America the Beautiful

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"America the Beautiful" is a patriotic song written as a poem by Katharine Lee Bates and published in 1893[1] in The Congregationalist. Unlike our national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, "America the Beautiful" has no official recognition.

Its lack of legal status and its use at official state functions fascinate liberals and liberal observers.

Lyrics

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 of 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!

O beautiful for halcyon skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties Above the enameled plain! America! America! God shed his grace on thee Till souls wax fair as earth and air And music-hearted sea!

O beautiful for pilgrims feet, Whose stem impassioned stress A thoroughfare for freedom beat Across the wilderness! America! America! God shed his grace on thee Till paths be wrought through wilds of thought By pilgrim foot and knee!

O beautiful for glory-tale Of liberating strife When once and twice, for man's avail Men lavished precious life! America! America! God shed his grace on thee Till selfish gain no longer stain The banner of the free!

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 Till nobler men keep once again Thy whiter jubilee!

References

  1. the year 1893 is from A Religious History of the American People, Sydney E. Ahlstrom, Yale University Press, 1972,1158 pp., page 7

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