translated from the Spanish by Agnes Blake Poor
In thee, the spirit of thy native soil
Draws breath and stirs with potent fruitful life.
Thou, from the field of elemental strife,
Seizest the guerdon of thy noble toil.
Franklin before, along the slender coil
Called down the fiery sparks in heaven rife.
Traced the quick ray, like sharp dividing knife;
And to the earth brought down the lightning’s spoil.
And thou, the living glory of thy race,
Preservest for all time the spoken word;
Defying ignorance’s numbing trace;
Despising falsehood’s deadly withering breath.
The immortal tree of life thy hand conferred,
Even on the edge of the abyss of death.
From Pan-American Poems: An Anthology (The Gorham Press, 1918) by Agnes Blake Poor. This poem is in the public domain.