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
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892)
The Kansas Emigrants

WE cross the prairie as of old
  The pilgrims crossed the sea,
To make the West, as they the East,
  The homestead of the free!
We go to rear a wall of men        5
  On Freedom’s southern line,
And plant beside the cotton-tree
  The rugged Northern pine!
We ’re flowing from our native hills
  As our free rivers flow;        10
The blessing of our Mother-land
  Is on us as we go.
We go to plant her common schools
  On distant prairie swells,
And give the Sabbaths of the wild        15
  The music of her bells.
Upbearing, like the Ark of old,
  The Bible in our van,
We go to test the truth of God
  Against the fraud of man.        20
No pause, nor rest, save where the streams
  That feed the Kansas run,
Save where our Pilgrim gonfalon
  Shall flout the setting sun!
We ’ll tread the prairie as of old        25
  Our fathers sailed the sea,
And make the West, as they the East,
  The homestead of the free!

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