Thursday, May 16, 2013

I. The Birthing

To Old Glory - an ode

Of all the colonies,
Thou alone were in spirit unbowed,
thy nationhood ever conceived in liberty,
by pilgrims seeking the simplicity of a freedom
that is not wearisome and a faith that is pure -

thou wert a peculiar appearance upon the earth -
a root of the old world carried to the new!
Thou wert strangeness and beauty all at once.

Thou, a people called and a spirit arisen - 
amidst a thousand ancient nations, the very last;  
a new community sown upon the soil of the new
bound not of blood nor tribe nor earthly bonds
being a people called through waters of the spirit   
into a nation born of vision and nurtured in liberty,
the first in thy founding and the last to be found.

Thou, at thy Formation determined -
thy destiny lay in the care of the Providence of God 
and that thy peace is strength to overcome all adversity.

in wisdom still lacking but with determination so rich
preserved by thy faith and in thy freedoms nurtured 
thou enjoined each thy generations in great earnest,
despite all the many things yet left uncertain to thee,
to the call and the labor of thy emergent nationhood.

Through times of peace, and through times of war, 
life and abundance came before thee to nourish thee
and the care of friends met thee at every crossroads
for thou wert blessed by the LORD with sure safety
setting thee aside to work a work of glory in His Name
even as tears and calamity followed thee in thy wake.

thou numbered the days of thy youth in great measures 
as thou grew in wisdom and age and strength of years.

Spirit and Freedom were thy most ancient of names.