Sunday, July 05, 2015

Poetry Sunday

Today marks the end of the Independence Day holiday weekend and the high point of the summer. It's a holiday for baseball games, picnics, family reunions, and the fireworks and speeches and editorials that celebrate our resolution in 1776 to seek independence from Great Britain. What most of us don't think about is that the American Revolution wasn't about creating a new country ... it was about 13 colonies banding together for the purpose of getting out from under British rule, and then - more or less - going their separate ways. The outcome of what is sometimes called The Second American Revolution - the effort to convince the former colonies to unite under a strong central government - was by no means a foregone conclusion. The "Ship of State," the "Union, strong and great" that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow describes in today's classic poem, very nearly never made it out of the drydock. I'll have more to write on that topic tomorrow, but for now let's listen to Longfellow's stirring homage to our nation ...

O Ship of State
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State!
Sail on, O Union, strong and great!
Humanity with all its fears,
With all the hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!
We know what Master laid thy keel,
What Workmen wrought thy ribs of steel,
Who made each mast, and sail, and rope,
What anvils rang, what hammers beat,
In what a forge and what a heat
Were shaped the anchors of thy hope!
Fear not each sudden sound and shock,
'Tis of the wave and not the rock;
'Tis but the flapping of the sail,
And not a rent made by the gale!
In spite of rock and tempest's roar,
In spite of false lights on the shore,
Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea!
Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee.
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
Our faith triumphant o'er our fears,
Are all with thee, -are all with thee!

I hope you're having a great Fourth of July weekend with friends and family. Now, let's enjoy the rest of the summer together.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



Mike said...

Yes indeed. We've been arguing about everything since the beginning.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

A great poem celebrating our unity rather than our differences. It's a shame that so many people want to do the opposite nowadays.

Have a nice Fourth Weekend!

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

A nice poem germane to Independence Day.