Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > America
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX.  1876–79.
 
Introductory to Western States
California’s Greeting to Seward
Bret Harte (1836–1902)
 
1869

WE know him well: no need of praise
  Or bonfire from the windy hill
To light to softer paths and ways
  The world-worn man we honor still;
 
No need to quote those truths he spoke        5
  That burned through years of war and shame,
While History carves with surer stroke
  Across our map his noonday fame;
 
No need to bid him show the scars
  Of blows dealt by the Scæan gate,        10
Who lived to pass its shattered bars,
  And see the foe capitulate;
 
Who lived to turn his slower feet
  Toward the western setting sun,
To see his harvest all complete,        15
  His dream fulfilled, his duty done,—
 
The one flag streaming from the pole,
  The one faith borne from sea to sea,—
For such a triumph, and such goal,
  Poor must our human greeting be.        20
 
Ah! rather that the conscious land
  In simpler ways salute the Man,—
The tall pines bowing where they stand,
  The bared head of El Capitan,
 
The tumult of the waterfalls,        25
  Pohono’s kerchief in the breeze,
The waving from the rocky walls,
  The stir and rustle of the trees;
 
Till lapped in sunset skies of hope,
  In sunset lands by sunset seas,        30
The Young World’s Premier treads the slope
  Of sunset years in calm and peace.
 
 
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