Battle-Hymn of the Republic

Battle-Hymn of the Republic
A Nation’s Strength
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring
His day is marching on
I have read a fiery gospel, writ in burnished rows of steel:
“As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall
Let the Hero, born of a woman, crush the serpent with his
Since God is marching on,”
He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant my feet!
Our God is marching on.
Julia Ward Howe
What makes a nation’s pillars high
And its foundations strong?
What makes it mighty to defy
The foes that round it throng?
It is not gold. Its kingdoms grand
Go down in battle shock;
Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,
Not on abiding rock
Is it the sword? As the red dust
Of the empires passed away;
The blood has turned their stones to rust,
Their glory to decay.
And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown
Has seemed to nations sweet;
But God has struck its luster down
In ashes at his feet.
Not gold but only men can make
A people great and strong;
Men who for truth and honor’s sake
Stand fast and suffer long,
Brave men who work while others sleep,
Who dare while others fly –
They build a nation’s pillars deep
And lift them to the sky.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson