The Nations Peril.

A poem by Alfred Castner King

Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates and men decay.
--Goldsmith.


I fear the palace of the rich,
I fear the hovel of the poor;
Though fortified by moat and ditch,
The castle strong could not endure;
Nor can the squalid hovel be
A source of strength, and those who cause
This widening discrepancy
Infringe on God's eternal laws.

The heritage of man, the earth,
Was framed for homes, not vast estates;
A lowering scale of human worth
Each generation demonstrates,
Which feels the landlord's iron hand,
And hopeless, plod with effort brave;
Who love no home can love no land;
These own no home, until the grave.

The nation's strongest safeguards lie
In free and unencumbered homes;
Not in its hordes of vagrancy,
Nor in its proud, palatial domes;
Nor can the mercenary sword
E'er cross with that the freeman draws.
Nor oil upon the waters poured
Perpetuate an unjust cause.

Eternal Justice, still prevail
And stay this menace ere too late!
Ere sturdy manhood droop and fail,
The law, immutable, of fate;
No foe can daunt the stalwart heart
Of him who guards that sacred ground
Where every hero owns a part,
Where each an ample home has found.

No more shall battle's lurid gleam
The cloudless sky of peace obscure;
Nor blood becrimson field, or stream,
Nor avarice grind down the poor;
But onward let thy progress be
A pageant, beautiful and grand;
May He who e'er has guided thee
Protect thee still, my native land!

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