Henry Clay Work

(1 October 1832 – 8 June 1884 / Middletown, Connecticut)

Who Shall Rule This American Nation? - Poem by Henry Clay Work

Who shall rule this American Nation?
Say, boys, say!
Who shall sit in the loftiest station?
Say, boys, say!
Shall the men who trampled on the banner?
They who now their country would betray?
They who murder the innocent freedmen?
Say, boys, say!

"No, never! no, never!"
The loyal millions say;
And 'tis they who rule this American Nation!
They, boys, they!

Who shall rank as the family royal?
Say, boys, say!
If not those who are honest and loyal?
Say, boys, say!
Then shall one elected as our servant,
In his pride, assume a regal sway?
Must we bend to a human Dictator?
Say, boys, say!

Shall we tarnish our national glory?
Say, boys, say!
Blot one line from the wonderful story?
Say, boys, say!
Did we vainly shed our blood in battle?
Did our troops resultless win the day?
Was our time and our treasure all squander'd?
Say, boys, say!

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Read poems about / on: murder, family, pride

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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