Henry Van Dyke

(10 November 1852 – 10 April 1933 / Germantown, Pennsylvania)

America's Prosperity


They tell me thou art rich, my country: gold
In glittering flood has poured into thy chest;
Thy flocks and herds increase, thy barns are pressed
With harvest, and thy stores can hardly hold
Their merchandise; unending trains are rolled
Along thy network rails of East and West;
Thy factories and forges never rest;
Thou art enriched in all things bought and sold!

But dost thou prosper? Better news I crave.
O dearest country, is it well with thee
Indeed, and is thy soul in health?
A nobler people, hearts more wisely brave,
And thoughts that lift men up and make them free,--
These are prosperity and vital wealth!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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