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Long as man's hope insatiate can discern
     Or only guess some more inspiring goal
Outside of Self, enduring as the pole,
     Along whose course the flying axles burn
Of spirits bravely pitched, earth's manlier brood;
     Long as below we cannot find
The need that stills the inexorable mind;
     So long this faith to some ideal Good,
Under whatever mortal names it masks,
     Freedom, Law, Country, this ethereal mood
That thanks the Fates for their severer tasks,
     Feeling its challenged pulses leap,
While others skulk in subterfuges cheap,
     And, set in Danger's van, has all the boon it asks,
Shall win man's praise and woman's love,
     Shall be a wisdom that we set above
All other skills and gifts to culture dear,
     A virtue round whose forehead we enwreathe
Laurels that with a living passion breathe
     When other crowns are cold and soon grow sear.
What brings us thronging these high rites to pay,
     And seal these hours the noblest of our year,
Save that our brothers found this better way?


We sit here in the Promised Land
     That flows with Freedom's honey and milk;
But 't was they won it, sword in hand,
     Making the nettle danger soft for us as silk.
We welcome back our bravest and our best;—
     Ah me! not all! some come not with the rest,
Who went forth brave and bright as any here!
     I strive to mix some gladness with my strain,
But the sad strings complain,
     And will not please the ear;
I sweep them for a paean, but they wane
     Again and yet again

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