Henry O'Meara Ballads of America

Decoration

A GREETING TO GLADSTONE

STATESMAN, whose pæaens have sounded out fourscore
Accept a greeting from our echoing shore -
Approach the twentieth century's portico
With steps that never senile lapse foreshow -
For now upon this opened eightieth year,
With virile cause and firm advanced career,
A continent may not contain your name,
Nor ocean's bound confine your buoyant fame.
Grand oak that spreads with ever-strengthening form -
That grows and towers through strivings and through storm -
Your boughs all people's aspirations span,
All hopes uphold that reach the rights of man -
Your sprays their sundered works for freedom bind
With sympathies and oratory twined.

Still in the roll of deeds for manhood done -
The record of those moral victories won -
In rounded life of thought for all the race,
Our partial eyes perceive one interspace -
'Mid strifes with vested wrong - with racial woe -
We see you in remote horizon low;
Turn now from themes of home or Orient far,
Meet once the Western trend of empire's Star -
Visit this soil with trans-Atlantic rays
Whose proud autonomy evokes your praise;
Come as a meteor at meridian height
That arches lands with eloquence of light -
The century shall not mark a nobler meeting -
Columbia claims to speak this life's autumnal greeting.
 
Decoration
BENJAMIN P. SHILLABER CONTENTS BOSTON TO MARIETTA

 

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updated Wednesday, April 19, 2000
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