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.
II. Freedom
William James Linton (1812–1897)
From “Poems of Freedom”

BE patient, O be patient! Put your ear against the earth;
Listen there how noiselessly the germ o’ the seed has birth;
How noiselessly and gently it upheaves its little way
Till it parts the scarcely-broken ground, and the blade stands up in the day.
Be patient, O be patient! the germs of mighty thought        5
Must have their silent undergrowth, must underground be wrought;
But, as sure as ever there ’s a Power that makes the grass appear,
Our land shall be green with Liberty, the blade-time shall be here.
Be patient, O be patient! go and watch the wheat-ears grow,
So imperceptibly that ye can mark nor change nor throe:        10
Day after day, day after day till the ear is fully grown;
And then again day after day, till the ripened field is brown.
Be patient, O be patient! though yet our hopes are green,
The harvest-field of Freedom shall be crowned with the sunny sheen.
Be ripening, be ripening! mature your silent way        15
Till the whole broad land is tongued with fire on Freedom’s harvest day.

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