Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Nation's Strength

What makes a nation's pillars high
And it's 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
"Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States.

"Emerson gradually moved away from the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries, formulating and expressing the philosophy of Transcendentalism in his 1836 essay, Nature. Following this ground-breaking work, he gave a speech entitled The American Scholar in 1837, which Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. considered to be America's 'intellectual Declaration of Independence'.[1]"

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OrbsCorbs said...

A great poem for our times.

kkdither said...

Let's not forget the contributions of good women. ;>

legal stranger said...

kk, fear not, no rightful man can or would forget the contributions of good women.

SER said...

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Prov. When people really need to do something, they will figure out a way to do it.

When the fan belt on Linda's car broke in the middle of the desert, Linda used her stockings as a replacement. Necessity is the mother of invention.

kkdither said...

Don't discard that used mascara brush. Wash it and it does a great job of cleaning your keyboard. And a crochet hook? Get outta here! It has a million uses! ;>

OrbsCorbs said...

Damn, I just tossed my last mascara brush.