Tuesday, April 16, 2013

For Boston: "A Nation's Strength" by Ralph Waldo Emerson

John Tlumacki/Boston Globe via Getty Images

The runner is 78-year-old Bill Iffrig of Lake Stevens, Washington.
Knocked to the pavement by the first blast, he got up and finished the race.

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? Ask the red dust
Of 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 was born in Boston in 1803.

1 comment:

  1. I was glad to see he was OK. At first it looked like he was hit by shrapnel.