Fifes and Drums/America Unafraid

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FIFES AND DRUMS

 

AMERICA UNAFRAID

I

America will wake
To the stern task before her. She will break
The bonds of Sloth and dull Indifference,
And, with the soul of Lincoln in her eyes,
Dare to be great and wise;
Dare to be valiant with the valor still
That echoes from the crest of Bunker Hill;
The valor that gave Grant and Lee their fame
After the battle-flame;
The valor that has kept our country whole
While the clean years unroll;
The valor that has giv'n us all body, and heart, and soul!

II

America will be
As one in her old love of Liberty.
She will remember naught of party and creed
In her great hour of need;
But one in spirit, one in high accord,
Her people will await the final word
That bids them strike for Justice. Her keen sword
Will never be unsheathed, save in the name of Christ, our Lord!

III

There is a fear
Running through our broad country, far and near;
A rumor that foul traitors at our gate
Whisper, and plan, and wait;
A rumor that beneath us crawls the hostile worm of hate. . . .
It may be so! But I believe that now
Each man can disavow
Old enmities, and, loyal to the end,
Count it his privilege to be his country's friend;
Count it his right to suffer for the land
That hailed him, and stretched forth a welcoming
hand When he, heart-broken, from an alien shore,
Came as a stranger to our open door.

IV

America, beware!
Lest, knowing the red burden you must bear,
You falter now! We pray for Peace—white Peace;
Yet if soft days must cease,
We shall go forth, fearless, and as one,
Until our task for Liberty is done.

Charles Hanson Towne.