Bird of the broad and sweeping wing
Thy home is high in heaven,
Where wide the storms their banners fling,
And the tempest clouds are driven.
Thy throne is on the mountain top;
Thy fields---the boundless air;
And hoary peaks that proudly prop
The skies, thy dwellings are.
And where was then thy fearless flight?
"O'er the dark, mysterious sea,
To lands that caught the setting light,
The cradle of liberty.
There on the silent and lonely shore,
For ages I watched alone,
And the world, in its darkness, asked no more
Where the glorious bird had flown.
"But then came a bold and hardy few,
And they breasted the unknown wave;
I caught afar the wandering crew,
And I knew they were high and brave.
I wheeled around the welcome bark,
As it sought the desolate shore;
And up to heaven, like a joyous lark,
My quivering pinions bore.
"And now that bold and hardy few
Are a nation wide and strong;
And danger and doubt I have led them through,
And they worship me in song;
And over their bright and glancing arms
On field, and lake, and sea,
With an eye that fires, and a spell that charms,
I guide them to victory."
© James Gates Percival
Poem source: Junior Instructor Book II