Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VIII. National Spirit
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VIII. National Spirit.  1904.
 
I. Patriotism
My Country
James Montgomery (1771–1854)
 
THERE is a land, of every land the pride,
Beloved by Heaven o’er all the world beside,
Where brighter suns dispense serener light,
And milder moons imparadise the night;
A land of beauty, virtue, valor, truth,        5
Time-tutored age, and love-exalted youth:
The wandering mariner, whose eye explores
The wealthiest isles, the most enchanting shores,
Views not a realm so bountiful and fair,
Nor breathes the spirit of a purer air.        10
In every clime, the magnet of his soul,
Touched by remembrance, trembles to that pole;
For in this land of Heaven’s peculiar race,
The heritage of nature’s noblest grace,
There is a spot of earth supremely blest,        15
A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest,
Where man, creation’s tyrant, casts aside
His sword and sceptre, pageantry and pride,
While in his softened looks benignly blend
The sire, the son, the husband, brother, friend.        20
Here woman reigns; the mother, daughter, wife,
Strew with fresh flowers the narrow way of life:
In the clear heaven of her delightful eye
An angel-guard of love and graces lie;
Around her knees domestic duties meet,        25
And fireside pleasures gambol at her feet.
“Where shall that land, that spot of earth be found?”
Art thou a man?—a patriot?—look around;
O, thou shalt find, howe’er thy footsteps roam,
That land thy country, and that spot thy home!        30
 
Man, through all ages of revolving time,
Unchanging man, in every varying clime,
Deems his own land of every land the pride,
Beloved by Heaven o’er the world beside;
His home the spot of earth supremely blest,        35
A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest.
 
 
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