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Oh Mother of a Mighty Race

Written by: William Cullen Bryant | Biography
 | Quotes (29) |
OH mother of a mighty race  
Yet lovely in thy youthful grace! 
The elder dames thy haughty peers  
Admire and hate thy blooming years. 
With words of shame 5 
And taunts of scorn they join thy name. 

For on thy cheeks the glow is spread 
That tints thy morning hills with red; 
Thy step¡ªthe wild deer's rustling feet 
Within thy woods are not more fleet; 10 
Thy hopeful eye 
Is bright as thine own sunny sky. 

Ay let them rail¡ªthose haughty ones  
While safe thou dwellest with thy sons. 
They do not know how loved thou art 15 
How many a fond and fearless heart 
Would rise to throw 
Its life between thee and the foe. 

They know not in their hate and pride  
What virtues with thy children bide; 20 
How true how good thy graceful maids 
Make bright like flowers the valley-shades; 
What generous men 
Spring like thine oaks by hill and glen. 

What cordial welcomes greet the guest 25 
By thy lone rivers of the West; 
How faith is kept and truth revered  
And man is loved and God is feared  
In woodland homes  
And where the ocean-border foams. 30 

There 's freedom at thy gates and rest 
For Earth's down-trodden and opprest  
A shelter for the hunted head  
For the starved laborer toil and bread. 
Power at thy bounds 35 
Stops and calls back his baffled hounds. 

Oh fair young mother! on thy brow 
Shall sit a nobler grace than now. 
Deep in the brightness of the skies 
The thronging years in glory rise 40 
And as they fleet  
Drop strength and riches at thy feet. 

Thine eye with every coming hour  
Shall brighten and thy form shall tower; 
And when thy sisters elder born 45 
Would brand thy name with words of scorn  
Before thine eye  
Upon their lips the taunt shall die.