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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Our First Century

By George Edward Woodberry (1855–1930)

[From The North Shore Watch, and Other Poems. 1890.]

IT cannot be that men who are the seed

Of Washington should miss fame’s true applause;

Franklin did plan us; Marshall gave us laws;

And slow the broad scroll grew a people’s creed—

One land and free! then at our dangerous need,

Time’s challenge coming, Lincoln gave it pause,

Upheld the double pillars of the cause,

And dying left them whole,—the crowning deed.

Such was the fathering race that made all fast,

Who founded us, and spread from sea to sea

A thousand leagues the zone of liberty,

And built for man this refuge from his past,

Unkinged, unchurched, unsoldiered; shamed were we,

Failing the stature that such sires forecast!