A Backward Glance at Eighty eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 234 pages of information about A Backward Glance at Eighty.

  O God of battles, who sustained
    Our fathers in the glorious days
  When they our priceless freedom gained,
    Help us, as loyal sons, to raise
  Anew the standard they upbore,
    And bear it on to farther heights,
  Where freedom seeks for self no more,
    But love a life of service lights.


  Is God our Father?  So sublime the thought
    We cannot hope its meaning full to grasp,
  E’en as the Child the gifts the wise men brought
    Could not within his infant fingers clasp.

  We speak the words from early childhood taught. 
    We sometimes fancy that their truth we feel;
  But only on life’s upper heights is caught
    The vital message that they may reveal.

  So on the heights may we be led to dwell,
    That nearer God we may more truly know
  How great the heritage His love will tell
    If we be lifted up from things below.


  The stricken city lifts her head,
    With eyes yet dim from flowing tears;
  Her heart still throbs with pain unspent,
    But hope, triumphant, conquers fears.

  With vision calm, she sees her course,
    Nor shrinks, though thorny be the way. 
  Shall human will succumb to fate,
    Crushed by the happenings of a day?

  The city that we love shall live,
    And grow in beauty and in power;
  Her loyal sons shall stand erect,
    Their chastened courage Heaven’s dower.

  And when the story shall be told
    Of direful ruin, loss, and dearth,
  There shall be said with pride and joy: 
    “But man survived, and proved his worth.”


  O “city loved around the world,”
    Triumphant over direful fate,
  Thy flag of honor never furled,
    Proud guardian of the Golden Gate;

  Hold thou that standard from the dust
    Of lower ends or doubtful gain;
  On thy good sword no taint of rust;
    On stars and stripes no blot or stain.

  Thy loyal sons by thee shall stand,
    Thy highest purpose to uphold;
  Proclaim the word, o’er all the land,
    That truth more precious is than gold.

  Let justice never be denied,
    Resist the wrong, defend the right;
  Where West meets East stand thou in pride
    Of noble life,—­a beacon-light.


  The past is gone beyond recall,
    The future kindly veils its face;
  Today we live, today is all
    We have or need, our day of grace.

  The world is God’s, and hence ’tis plain
    That only wrong we need to fear;
  ’Tis ours to live, come joy or pain,
    To make more blessed each New Year.


  We tarry in a foreign land,
    With pleasure’s husks elate,
  When robe and ring and Father’s hand
    At home our coming wait.

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A Backward Glance at Eighty from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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