Henry Van Dyke
Patria - Poem by Henry Van Dyke
I would not even ask my heart to say
If I could love some other land as well
As thee, my country, had I felt the spell
Of Italy at birth, or learned to obey
The charm of France, or England's mighty sway.
I would not be so much an infidel
As once to dream, or fashion words to tell,
What land could hold my love from thee away.
For like a law of nature in my blood
I feel thy sweet and secret sovereignty,
And woven through my soul thy vital sign.
My life is but a wave, and thou the flood;
I am a leaf and thou the mother-tree;
Nor should I be at all, were I not thine.
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