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Liberty Enlightening The World.

May 6, 2010

—Edmund Clarence Stedman.

WARDER at ocean’s gate,
Thy feet on sea and shore,
Like one the skies await
When time shall be no more!
What splendors crown thy brow?
What bright dread angel Thou,
Dazzling the waves before
Thy station great?
 
“My name is Liberty!
From out a mighty land
I face the ancient sea,
I lift to God my hand;
By day in Heaven’s light,
A pillar of fire by night,
At ocean’s gate I stand
Nor bend the knee.
 
“The dark Earth lay in sleep,
Her children crouched forlorn,
Ere on the western steep
I sprang to height, reborn:
Then with a joyous shout
The quickened lands gave out,
And all the choir of morn
Sang anthems deep.
 
“Beneath yon firmament,
The New World to the Old
My sword and summons sent,
My azure flag unrolled:
The Old World’s hands renew
Their strength; the form ye view
Came from a living mould
In glory blent.
 
“O ye, whose broken spars
Tell of the storms ye met,
Enter! fear not the bars
Across your pathway set;
Enter at Freedom’s porch,
For you I lift my torch,
For you my coronet
Is rayed with stars.
 
“But ye that hither draw
To desecrate my fee,
Nor yet have held in awe
The justice that makes free—
Avaunt, ye darkling brood!
By Right my house hath stood:
My name is Liberty,
My throne is Law.”
 
O wonderful and bright,
Immortal Freedom, hail!
Front, in thy fiery might,
The midnight and the gale;
Undaunted on this base
Guard well thy dwelling-place:
Till the last sun grow pale
Let there be light!

 

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