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BATES, Katharina Lee

America the Beautiful

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, impassioned 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 proved

In liberating strife,

Who more than self their country loved

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!

A Song of Waking

The maple buds are red, are red,

The robin's call is sweet;

The blue sky floats above thy head,

The violets kiss thy feet.

The sun sheds emeralds on the spray,

And sapphires on the lake;

A million wings unfold to-day,

A million flowers awake.

Their starry cups the cowslips lift

To catch the golden light,

And like a spirit fresh from shrift

The cherry tree is white.

The innocent looks up with eyes

That know no deeper shade

Than falls from wings of butterflies,

Too fair to make afraid.

With long, green raiment blown and wet,

The willows, hand in hand,

Lean low to teach the rivulet

What trees may understand

Of murmurous tune and idle dance,

With broken rhymes whose flow

A poet's ear shall catch, perchance,

A score of miles below.

Across the sky to fairy-realm

There sails a cloud-born ship;

A wind-sprite standeth at the helm

With laughter on his lip.

The melting masts are tipped with gold;

The broidered pennons stream;

The vessel beareth in her hold

The lading of a dream.

It is the hour to rend thy chains,

The blossom-time of souls.

Yield all the rest to cares and pains;

To-day delight controls.

Gird on thy glory and thy pride,

For growth is of the sun;

Expand thy wings, whate'er betide;

The summer is begun.