Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AMERICA (2), by WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT



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AMERICA (2), by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Look now abroad - another race has filled
Last Line: How happy, in thy lap, the sons of men shall dwell?
Subject(s): Patriotism; United States; America


LOOK now abroad, -- another race has filled
These populous borders, -- wide the wood recedes,
And towns shoot up, and fertile realms are tilled;
The land is full of harvests and green meads;
Streams numberless, that many a fountain feeds,
Shine, disembowered, and give to the sun and breeze
Their virgin waters; the full region leads
New colonies forth, that toward the western seas
Spread, like a rapid flame among the autumnal trees.
Here the free spirit of mankind, at length,
Throws its last fetters off; and who shall place
A limit to the giant's unchained strength,
Or curb his swiftness in the forward race:
Far, like the comet's way through infinite space,
Stretches the long untavelled path of light
Into the depths of ages: we may trace,
Distant, the brightening glory of its flight,
Till the receding rays are lost to human sight.
Europe is given a prey to sterned fates,
And writhes in shackles; strong the arms that chain
To earth her struggling multitude of states;
She too is strong, and might not chafe in vain
Against them, but shake off the vampire train
That batten on her blood, and break their net.
Yes, she shall look on brighter days, and gain
The meed of worthier deeds; the moment set
To rescue and raise up, draws near -- but is not yet.
But thou, my country, thou shalt never fall,
But with thy children, -- thy maternal care,
Thy lavish love, thy blessings showered on all, --
These are thy fetters, -- seas and stormy air
Are the wide barrier of thy borders where,
Among thy gallant sons that guard thee well,
Thou laugh'st at enemies: who shall then declare
The date of thy deep-founded strength, or tell
How happy, in thy lap, the sons of men shall dwell?




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