Posted by: Democratic Thinker | August 9, 2010

America—Fairest Of Freedom’s Daughters

America.

Fairest Of Freedom’s Daughters.

Read at the dedication of the Bartholdi Statue, New York Harbor, October 28, 1888.

—————

NIGHT’S diadem around the head,
The world upon thee gazing,
Beneath the eye of heroes dead
Thy queenly form up-raising,
Lift up, lift up thy torch on high,
Fairest of Freedom’s daughters!
Flash it against thine own blue sky,
Flash it across the waters!
 
Stretch up to thine own woman’s height,
Thine eye lit with truth’s lustre,
As though from God, Himself a-light,
Earth’s hopes around thee cluster.
The stars touch with thy forehead fair;
At them thy torch was lighted.
They grope to find where truth’s ways are,
The nations long benighted.
 
Thou hast the van in earth’s proud march,
To thee all nations turning;
Thy torch against thine own blue arch,
In answer to their yearning!
Show them the pathway thou hast trod,
The chains which thou hast broken;
Teach them thy trust in man and God,
The watchwords thou hast spoken.
 
Not here is heard the Alp-herd’s horn,
The mountain stillness breaking;
Nor do we catch the roseate morn,
The Alpine summits waking.
Is Neckar’s vale no longer fair,
That German hearts are leaving?
Ah! German hearts from hearthstones tear,
In thy proud star believing.
 
Has Rhineland lost her grape’s perfume,
Her waters green and golden?
And do her castles no more bloom
With legends rare and olden?
Why leave, strong men, the Fatherland?
Why cross the cold blue ocean?
Truth’s torch in thine uplifted hand,
Ha! kindles their devotion.
 
God, home, and country be thy care,
Thou queen of all the ages!
Belting the earth is this one prayer:
Unspotted be thy pages!
Lift up, lift up thy torch on high,
Fairest of Freedom’s daughters!
Flash it against thine own blue sky.
Flash it across the waters!

—Jeremiah E. Rankin.

 

Re-posted courtesy of America—Heart & Soul.

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