Fifes and Drums/To America
Yes, Mother, it is true;
Bad daughters and worse sons we've been to you—
Taking all, giving naught—
Till we have brought
You down to this. . . .
A starker breed
To cherish you and guard,
Keep watch and ward,
Or strike if strike they must!
Mother, our shameful heads are in the dust—
Before you. . . .
Too mild, too patient!—yet once more forgive
Our faithless greed, young folly, old neglect!
For though we perish from you, you shall live—
Mother!—through humbled daughters who respect,
Through chastened sons who serve you and adore you.
Lee Wilson Dodd.