Verse by Caleb Mannan

If you like Robert Service, Longfellow, Tolkien, Milton, Robinson Jeffers, Whitman, Poe, The Bible, Tennyson, Ray Bradbury, life, death, Untermeyer, Pound, Donne, joy, sorrow, Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen, Robert Graves, children, beauty, Dante, Tom Waits, then set yourself down beside this fire.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

O My Beautiful Land, Stand You Great Forever

From my novel And There I Shall Retire

O My beautiful land, stand you great forever,
Of more than just the trees and the rivers and oceans
And mountains and fields and farm and forest and tribe,
Of more than just the hunter and the businessman and the farmer
And politician and mother and father and family,
Of more than great states rising, or the industry therein,
Of more than the oak and pine or the lily and wildflower,
Of the bear and the wild horse and buffalo and ox,
Of deer and dog and eagle and ant and bee,
Yea, of more than all these great things (and great they be).

O my beautiful land, stand you great forever
Within the arms of the brawn scarred father,
Gentle in the swaying of his babe,
The thunder of fire in his memory receding,
Within the firm grasp of a loving mother’s breast,
Nursing the Nation’s wounds and soul,
In the sister and brother who one another greet in affection,
The Adam and Eve of American Eden (not without it serpents, yea),
Within the love of all that is and all equal love abounding
That we may forever stand within this great land,
To live and laugh and love and weep and pass our bodies
Back to the earth that the soil may be all the more richer,
And the air all the more lighter with the song of our souls.

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