Boston - Sicut Patribus, Sit Deus Nobis Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


The rocky nook with hilltops threeA
Looked eastward from the farmsB
And twice each day the flowing seaA
Took Boston in its armsB
The men of yore were stout and poorC
And sailed for bread to every shoreD
And where they went on trade intentE
They did what freemen canF
Their dauntless ways did all men praiseG
The merchant was a manF
The world was made for honest tradeH
To plant and eat be none afraidH
The waves that rocked them on the deepI
To them their secret toldJ
Said the winds that sung the lads to sleepI
'Like us be free and bold '-
The honest waves refused to slavesK
The empire of the ocean cavesK
Old Europe groans with palacesL
Has lords enough and moreD
We plant and build by foaming seasM
A city of the poorC
For day by day could Boston BayN
Their honest labor overpayN
We grant no dukedoms to the fewO
We hold like rights and shallP
Equal on Sunday in the pewO
On Monday in the mallQ
For what avail the plough or sailR
Or land or life if freedom failR
The noble craftsman we promoteS
Disown the knave and foolT
Each honest man shall have his voteS
Each child shall have his schoolT
A union then of honest menU
Or union never more againU
The wild rose and the barberry thornV
Hung out their summer prideW
Where now on heated pavements wornV
The feet of millions strideW
Fair rose the planted hills behindX
The good town on the bayN
And where the western hills declinedX
The prairie stretched awayN
What care though rival cities soarD
Along the stormy coastY
Penn's town New York and BaltimoreD
If Boston knew the mostY
They laughed to know the world so wideW
The mountains said 'Good dayN
We greet you well you Saxon menU
Up with your towns and stay '-
The world was made for honest tradeH
To plant and eat be none afraidH
'For you ' they said 'no barriers beA
For you no sluggard restZ
Each street leads downward to the seaA
Or landward to the west '-
O happy town beside the seaA
Whose roads lead everywhere to allQ
Than thine no deeper moat can beA
No stouter fence no steeper wallQ
Bad news from George on the English throneA2
'You are thriving well ' said heA
'Now by these presents be it knownA2
You shall pay us a tax on teaA
'Tis very small no load at allQ
Honor enough that we send the callQ
'Not so ' said Boston 'good my lordB2
We pay your governors hereC2
Abundant for their bed and boardB2
Six thousand pounds a yearD2
Your Highness knows our homely wordE2
Millions for self governmentF2
But for tribute never a cent '-
The cargo came and who could blameG2
If Indians seized the teaA
And chest by chest let down the sameG2
Into the laughing seaA
For what avail the plough or sailR
Or land or life if freedom failR
The townsmen braved the English kingH2
Found friendship in the FrenchI2
And honor joined the patriot ringH2
Low on their wooden benchI2
O bounteous seas that never failR
O day remembered yetJ2
O happy port that spied the sailR
Which wafted LafayetteJ2
Pole star of light in Europe's nightK2
That never faltered from the rightK2
Kings shook with fear old empires craveL2
The secret force to findX
Which fired the little State to saveL2
The rights of all mankindX
But right is might through all the worldM2
Province to province faithful clungN2
Through good and ill the war bolt hurledM2
Till Freedom cheered and joy bells rungN2
The sea returning day by dayN
Restores the world wide martO2
So let each dweller on the BayN
Fold Boston in his heartO2
Till these echoes be choked with snowsP2
Or over the town blue ocean flowsP2
Let the blood of her hundred thousandsQ2
Throb in each manly veinR2
And the wits of all her wisestS2
Make sunshine in her brainR2
For you can teach the lightning speechT2
And round the globe your voices reachT2
And each shall care for otherU2
And each to each shall bendV2
To the poor a noble brotherU2
To the good an equal friendV2
A blessing through the ages thusW2
Shield all thy roofs and towersX2
Thou darling town of oursX2

Ralph Waldo Emerson


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