Oh, America. What have we done to you?
Was it only a dream of what we might be?
From sea to shining—-see “A thoroughfare for freedom”?
Those “amber waves of grain”*
overseen by the goddess Demeter
That grace He shed on us.
That “crown of good with brotherhood”
Still, may it lie in wait,
“Till souls wax fair as earth and air.”
*Quotes are lyrics in “America the Beautiful” by Katharine Lee Bates, who wrote it originally as a poem called “Pikes Peak” before it was published in 1895 in the Fourth of July edition of a church periodical, The Congregationalist, and given the title “America.”