by: John Greenleaf Whittier
O STATE prayer-founded! never hung
Such choice upon a people's tongue,
Such power to bless or ban,
As that which makes thy whisper Fate,
For which on thee the centuries wait,
And destinies of man!
Across thy Alleghanian chain,
With groanings from a land in pain,
The west-wind finds its way:
Wild-wailing from Missouri's flood
The crying of thy children's blood
Is in thy ears to-day!
And unto thee in Freedom's hour
Of sorest need God gives the power
To ruin or to save;
To wound or heal, to blight or bless
With fertile field or wilderness,
A free home or a grave!
Then let thy virtue match the crime,
Rise to a level with the time;
And, if a son of thine
Betray or tempt thee, Brutus-like
For Fatherland and Freedom strike
As Justice gives the sign.
Wake, sleeper, from thy dream of ease,
The great occasion's forelock seize;
And let the north-wind strong,
And golden leaves of autumn, be
Thy coronal of Victory
And thy triumphal song.
10th me., 1856.
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