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
Our State
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892)
 
THE SOUTH-LAND boasts its teeming cane,
The prairied west its heavy grain,
And sunset’s radiant gates unfold
On rising marts and sands of gold!
 
Rough, bleak, and hard, our little State        5
Is scant of soil, of limits strait;
Her yellow sands are sands alone,
Her only mines are ice and stone!
 
From autumn frost to April rain,
Too long her winter woods complain;        10
From budding flower to falling leaf,
Her summer time is all too brief.
 
Yet, on her rocks, and on her sands,
And wintry hills, the school-house stands;
And what her rugged soil denies        15
The harvest of the mind supplies.
 
The riches of the commonwealth
Are free, strong minds, and hearts of health;
And more to her than gold or grain
The cunning hand and cultured brain.        20
 
For well she keeps her ancient stock,
The stubborn strength of Pilgrim Rock;
And still maintains, with milder laws,
And clearer light, the good old cause!
 
Nor heeds the sceptic’s puny hands,        25
While near her school the church-spire stands;
Nor fears the blinded bigot’s rule,
While near her church-spire stands the school.
 
 
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