Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
455. America
 
From the National Ode, July 4, 1876
 
By Bayard Taylor
 
 
    FORESEEN in the vision of sages,
      Foretold when martyrs bled,
    She was born of the longing of ages,
      By the truth of the noble dead
      And the faith of the living fed!        5
    No blood in her lightest veins
    Frets at remembered chains,
Nor shame of bondage has bowed her head.
    In her form and features still
    The unblenching Puritan will,        10
    Cavalier honor, Huguenot grace,
    The Quaker truth and sweetness,
  And the strength of the danger-girdled race
Of Holland, blend in a proud completeness.
From the homes of all, where her being began,        15
    She took what she gave to Man;
    Justice, that knew no station,
        Belief, as soul decreed,
    Free air for aspiration,
  Free force for independent deed!        20
    She takes, but to give again,
As the sea returns the rivers in rain;
And gathers the chosen of her seed
From the hunted of every crown and creed.
  Her Germany dwells by a gentler Rhine;        25
  Her Ireland sees the old sunburst shine;
  Her France pursues some dream divine;
  Her Norway keeps his mountain pine;
  Her Italy waits by the western brine;
    And, broad-based under all,        30
Is planted England’s oaken-hearted mood,
    As rich in fortitude
As e’er went worldward from the island-wall!
    Fused in her candid light,
To one strong race all races here unite;        35
Tongues melt in hers, hereditary foemen
Forget their sword and slogan, kith and clan.
    ’T was glory, once, to be a Roman:
She makes it glory, now, to be a man!
 

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