There's but one gift that all our dead desire,
One gift that men can give, and that's a dream,
Unless we, too, can burn with that same fire
Of sacrifice; die to the things that seem;
Die to the little hatreds; die to greed;
Die to the old ignoble selves we knew;
Die to the base contempts of sect and creed,
And rise again, like these, with souls as true.
Nay (since these died before their task was finished)
Attempt new heights, bring even their dreams to birth:--
Build us that better world, Oh, not diminished
By one true splendor that they planned on earth.
And that's not done by sword, or tongue, or pen,
There's but one way. God make us better men.
AMERICAN POEMS 1912-1917
REPUBLIC AND MOTHERLAND
(Written after entering New York Harbor at Daybreak)
Up the vast harbor with the morning sun
The ship swept in from sea;