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A dozen spires against the sky--
A plain of roofs--the circled glow
Of one great dome--a canyon'd street--
The prisoned river far below;
Shrill echoes of a teeming way--
A whistle's Iron-throated cry--
The clatter of a road of stone--
Unnumbered steps that murmur by.
The savage knew thy triple hill,
The dauntless Pilgrim turned to thee,
Thy snowy street was first to bear
The crimson flower of liberty.
Thy sons were champion of the slave,
Thy children fashioned Cuba's fate--
And still a mighty work is thine,
Staid guardian of our northeast gate!
From lands where sunset is the dawn
The nations bring their gifts to thee
On double roads of ringing steel
And laden pathways of the sea.
Oh wake in pleasure-stifled ears
The challenge of unsorted spoil--
Give us a task, and guard our lips
From boasting in another's toil.
Across thy stream our fathers came
To find the knowledge born of men;
With thee they tracked the circling stars
And heard the songs of Rome again.
Thou gavest them the seeds of strength,
The glimpses of a world unwon--
Oh give that power now, reveal
The father's vision to the son.
Awake the buried soul that cried
For justice from a haughty king,
And bid our later monarchs share
With all the spoil that all may bring.
Oh touch our drowsy hearts with shame
For sunless homes where sin is piled,
And call us from the shrines of gold
Built on the ruins of a child.
Now fades the day behind the stream,
The quivering lights begin to glow,
A thousand footsteps eager come,
A thousand others weary go.
On toiling tide and plundered hill
The ageless challenge rings again--
Each light a shrine for sacrifice,
Each step a trumpet call for men.
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