ode

    by Philip Freneau

    God save the Rights of Man!
    Give us a heart to scan
    Blessings so dear:
    Let them be spread around
    Wherever man is found,
    And with the welcome sound
    Ravish his ear.

    Let us with France agree,
    And bid the world be free,
    While tyrants fall!
    Let the rude savage host
    Of their vast numbers boast—
    Freedom's almight trust
    Laughs at them all!

    Though hosts of slaves conspire
    To quench fair Gallia's fire,
    Still shall they fail:
    Though traitors round her rise,
    Leagu'd with her enemies,
    To war each patriot flies,
    And will prevail.

    No more is valor's flame
    Devoted to a name,
    Taught to adore—
    Soldiers of Liberty
    Disdain to bow the knee,
    But ateach Equality
    To every shore.

    The world at last will join
    To aid thy grand design,
    Dear Liberty!
    To Russia's frozen lands
    The generous flame expands:
    On Afric's burning sands
    Shall man be free!

    In this our western world
    Be Freedom's flag unfurl'd
    Through all its shores!
    May no destructive blast
    Our heaven of joy o'ercast,
    May Freedom's fabric last
    While time endures.

    If e'er her cause require!—
    Should tyrants e'er aspire
    To aim their stroke,
    May no proud despot daunt—
    Should he his standard plant,
    Freedom will never want
    Her hearts of oak!

  23. My Country's Wardrobe

    by Emily Dickinson

    My country need not change her gown,
    Her triple suit as sweet
    As when 't was cut at Lexington,
    And first pronounced "a fit."

    Great Britain disapproves "the stars;"
    Disparagement discreet, —
    There 's something in their attitude
    That taunts her bayonet.

  24. In The Day of Battle

    by Bliss Carman

    In the day of battle,
    In the night of dread,
    Let one hymn be lifted,
    Let one prayer be said.

    Not for pride of conquest,
    Not for vengeance wrought,
    Nor for peace and safety
    With dishonour bought!

    Praise for faith in freedom,
    Our fighting fathers' stay,
    Born of dreams and daring,
    Bred above dismay.

    Prayer for cloudless vision,
    And the valiant hand,
    That the right may triumph
    To the last demand.

  25. The Star of Liberty

    by Lucretia Maria Davidson

    There shone a gem on England's crown,
    Bright as yon star;
    Oppression marked it with a frown,
    He sent his darkest spirit down,
    To quench the light that round it shone,
    Blazing afar.
    But Independence met the foe,
    And laid the swift-winged demon low.

    A second messenger was sent,
    Dark as the night;
    On his dire errand swift he went,
    But Valour's bow was truly bent,
    Justice her keenest arrow lent,
    And sped its flight;
    Then fell the impious wretch, and Death
    Approached, to take his withering breath.

    Valour then took, with hasty hand,
    The gem of light;
    He flew to seek some other land,
    He flew to'scape oppression's hand,
    He knew there was some other strand,
    More bright;
    And as he swept the fields of air,
    He found a country, rich and fair.

    Upon its breast the star he placed,
    The star of liberty;
    Bright, and more bright the meteor blazed,
    The lesser planets stood amazed,
    Astonished mortals, wondering, gazed,
    Looking on fearfully.
    That star shines brightly to this day,
    On thy calm breast, America!

  26. The Tasseled Corn

    by Edna Dean Proctor

    The rose may bloom for England,
    The lily for France unfold;
    Ireland may honor the shamrock
    Scotland her thistle bold;
    But the shield of the great republic,
    The glory of the West,
    Shall bear a stalk of the tasseled corn,
    Of all our wealth the best.

  27. The Plainsmen

    by Charles Badger Clark

    Men of the older, gentler soil,
    Loving the things that their fathers wrought 
    Worn old fields of their fathers' toil,
    Scarred old hills where their fathers fought 
    Loving their land for each ancient trace,
    Like a mother dear for her wrinkled face,
    Such as they never can understand
    The way we have loved you, young, young land!

    Born of a free, world-wandering race,
    Little we yearned o'er an oft-turned sod.
    What did we care for the fathers' place,
    Having ours fresh from the hand of God?
    Who feared the strangeness or wiles of you
    When from the unreckoned miles of you,
    Thrilling the wind with a sweet command,
    Youth unto youth called, young, young land?

    North, where the hurrying seasons changed
    Over great gray plains where the trails lay long,
    Free as the sweeping Chinook we ranged,
    Setting our days to a saddle song.
    Through the icy challenge you flung to us,
    Through your shy Spring kisses that clung to us,
    Following far as the rainbow spanned,
    Fiercely we wooed you, young, young land!

    South, where the sullen black mountains guard
    Limitless, shimmering lands of the sun,
    Over blinding trails where the hoofs rang hard,
    Laughing or cursing, we rode and won.
    Drunk with the virgin white fire of you,
    Hotter than thirst was desire of you;
    Straight in our faces you burned your brand,
    Marking your chosen ones, young, young land.

    When did we long for the sheltered gloom
    Of the older game with its cautious odds?
    Gloried we always in sun and room,
    Spending our strength like the younger gods.
    By the wild sweet ardor that ran in us,
    By the pain that tested the man in us,
    By the shadowy springs and the glaring sand,
    You were our true-love, young, young land.

    When the last free trail is a prim, fenced lane
    And our graves grow weeds through forgetful Mays,
    Richer and statelier then you'll reign,
    Mother of men whom the world will praise.
    And your sons will love you and sigh for you,
    Labor and battle and die for you,
    But never the fondest will understand
    The way we have loved you, young, young land.

  28. Sa-cá-ga-we-a

    Song of the Eagle that Mates with the Storm!
    Song of the Eagle that Mates with the Storm!
    by N. C. Wyeth
    by Edna Dean Proctor

    Sho-shó-ne Sa-cá-ga-we-a—captive and wife was she
    On the grassy plains of Dakota in the land of the Minnetaree;
    But she heard the west wind calling, and longed to follow the sun
    Back to the shining mountains and the glens where her life begun.
    So, when the valiant Captains, fain for the Asian sea,
    Stayed their marvellous journey in the land of the Minnetaree
    (The Red Men wondering, wary—Omaha, Mandan, Sioux—
    Friendly now, now hostile, as they toiled the wilderness through),
    Glad she turned from the grassy plains and led their way to the West,
    Her course as true as the swan's that flew north to its reedy nest;
    Her eye as keen as the eagle's when the young lambs feed below;
    Her ear alert as the stag's at morn guarding the fawn and doe.
    Straight was she as a hillside fir, lithe as the willow-tree,
    And her foot as fleet as the antelope's when the hunter rides the lea;
    In broidered tunic and moccasins, with braided raven hair,
    And closely belted buffalo robe with her baby nestling there—
    Girl of but sixteen summers, the homing bird of the quest,
    Free of the tongues of the mountains, deep on her heart imprest,—
    Sho-shó-ne Sa-ca-ga-we-a led the way to the West!—
    To Missouri's broad savannas dark with bison and deer,
    While the grizzly roamed the savage shore and cougar and wolf prowled near;
    To the cataract's leap, and the meadows with lily and rose abloom;
    The sunless trails of the forest, and the can yon's hush and gloom;
    By the veins of gold and silver, and the mountains vast and grim—
    Their snowy summits lost in clouds on the wide horizon's brim;
    Through sombre pass, by soaring peak, till the Asian wind blew free,
    And lo! the roar of the Oregon and the splendor of the Sea!

    Some day, in the lordly upland where the snow-fed streams divide—
    Afoam for the far Atlantic, afoam for Pacific's tide—
    There, by the valiant Captains whose glory will never dim
    While the sun goes down to the Asian sea and the stars in ether swim,
    She will stand in bronze as richly brown as the hue of her girlish cheek,
    With broidered robe and braided hair and lips just curved to speak;
    And the mountain winds will murmur as they linger along the crest,
    "Sho-shó-ne Sa-cá-ga-we-a, who led the way to the West!"

  29. Indian Children

    by Annette Wynne

    Where we walk to school each day
    Indian children used to play—
    All about our native land,
    Where the shops and houses stand.

    And the trees were very tall,
    And there were no streets at all,
    Not a church, not a steeple—
    Only woods and Indian people.

    Only wigwams on the ground,
    And at night bears prowling round—
    What a different place to-day
    Where we live and work and play!

  30. Liberty Bell

    by J. P. Dunn

    Ring on, ring on sweet Liberty Bell
    For peace on earth, good will to men.
    A story true, ye kindly tell,
    From Bunker Hill down to Argonne.

    Ring on, ring on sweet Liberty Bell
    In every clime where freedom dwells
    Your sweetest strains and imparting knells
    On New Year's eve was heard again.

    Ring on, ring on sweet Liberty Bell
    Peal after peal, your music swell
    Beneath the blue the white and red
    That waves so proudly today o'er the living
    And so sacredly o'er the dead.

  31. The Liberty Bell

    by E. S. Brooks


    Squarely prim and stoutly built,
    Free from glitter and from gilt,
    Plain,—from lintel up to roof-tree and to belfry bare and brown—

    Stands the Hall that hot July,—
    While the folk throng anxious by,—
    Where the Continental Congress meets withinthe Quaker town.

    Hark! a stir, a sudden shout,
    And a boy comes rushing out,
    Signaling to where his grandsire in the belfry, waiting, stands;—

    “Ring!” he cries; “the deed is done!
    Ring! they’ve signed, and freedom’s won!”
    And the ringer grasps the bell-rope with his strong and sturdy hands;

    While the bell, with joyous note
    Clanging from its brazen throat,
    Rings the tidings, all-exultant,—peals the news to shore and sea:

    “Man is man—a slave no longer;
    Truth and Right than Might are stronger,
    Praise to God! We’re free; we’re free!”

  32. Song of Our Land

    by Annette Wynne

    Mountainland, fountainland, shoreland and sea,
    God's land thou art surely—His gift to the free;
    How blest are thy children wherever they roam
    To claim thee their country, their hope, and their home.

    I love thee, my country, O great be thy fame;
    I love thy dear banner—I honor thy name;
    I'll live for thee, die for thee, serve no land but thee—
    My country forever, great land of the free!

  33. The Old Mill by the River

    by Isaac McLellan

    Here in the years when life was bright
    With dewy mornings and sunset light,
    In the pleasant season of leafy June,
    In each idle, holiday afternoon
    I lov'd to wander with willow wand—
    I lov'd on the river border to stand
    And take the trout or the yellow bream
    That leap'd, that glanc'd athwart the stream.

    With broken window, with hingeless door,
    Thro' which the slanting sunbeams pour;
    With leaning gable, and settling wall,
    O'er which the draperied ivies fall;
    With rafter moldy, worm-eaten beam,
    O'er which the silken cobwebs stream,
    Fast by the river-banks serene
    The old forsaken mill is seen.
    Its roof shows many a chasm and rent,
    Its creaking vane is crack'd and bent,
    In and out the swallows fly
    Under the eaves their dwellings lie.
    The leather-wing'd bats, when day is dim,
    Thro' vacant rooms and granaries skim;
    Its shingles that ages ago were new,
    Splendid with painters' lavish hue,
    Are faded now and swing in the gale,
    Scarce held by the loosen'd rusty nail;
    The clapboards rattle and clank amain
    In gusts of the snow-fall and the rain,
    For the dust of many a lapsing year
    Hath writ its wasteful chronicle here.
    The dam o'er which the waters pour
    Is settling and crumbling by the shore;
    The slippery logs and mossy stone
    Yield to the current one by one;
    And swift thro' many a rent abyss
    The spouting rivulets foam and hiss,
    And soon must the crazy fabric decay,
    And the torrent sweep uncheck'd away.
    The water-wheel so black and vast,
    With beam like a battle-vessel's mast
    That once would churn with mighty sweep
    The boiling waters so dark and deep,
    Lies now a wreck in humbled pride,
    Trembling with each assault of the tide.
    Under the crumbling, blacken'd wheel
    The crystal bubbles circle and reel;
    Over and under the eddies boil
    Round molder'd timber and rotting post;
    In many a circling ripple they coil
    In sudden plunge, in wild turmoil,
    Now seen an instant, then quickly lost.

  34. When Our Land Was New

    by Annette Wynne

    When our land was new
    And all untried
    It was you
    Who proved the guide—
    Proved her guide to lead her so
    She could live and grow.

    When our land was new
    And weak and small,
    It was you
    Who taught her all—
    For your vision clear as sun,
    Thank you, Washington!

  35. Song of the American Eagle

    by Anonymous

    I build my nest on the mountain's crest,
    Where the wild winds rock my eaglets to rest,
    Where the lightnings flash, and the thunders crash,
    And the roaring torrents foam and dash;
    For my spirit free henceforth shall be
    A type of the sons of Liberty.

    Aloft I fly from my aërie high,
    Through the vaulted dome of the azure sky;
    On a sunbeam bright take my airy flight,
    And float in a flood of liquid light;
    For I love to play in the noontide ray,
    And bask in a blaze from the throne of day.

    Away I spring with a tireless wing,
    On a feathery cloud I poise and swing;
    I dart down the steep where the lightnings leap,
    And the clear blue canopy swiftly sweep;
    For, dear to me is the revelry
    Of a free and fearless Liberty.

    I love the land where the mountains stand,
    Like the watch-towers high of a Patriot band;
    For I may not bide in my glory and pride,
    Though the land be never so fair and wide,
    Where Luxury reigns o'er voluptuous plains,
    And fetters the free-born soul in chains.

    Then give to me in my flights to see
    The land of the pilgrims ever free!
    And I never will rove from the haunts I love
    But watch, from my sentinel-track above,
    Your banner free, o'er land and sea,
    And exult in your glorious Liberty.

    O, guard ye well the land where I dwell,
    Lest to future times the tale I tell,
    When slow expires in smoldering fires
    The goodly heritage of your sires,
    How Freedom's light rose clear and bright
    O'er fair Columbia's beacon-hight,
    Till ye quenched the flame in a starless night.

    Then will I tear from your pennon fair
    The stars ye have set in triumph there;
    My olive-branch on the blast I'll launch,
    The fluttering stripes from the flagstaff wrench,
    And away I'll flee; for I scorn to see
    A craven race in the land of the free!

    For our country extending from sea unto sea;
    The land that is known as the "Land of the Free" —
    Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

    – Anonymous
    Giving Thanks
  36. There's No Land Like Our Land

    by Annette Wynne

    There's no land like our land
    Underneath the sky,
    There's no flag like our flag—
    Keep it clean and high;
    We must serve no other land,
    Serve but ours with heart and hand,
    Flag and land we pledge to you
    Loyal service all life through.

  37. Marine's Hymn

    by Anonymous

    From the Halls of Montezuma
    To the shores of Tripoli;
    We fight our country's battles
    In the air, on land, and sea;
    First to fight for right and freedom
    And to keep our honor clean;
    We are proud to claim the title
    Of United States Marine.

    Our flag's unfurled to every breeze
    From dawn to setting sun;
    We have fought in ev'ry clime and place
    Where we could take a gun;
    In the snow of far-off Northern lands
    And in sunny tropic scenes;
    You will find us always on the job
    The United States Marines.

    Here's health to you and to our Corps
    Which we are proud to serve;
    In many a strife we've fought for life
    And never lost our nerve;
    If the Army and the Navy
    Ever look on Heaven's scenes;
    They will find the streets are guarded
    By United States Marines.

  38. The Louisiana Purchase

    by Douglas Malloch

    Like men who play at chess, great minds there are
    That play with nations—by a move or chance
    They make an epoch in the world's advance,
    They seal sweet peace or loosen bloody war.

    Yet they who play at chess and play at strife
    Know not the unrevealed, the ultimate.
    How much of human life appears as fate;
    How much of fate seems human-ordered life.

    The little things men oft esteem the most,
    And scorn the greater, vital things they do;
    How great is Austerlitz till Waterloo;
    How small are titles on an exile coast.

    The one-time bauble of a foreign throne—
    A throne unconscious of fore-doomed defeat—
    Arises now, its destiny complete,
    A greater empire than Napoleon's own.

  39. The Lumberjack

    by Douglas Malloch

    An untamed creature of the forest wilds,
    He lives to that wild place a soul akin—
    A man whose days are often steeped in sin,
    And yet whose heart is tender as a child's.

    His strength is like the strength of mighty pines,
    His outward form a bark of many scars;
    His head he carries proudly in the stars,
    The while his feet are meshed in tangled vines.

    Calamities throw viselike tendrils out
    To seize him in their hindering embrace;
    The thorns of wrong whip sharply in his face
    And poisoned things encompass him about.

    He braves disease, the storm, the falling tree,
    The mad, quick water that would hold and drown;
    But all earth's terrors cannot bear him down
    Or make this man of dangers bend the knee.

    He breathes the air the sturdy maple breathes,
    He walks the soil the selfsame maple feeds;
    To forest sources looks he for his needs—
    Oh, where are trees and men like unto these?

  40. The Pony Express

    Arthur Chapman

    The eddies swirl in the treacherous ford,
    And the clouds gather dark ahead.
    And over the plain, where the sunlight poured,
    Scarce a gleam does the pale moon shed.

    The pony drinks, but with gasp and sob,
    And wan is the man at its side;
    The way has been long, past butte and knob,
    And still he must ride and ride.

    Now the cinch is drawn and the plunge is made,
    And the bank of the stream is gained;
    Eyes study the darkness, unafraid,
    And ne’er is the good horse reined.

    And the hoof-beats die on the prairie vast,
    To the lone wolf’s answering wail—
    Thus the ghost of the Pony Express goes past
    On the grass-grown Overland Trail.

  41. The Prairie-Schooner

    Carl Holliday

    All day the creeping caravan
    Wound on its serpent-trailing way;
    A thousand miles of wind-swept tan,
    A thousand miles of cloudless gray.

    Beneath the quivering summer-heat
    The prairie-schooner creaked afar;
    Some day, some time, the trail would meet
    The Setting Sun, the Golden Bar.

    The course is done; the servant old
    Long stood in shivering rags, and gazed
    Upon the mansions built of gold;
    All wondering, by their splendor dazed.

    The course is done; yet on and on
    Beyond Time's wavering shadow-line
    The prairie-schooner long has gone,
    Forsaken, lost, with ne'er a shrine.

  42. The Cabin in the Clearing

    by Benjamin S. Parker

    Backward gazing through the shadows.
    As the evening fades away,
    I perceive the little footprints,
    Where the morning sunlight lay,
    Warm and mellow, on the pathway
    Leading to the open door
    Of the cabin in the clearing,
    Where my soul reclines once more.

    Oh! that cabin in the clearing,
    Where my Mary came, a bride,
    Where our children grew to love us,
    Where our little Robbie died:
    Still in memory blooms the redbud
    By the doorway, and the breeze
    Tingles with the spicewood's odor
    And the catbird's melodies.

    And I mind the floor of puncheons,
    Rudely laid on joist and sill,
    And the fireplace shaped and beaten
    From the red clay on the hill;
    With the chimney standing outside,
    Like a blind man asking alms,
    Wrought of sticks and clay and fashioned
    By the builder's ready palms.

    Half way up the flue, wide-throated,
    Does the hickory crosstree rest,
    Whence depend the pot and kettle,
    Where the great fire blazes best.
    Oh! I smell the savory venison,
    Hear the hominy simmer low,
    As my Mary stirs the embers
    That were ashes long ago.

    Once again I hurry homeward,
    When the day of toil is o'er,
    And my heart leaps up in gladness,
    For in this wide open door,
    Mary in her homespun habit,
    With her hand above her eyes,
    Gazes all around the clearing
    Till my coming form she spies.

    'Tis for her I am a hunter,
    And the fleet deer's sudden bound
    Tells how swift and sure my aim is,
    Ere his life-tide dyes the ground;
    'Tis for her I am an angler,
    And the spotted beauties woo
    From their paradise of waters,
    Ere the sun has dried the dew.

    And the wild rose and the bluebell
    That I pluck with gentle care,
    Are for her who rules the cabin-
    Mary, of the raven hair;
    'Tis for her I smite the forest
    Day by day with myriad blows;
    'Tis for her the cornstalk tassels,
    And the golden pumpkin grows.

    Often, winding through the woodlands,
    Neighbors come with song and shout,
    Eager for a day of pleasure
    Where the latch-string hangeth out.
    And with ready hands assist us
    At our labors, while the zest
    Of our conversation heightens
    Till the sun goes down the west.

    Aye, and once again I see them,
    On a sad, sweet summer day
    When the robin on the maple
    Seems to sing his soul away;
    And the clearing swims around me
    In a tangled dream of woe,
    And my weeping Mary whispers,
    "Tell me why he had to go?"

    "Why he had to go?" O Heaven!
    "Did God want our little boy?"
    'Tis the old, unanswered question,
    Cankering in the heart of joy,
    And subduing many a pleasure,
    As I see those friends of old,
    Hiding tenderly our darling
    In the forest's virgin mold.

    Now, that cabin in the clearing
    Is but dust, blown here and there,
    Where the palpitating engines
    Breathe their darkness on the air;
    Where my forests towered in beauty,
    Now a smoky village stands,
    And the rows of factories cluster
    Grimly on my fertile lands.

    Scarcely room enough is left me
    For this double, clustering rose,
    Where the baby and its mother
    Side by side in earth repose;
    Soon the last fond trace will vanish
    Which proclaims that they have been;
    But no matter—heaven's gateway
    Opened wide to let them in.

    Yet with Mary oft I linger,
    Where the well-sweep slanteth low,
    Planning over all our labors,
    When to plant and what to sow,
    How to ride to Sunday meeting—
    Fixing on a proper day
    For the rolling and the quilting,
    And the young folks' evening play.

    "Eighty, and a memory only!"
    Is that what you speak of me?
    Well, the memory is a blessing,
    And its pictures fair to see;
    While the fairest and the sweetest
    Lingers with me evermore—
    'Tis the cabin in the clearing,
    And my Mary at the door.

  43. Daniel Boone

    by Lord Byron

    Of all men, saving Sylla the man-slayer,
    Who passes for in life and death most lucky,
    Of the great names which in our faces stare,
    The General Boone, backwoodsman of Kentucky,
    Was happiest amongst mortals anywhere;
    For, killing nothing but a bear or buck, he
    Enjoyed the lonely, vigorous, harmless days
    Of his old age in wilds of deepest maze.

    Crime came not near him, she is not the child
    Of solitude; health shrank not from him, for
    Her home is in the rarely trodden wild,
    Where if men seek her not, and death be more
    Their choice than life, forgive them, as beguiled
    By habit to what their own hearts abhor,
    In cities caged. The present case in point I
    Cite is, that Boone lived hunting up to ninety;

    And, what’s still stranger, left behind a name
    For which men vainly decimate the throng,
    Not only famous, but of that good fame,
    Without which glory’s but a tavern song—
    Simple, serene, the antipodes of shame,
    Which hate nor envy could e’er tinge with wrong;
    An active hermit, even in age the child
    Of nature, or the Man of Ross run wild.

    ’Tis true he shrank from men, even of his nation;
    When they built up unto his darling trees,
    He moved some hundred miles off, for a station
    Where there were fewer houses and more ease;
    The inconvenience of civilization
    Is that you neither can be pleased nor please;
    But where he met the individual man,
    He showed himself as kind as mortal can.

  44. Virginia Dare

    by Virginia F. Townsend

    Amid the hum of summer bees,
    And wind's soft laughter in the trees,
    And distant murmur of the seas,

    Oh, English child, thy blue eyes woke
    In that lone Isle of Roanoke,
    Round which white blooms of surges broke.

    And birds sang through the golden air,
    Green vines hung out their banners fair,
    To welcome thee, Virginia Dare.

    Oh, sweet babe on thy mother's knees,
    While round thee flashed the birds and bees,
    Why looked her sad eyes to the seas?

    Ah, never on that far blue line,
    Her hungry gaze would catch the sign—
    Would see the sails like white mists shine.

    But when she marked the glimmering spray,
    Its fringes round the green coast lay,
    She thought of hawthorn blooms in May.

    And round that coast the birds' song flowed,
    The oriflammes of sunset glowed,
    Yet there no fleet at anchor rode.

    It came at last—the English tongue
    Through Roanoke's green arches rung,
    And birds and bees for answer sung.

    No human passion, love or prayer,
    Have ever laid thy secret bare;
    God only knows Virginia Dare!

  45. The Constitution

    by Henry Lyman Koopman

    Our frigate's high renown
    Shall stem the tide of death,
    When her stars have drifted back to the sky,
    And her brazen lips are a breath.

  46. The Stars and Stripes Forever

    by John Philip Sousa

    Let martial note in triumph float
    And liberty extend its mighty hand;
    A flag appears 'mid thunderous cheers,
    The banner of the Western land.
    The emblem of the brave and true
    Its folds protect no tyrant crew;
    The red and white and starry blue
    Is freedom's shield and hope.
    Other nations may deem their flags the best
    And cheer them with fervid elation
    But the flag of the North and South and West
    Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom's nation.

    Hurrah for the flag of the free!
    May it wave as our standard forever,
    The gem of the land and the sea,
    The banner of the right.
    Let tyrants remember the day
    When our fathers with mighty endeavor
    Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
    That by their might and by their right
    It waves forever.

    Let eagle shriek from lofty peak
    The never-ending watchword of our land;
    Let summer breeze waft through the trees
    The echo of the chorus grand.
    Sing out for liberty and light,
    Sing out for freedom and the right.
    Sing out for Union and its might,
    O patriotic sons.
    Other nations may deem their flags the best
    And cheer them with fervid elation
    But the flag of the North and South and West
    Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom's nation.

    Hurrah for the flag of the free.
    May it wave as our standard forever
    The gem of the land and the sea,
    The banner of the right.
    Let tyrants remember the day
    When our fathers with mighty endeavor
    Proclaimed as they marched to the fray,
    That by their might and by their right
    It waves forever.

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