How Long?

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As published in The Wall Street Journal (23 March 1917) p. 2:


"'Tis man's perdition to be safe,
When for the truth he ought to die."

How long must we blush for the land of our love—
We, sons of her honor, who fain would defend her?
How long must we wait, our own manhood to prove,
While that poor protection she has others lend her?

Oh, heroes there were in the days that are gone,
Who recked not of danger, who asked but of duty;
Men for whose guidance perpetual shone
The Patriot Vision, in glorified beauty!

What is our life worth, if life be not living
Up to the best and the highest we know?
What is life's gain but the glad power of giving,
To the full measure, the debt that we owe?

God of our fathers, now in our need, hearken!
Perils that shame us are here at our door;
They who should guide us with tame counsels darken;
God of our fathers, inspire us once more!

—Florence Earle Coates, in Philadelphia Ledger.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1926.

The author died in 1927, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.