From the Grand Forks Daily Herald, December 4, 1914. By John G. Whittier.
What means the gladness of the plain,
This joy of eve and morn,
The mirth that shakes the beard of grain
And yellow locks of corn?
Ah! eyes may well be full of tears,
And hearts with hate are hot,
But even-paced come ‘round the years,
And nature changes not.
She meets with smiles our bitter grief,
With songs our groans of pain;
She mocks with tint of flower and leaf
The war field’s crimson stain.
Still, in the cannon’s pause, we hear
Her sweet thanksgiving psalm;
Too near to God to doubt or fear,
She shares the eternal calm.
She knows the seed lies safe below
The fires that burst and burn;
For all the tears of blood we sow
She waits the rich return.
She sees with clearer eye than ours
The good of suffering born—
The hearts that blossom like her flowers,
And ripen like her corn.
O, give to us, in times like these,
The vision of her eyes;
And make her fields and fruited trees
Our golden prophecies!
O, give to us her finer ear!
Above this stormy din.
We, too, would hear the bells of cheer
Ring peace and freedom in!