The World's Best Poetry, Volume 8
Part 9 out of 9
Oh make Thou us, through centuries long,
In peace secure, in justice strong;
Around our gift of freedom draw
The safeguards of thy righteous law:
And, cast in some diviner mould,
Let the new cycle shame the old!
JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER.
* * * * *
HYMN OF THE WEST.[A]
WORLD'S FAIR, ST. LOUIS.
[Footnote A: Copyright 1904 by Robert Allan Reid.]
O Thou, whose glorious orbs on high
Engird the earth with splendor round,
From out Thy secret place draw nigh
The courts and temples of this ground;
Fill with Thy might
These domes that in Thy purpose grew,
And lift a nation's heart anew!
Illumine Thou each pathway here,
To show the marvels God hath wrought
Since first Thy people's chief and seer
Looked up with that prophetic thought,
Bade Time unroll
The fateful scroll,
And empire unto Freedom gave
From cloudland height to tropic wave.
Poured through the gateways of the North
Thy mighty rivers join their tide,
And on the wings of morn sent forth
Their mists the far-off peaks divide.
By Thee unsealed,
The mountains yield
Ores that the wealth of Ophir shame,
And gems enwrought of seven-hued flame.
Lo, through what years the soil hath lain,
At Thine own time to give increase--
The greater and the lesser grain,
The ripening boll, the myriad fleece!
Thy creatures graze
League after league across the land
The ceaseless herds obey Thy hand.
Thou, whose high archways shine most clear
Above the plenteous western plain,
Thine ancient tribes from round the sphere
To breathe its quickening air are fain;
And smiles the sun
To see made one
Their brood throughout Earth's greenest space,
Land of the new and lordlier race!
EDMUND CLARENCE STEDMAN.
[The foregoing was the official hymn of the Louisiana Purchase
Exposition at St. Louis in 1904. It was written upon invitation of the
Exposition authorities, and was sung at the opening of the Fair by a
chorus of five hundred voices, to music written for it, also upon
official invitation, by Professor John K. Paine, of Harvard
University. It fitly concludes the poems of Peace, in this volume of
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