The 4th of July Through Poetry
Dear readers: I want to wish everyone a very happy Fourth of July. As you are hopefully enjoying barbecues and fireworks, you may want to read some of the following famous patriotic poems. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
"I Hear America Singing," by Walt Whitman.
"I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear, / Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong, / The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam, / The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work, / The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck, / The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands, / The wood-cutter's song, the ploughboy's on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown, / The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing, / Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else, / The day what belongs to the day -- at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly, / Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs."
"O Captain! My Captain!" by Walt Whitman.
"O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, / The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won, / The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, / While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring; / But O heart! heart! heart! / O the bleeding drops of red, / Where on the deck my Captain lies, / Fallen cold and dead. / O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; / Rise up -- for you the flag is flung -- for you the bugle trills, / For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths -- for you the shores a-crowding, / For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning; / Here Captain! dear father! / This arm beneath your head! / It is some dream that on the deck, / You've fallen cold and dead. / My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still, / My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will, / The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done, / From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won; / Exult O shores, and ring O bells! / But I with mournful tread, / Walk the deck my Captain lies, / Fallen cold and dead."
"A Nation's Strength" by William Ralph 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."
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