THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Record Observer reader Thomas G. Scuderi submitted the following poem to be published in recognition of Independence Day.
Scuderi said, “Every 4th of July we are reminded of the courage of our country’s forefathers in declaring our independence from England.”
Scuderi said he learned the poem, “America for Me” as an elementary student, and he hopes it moves others in the same way it as always moved him.
“America for Me” ‘Tis fine to see the Old World, and travel up and down
Among the famous palaces and cities of renown,
To admire the crumbly castles and the statues of the kings, —
But now I think I’ve had enough of antiquated things.
So it’s home again, and home again, America for me!
My heart is turning home again, and there I long to be,
In the land of youth and freedom beyond the ocean bars,
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars!
Oh, London is a man’s town, there’s power in the air;
And Paris is a woman’s town, with flowers in her hair;
And it’s sweet to dream in Venice’ and it’s great to study in Rome;
But when it comes to living there is no place like home.
I like the German firwoods, in green battalions drilled;
I like the gardens of Versailles with flashing fountains filled;
But, oh, to take your hand, my dear, and ramble for a day
In the friendly western woodland where Nature has her way!
I know that Europe’s wonderful, yet something seems to lack:
The Past is too much with her, and the people looking back.
But the glory of the Present is to make the Future free, —
We love our land for what she is and what she is to be.
Oh, it’s home again, and home again, America for me!
I want a ship that’s westward bound to plough the rolling sea
To the blessed Land of Room Enough beyond the ocean bars,
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars! Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933)