A Nation's Strength

by Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

What makes a nation's pillars high
And it's foundations strong?
What makes it mighty to defy
The foes that round it throng?
 
It is not gold. Its kingdoms grand
Go down in battle shock;
Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,
Not on abiding rock.
 
Is it the sword? Ask the red dust
Of empires passed away;
The blood has turned their stones to rust,
Their glory to decay.
 
And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown
Has seemed to nations sweet;
But God has struck its luster down
In ashes at his feet.
 
Not gold but only men can make
A people great and strong;
Men who for truth and honor's sake
Stand fast and suffer long.
 
Brave men who work while others sleep,
Who dare while others fly...
They build a nation's pillars deep
And lift them to the sky.

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Replies to This Discussion

Thank You for that wonderful poem:)

I"m from Boston and remember going on field trips with the school we walked the freedom trial saw Paul Revere house and the old north church  I wonder if they still take the kids on theese types of trips any more. 

Thanks Karen and Troy! I thought that the poem was befitting for this group. It is so relevant today just as it was yesterday and really, throughout all time. It is like a great song that withstands the test of time and can be heard throughout the ages for not only its sweet melody, but also for its truth and beauty. Ralph Waldo Emerson was a gem for his time. Let sweet freedom ring...

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