Cries for a wider scope
To use the wider wings of human hope;
A vision of the common good
Opens the prison-door of solitude;
And, once beyond the wall,
Breathing the ampler air,
The heart becomes aware
That life without a country is not life at all.
A country worthy of a freeman’s love;
A country worthy of a good man’s prayer;
A country strong, and just, and brave, and fair,—
A woman’s form of beauty throned above
The shrine where noble aspirations meet—
To live for her is great, to die is sweet!
Heirs of the rugged
Who dreamed this dream and made it true,
Remember that they dreamed for you.
They did not fear their fate
In those tempestuous years,
But put their trust in God, and with keen eyes,
Trained in the open air for looking far,
They saw the many-million-acred land
Won from the desert by their hand,
Swiftly among the nations rise,—
Texas a sovereign State,
And on her brow a star!
How strange that the nature of light is
a thing beyond our ken,
And the flame of the tiniest candle flows from a fountain sealed!
How strange that the meaning of life, in the little lives of men,
So often baffles our search with a mystery unrevealed!
But the larger life of man, as it moves
in its secular sweep,
Is the working out of a Sovereign Will whose ways appear;
And the course of the journeying stars on the dark blue boundless deep,
Is the place where our science rests in the reign of law most clear.
I would read the story of Texas as
if it were written on high;
I would look from afar to follow her path through the calms and storms;
With a faith in the worldwide sway of the Reason that rules in the sky,
And gathers and guides the starry host in clusters and swarms.
When she rose in the pride of her
youth, she seemed to be moving apart,
As a single star in the South, self-limited, self-possessed;
But the law of the constellation was written deep in her heart,
And she heard when her sisters called, from the North and the East and
They were drawn together and moved
by a common hope and aim—
The dream of a sign that should rule a third of the heavenly arch;
The soul of a people spoke in their call, and Texas came
To enter the splendid circle of States in their onward march.
So the glory gathered and grew and
spread from sea to sea,
And the stars of the great republic lent each other light;
For all were bound together in strength, and each was free—
Suddenly broke the tempest out of the ancient night!