Poetry Friday all red, whie, and blue is at My Little Juicy Universe.
Happy Fourth of July. I discovered this poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson, born the same year as when Lewis and Clark left to search for the Northwest Passage. It seems a fitting poem for today.
A Nation’s Strength
Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803 – 1882
What makes a nation’s pillars high
And its foundations strong?
What makes it mighty to defy
The foes that round it throng?
It is not gold. Its kingdoms grand
Go down in battle shock;
Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,
Not on abiding rock.
Is it the sword? Ask the red dust
Of empires passed away;
The blood has turned their stones to rust,
Their glory to decay.
And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown
Has seemed to nations sweet;
But God has struck its luster down
In ashes at his feet.
Not gold but only men can make
A people great and strong;
Men who for truth and honor’s sake
Stand fast and suffer long.
Brave men who work while others sleep,
Who dare while others fly…
They build a nation’s pillars deep
And lift them to the sky.
I’m at friends in Idaho, my place to be on this holiday. Small town parade, a picnic in the park, and fireworks tonight. Have a wonderful weekend.