Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, OUR STATE, by JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER



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OUR STATE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The south-land boasts its teeming cane
Last Line: While near her church-spire stands the school.
Variant Title(s): Massachusetts (1);dedication Of A School House
Subject(s): Courage; Massachusetts; Patriotism; Valor; Bravery


THE south-land boasts its teeming cane,
The prairied west its heavy grain,
And sunset's radiant gates unfold
On rising marts and sands of gold!

Rough, bleak, and hard, our little State
Is scant of soil, of limits strait;
Her yellow sands are sands alone,
Her only mines are ice and stone!

From autumn frost to April rain,
Too long her winter woods complain;
From budding flower to falling leaf,
Her summer time is all too brief.

Yet, on her rocks, and on her sands,
And wintry hills, the school-house stands;
And what her rugged soil denies
The harvest of the mind supplies.

The riches of the commonwealth
Are free, strong minds, and hearts of health;
And more to her than gold or grain
The cunning hand and cultured brain.

For well she keeps her ancient stock,
The stubborn strength of Pilgrim Rock;
And still maintains, with milder laws,
And clearer light, the good old cause!

Nor heeds the sceptic's puny hands,
While near her school the church-spire stands;
Nor fears the blinded bigot's rule,
While near her church-spire stands the school.




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