poetry

America The Beautiful – by Katharine Lee Bates

Most Americans know this poem as lyrics to the song America the Beautiful, the music by Samuel Augustus Ward. Some see this work as worthy of the National Anthem, and from time to time it is used as a replacement to the Star Spangled Banner. For information about this anthem, see this link. I post this poem as part of celebration of the upcoming Independence Day on July 4th. The first stanza of this poem is exceedingly well-known by Americans and most can sing the tune. Below you will also find a video with the song.

In case you have objections, Americans or those citizens of the United States or the previous British colonies have been called “Americans” for over three hundred years. Get over it. If one is overseas and someone says that an individual is an American, who do you think they imagine the person is from? At any rate, here is the poem:

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

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