Happy 4th of July, 2013!
Ralph Waldo Emerson was one of Philip Hyde’s favorite writers. His essays, though challenging, inspire and illuminate the natural world, political issues and other matters of philosophy. This poem is from his Complete Collected Works.
Sung in the Town Hall of Concord, Massachusetts July 4, 1857
Ode To Freedom by Ralph Waldo Emerson
O tenderly the haughty day
Fills his blue urn with fire;
One morn is in the might heaven,
And one in our desire.
The cannon boom from town to town,
Our pulses beat not less,
The joy bells chime their tidings down,
Which children’s voices bless.
For he that flung the broad blue fold
O’er mantling land and sea,
On third part of the sky unrolled
For the banner of the free.
The men are rip of Saxon kind
To build an equal state,
To take the statute from the mind
And make of duty fate.
United States! The ages plead,
Present and Past in under-song,
Go put your creed into your deed,
Nor speak with double tongue.
For sea and land don’t understand,
Nor skies without a frown
See rights for which the one hand fights
By the other cloven down.
Be just at home; the write your scroll
Of honor o’er the sea,
And bid the broad Atlantic roll,
A ferry of the free.
And henceforth there shall be no chain,
Save underneath the sea
The wires shall murmur through the main
Sweet songs of liberty.
The conscious stars accord above,
The waters wild below,
And under, through the cable wove,
Her fiery errands go.
For He that worketh high and wise,
Nor pauses in his plan,
Will take the sun out of the skies
Ere freedom out of man.