The morning breaks upon the shore, 
    The day from slumber doth awake, 
     Bestir, ye ships of life, and shake
The drowsy anchor for the oar.

Let Indolence with night retire,
    Spread out Industry’s swelling sail,
    Let Commerce catch the morning gale,
And cheer her hearth and trim her fire.

Let Journalism ope the strife,
    And wield her unembarrassed pen,
    And paint the daring deeds of men, 
With all the tints and taints of life.

Let Science with her aspect bold
    Resume her firm, unflinching march,
    In undiscovered fields to search,
The hidden treasures to unfold.

Philosophy of mind profound,
    With doubting step now take the field,
    And strive to break the mystic shield,
The deeper depths of truth to sound.

Let Art uprear her stately head,
  Employ her brush and dye at ease,
  And fling her colors to the breeze,
And round her shaded influence shed.

Let Agriculture’s lowly train,
  With willing heart and nimble hand,
  Sweep onward like a learned band,
And spread profusion o’er the plain.

Let Justice spread her gilded wing
  O’er each oppressed race of man,
  Bid slavery lose her deadly ban,
While all the bells of freedom ring.

Let Knowledge with her myriad plumes
    Bespangle all her prosperous land,
    Let Love and Truth go hand in hand, 
And lay the tracks with sweet perfumes.

Let pompous Pride with tuneful ear,
    And wanton Wealth with piercing eye, 
    Search o’er the vale of Poverty,
Where dwell the creatures of Despair.

Let Charity with liberal hand
    Spread far and wide her ample store,
    Possess the rich, anoint the poor,
And heal the sufferings of the land.

Let sweet Religion lift her voice,
  And bid melodious anthems swell, 
   Jehovah’s praises forth to tell, 
Till all the world His name rejoice.

Let Music with bewitching sound
    Her full-grown symphonies employ,
    Proclaim the genial burst of joy,
And charm the toiling host around.

Let Poesy from sleep awake,
    And touch her strings and rouse her lyre,
    And roll celestial balls of fire,
Till all shall act for Duty's sake.

Let dove-eyed Peace with balmy breath
    Exhale and waft her influence far, 
    And lull the brazen notes of war,
And soothe the bitter pangs of death.

Let each act well his chosen art, 
    In perfect concord with the whole,
    Let streams of progress onward roll, 
Back to the Source that gave them start.

Related Poems

A Common Plaint

If I could write a tale to-night,
A tale of thrilling things;
A spice of love, a bit of fight,
The clink if wedding rings,
The villain’s death, and all end right,
If I could write a tale to-night.

My pot is on the fire to-night,
Alas, it needs to boil;
I gaze with would-be seeress sight,
And burn the midnight oil,
Alack, again, I cannot write,
My pot is on the fire to-night.

A check looms large into my sight,
And here, I scribble rhymes;
No editor will heed my plight,
I’ve proved that scores of times:
Oh, hero, gallant, come bedight,
A check looms large into my sight.

I gaze into the fire to-night,
And build my castles there;
Great mansions, tall, and all alight,
Alas, they turn to air.
Then vainly, I for ideas fight,
And gaze into the fire to-night.

It is no use, I cannot write,
I’d rather dream than work;
Then what’s the use, let’s take to-night
For luxury of shirk.
Those editors would send it back,
I cannot write, ah, well, alack!


“I have no time for those things now,” we say;
“But in the future just a little way,
No longer by this ceaseless toil oppressed,
I shall have leisure then for thought and rest.
When I the debts upon my land have paid,
Or on foundations firm my business laid,
I shall take time for discourse long and sweet
With those beloved who round my hearthstone meet;
I shall take time on mornings still and cool
To seek the freshness dim of wood and pool,
Where, calmed and hallowed by great Nature's peace,
My life from its hot cares shall find release;
I shall take time to think on destiny,
Of what I was and am and yet shall be,
Till in the hush my soul may nearer prove
To that great Soul in whom we live and move.
All this I shall do sometime but not now—
The press of business cares will not allow.”
And thus our life glides on year after year;
The promised leisure never comes more near.
Perhaps the aim on which we placed our mind
Is high, and its attainment slow to find;
Or if we reach the mark that we have set,
We still would seek another, farther yet.
Thus all our youth, our strength, our time go past
Till death upon the threshold stands at last,
And back unto our Maker we must give
The life we spent preparing well to live.