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The Puritan Strain

From The Seattle Star, December 6, 1912. By Berton Braley.

 The artists and critics my rave as they will
     Of prudishness prim and precise,
 They claim that it hampers their art and their skill
     To have to be proper and nice.
 But for all of its squeamishness, all of its cant,
     It holds us to decency, plain,
 And I’m willing to lift up my voice in a chant,
     A hymn to the “Puritan Strain.”
 It may be a trifle too rigid and grim
     And hard on the spirit of Youth,
 But it keeps the commandments from growing too dim
     And it holds to the right and the truth.
 It’s harsh and unyielding in many a way
     That causes but worry and pain,
 But a man or a nation won’t go far astray
     If controlled by the “Puritan Strain.”
 It’s helped us to conquer the country we own
     Which stretches from sea unto sea,
 It’s sobered and tempered us while we have grown
     A nation united and free.
 It’s grappling undaunted with problems most vast,
     With power of hand and of brain;
 That grim, granite purpose will save us at last—
     Thank God for the “Puritan Strain!”

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