Upton Sinclair, ed. (1878–1968). rn The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest. 1915.

Our Country
(Read July 4, 1883)

Whittier, John Greenleaf

John Greenleaf Whittier

(New England Quaker poet, 1807–1892; a prominent anti-slavery advocate)

WE give thy natal day to hope,

O country of our love and prayer!

Thy way is down no fatal slope,

But up to freer sun and air.

Tried as by furnace fires, and yet

By God’s grace only stronger made,

In future task before thee set

Thou shalt not lack the old-time aid.

Great, without seeking to be great

By fraud of conquest; rich in gold,

But richer in the large estate

Of virtue which thy children hold.

With peace that comes of purity,

And strength to simple justice due—

So runs our loyal dream of thee;

God of our fathers! make it true.

O land of lands! to thee we give

Our love, our trust, our service free;

For thee thy sons shall nobly live,

And at thy need shall die for thee.