Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VIII. National Spirit
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VIII. National Spirit.  1904.
I. Patriotism
John James Piatt (1835–1917)
A Seaside Portrait

A GREAT, still Shape, alone,
  She sits (her harp has fallen) on the sand,
And sees her children, one by one, depart:—
Her cloak (that hides what sins beside her own!)
  Wrapped fold on fold about her. Lo,        5
    She comforts her fierce heart,
As wailing some, and some gay-singing go,
With the far vision of that Greater Land
    Deep in the Atlantic skies,
    Saint Brandan’s Paradise!        10
    Another Woman there,
    Mighty and wondrous fair,
Stands on her shore-rock:—one uplifted hand
    Holds a quick-piercing light
    That keeps long sea-ways bright;        15
She beckons with the other, saying “Come,
    O landless, shelterless,
Sharp-faced with hunger, worn with long distress:—
    Come hither, finding home!
Lo, my new fields of harvest, open, free,        20
    By winds of blessing blown,
Whose golden corn-blades shake from sea to sea—
Fields without walls that all the people own!”

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