Independence Day

By John Henton Carter

Bring forth the pyrotechnics, let the deepmouthed cannon speak,
The eagle rouse and lift his wings and soar from sun-lit peak;
The banners wave, the kettle-drums ring out, the brass bands play,
While all join hands and celebrate our Independence Day.
All men are equal in our land, no titled rank have we;
We bow to no superior—to none we bend the knee;
Each one a part of one great whole, to harmony designed
And relegated like the spheres, to orbits well defined.
Our mission is the conquest of the passions, not of lands;
To cultivate the conscience and restrain uplifted hands;
To teach the world that honor is God’s greatest gift, not gold,
And hoarded wealth and idleness breed evils unforetold.
This is the day we celebrate, and this the end we seek:
To hold rapacity in check and stimulate the weak,
Till in good time, as one fair field of ripening grain, we show
Where every struggling stem has had an equal chance to grow.

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