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Independence Day

From the Omaha Daily Bee, July 4, 1915. By Minna Irving.

From the shores of old Penobscot
    Where the ocean’s roar is heard,
To the home of sweet magnolias
    And the clear-voiced mocking bird,
From the pines, that whisper secrets
    To the pale moon overhead,
To the live oaks in their mosses
    There’s a gleam of white and red.

From the gray New England homesteads
    Framed in pear and apple trees,
To the valleys and the vineyards
    By the blue Pacific seas;
From the rosy glow of morning
    To the sunset’s golden bars,
Over all the land of freedom
    Is a flash of silver stars.

North and South alike they glimmer
    East and West the same they shine,
In the palace and the cabin,
    By the palm and by the pine;
Where the crowded city clamors,
    Where the sylvan waters call,
Flies the same immortal banner
    Waving glorious for all.

’Twas for this the Continentals
    Starved and suffered long ago,
Leaving footprints marked in crimson
    On the crust of frozen snow.
’Twas for this the infant nation,
    From the arms of Liberty,
Made its ringing declaration
    To be fetterless and free.

Just one silken, starry standard
    Broad and bright enough, behold!
For both white and black together
    To be sheltered in its fold.
Just one flag above a people
    That, united, lead the way
To the world’s emancipation
    And its Independence day.

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