America Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


Glorious daughter of time Thou of the mild blue eyeA
Thou of the virginal forehead pallid unfurrowed of tearsB
Thou of the strong white hands with fingers dipped in the dyeA
Of the blood that quickened the fathers of thee in the ancient yearsC
Leave thou the path of the beasts Return thou again to the hillsD
Forsake thou the deserts of death where ever the burning thirstE
Flames in the throat for blood for the vile desire that killsD
Where the treacherous sands by the rebel cerastes are cursedE
And the wastes are strewn with the bones of folly and hateF
Return where the sunlight gladdens the places of greenG
Where the stars comes forth the heralds of faith and fateF
And the winds of eternity breathe from a day unseenG
Thou what hast thou to do with a time burnt out and doneH
With the old Serbonian bog the marshes where nations were lostI
Where wailings are heard of the dead of the slaughtered Roman and HunH
And phosphorent lights arise in the hands of a stricken ghostJ
Dreaming of splendors of battle that glanced from a million shieldsK
When the C sars pillaged for lust of gold and hunger of powerL
And the giants of Gothland festered and stank on the stretching fieldsK
And the gods of the living were cursed too weak to reveal the hourL
When they should triumph and others should writhe in a dread defeatM
In the day of thy grace O fair and false to thy fathers and timeN
O thou whom the snares of kings already encompass thy feetM
With thy singing robes besprent with the old Egyptian slimeN
But thou hast harkened to guile to the cunning words of shameO
To the tempter with pieces of gold and the praise of the drunken throngP
Scornfully push from their hands the crown of a common fameO
Not made for thy peaceful brows for thou wert not born for wrongP
Thou art the fruit of the groaning cycles of hope and loveQ
Told of by maddened prophets who never beheld thy faceR
Who drew from the teeming earth and the fetterless sky aboveQ
That man was made to be free and to stamp under foot the maceR
How should thy innocent eyes ever leer with a reddened lookS
Or thy hair be scented save of the measureless seaT
Or thy feet know the ways of deceit wrote out in the murderous bookS
By monarchs who shrank from the scourging and doom of thy strength and theeT
Beloved of time and of fate cherished of justice and truthU
Yet thou art free to do to choose the ill and to dieA
To squander thy beauty for hire to waste thy eternal youthU
For thou art eternal if thou heedst them not but pass byA
Pass and return to the mountains of freedom and peaceV
Where heavenward flame the fires where the torches may be relumedA
To girdle the world with the light that was kindled in olden GreeceV
Or that the sparks may be scattered wherever injustice has doomedA
Darkness to be the portion of those who famish for lightA
Be thou the great rock's shadow cast in a weary landA
Be thou a star of guidance true in a wintry nightA
Be thou thyself and thyself alone as heaven hath plannedA

Edgar Lee Masters


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