Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > America
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX.  1876–79.
Introductory to Western States
To the West! To the West!
Charles Mackay (1814–1889)
TO the West! to the West! to the land of the free,
Where mighty Missouri rolls down to the sea,
Where a man is a man, if he ’s willing to toil,
And the humblest may gather the fruits of the soil.
Where children are blessings, and he who hath most,        5
Hath aid for his fortune and riches to boast;
Where the young may exult, and the aged may rest,
Away, far away, to the Land of the West!
To the West! to the West! where the rivers that flow
Run thousands of miles, spreading out as they go;        10
Where the green waving forests that echo our call
Are wide as old England, and free to us all;
Where the prairies, like seas where the billows have rolled,
Are broad as the kingdoms and empires of old;
And the lakes are like oceans in storm or in rest,        15
Away, far away, to the Land of the West!
To the West! to the West! there is wealth to be won,
The forest to clear is the work to be done;
We ’ll try it, we ’ll do it, and never despair,
While there ’s light in the sunshine and breath in the air.        20
The bold independence, that labor shall buy,
Shall strengthen our hands, and forbid us to sigh.
Away! far away! let us hope for the best,
And build up new homes in the Land of the West!

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