WITH clearer light, Cross of the South, shine forth
In blue Brazilian skies;
And thou, O river, cleaving half the earth
From sunset to sunrise,
From the great mountains to the Atlantic waves
Thy joy’s long anthem pour.
Yet a few years (God make them less!) and slaves
Shall shame thy pride no more.
No fettered feet thy shaded margins press;
But all men shall walk free
Where thou, the high-priest of the wilderness,
Hast wedded sea to sea.
And thou, great-hearted ruler, through whose mouth
The word of God is said,
Once more, “Let there be light!”–Son of the South,
Lift up thy honored head,
Wear unashamed a crown by thy desert
More than by birth thy own,
Careless of watch and ward; thou art begirt
By grateful hearts alone.
The moated wall and battle-ship may fail,
But safe shall justice prove;
Stronger than greaves of brass or iron mail
The panoply of love.
Crowned doubly by man’s blessing and God’s grace,
Thy future is secure;
Who frees a people makes his statue’s place
In Time’s Valhalla sure.
Lo! from his Neva’s banks the Scythian Czar
Stretches to thee his hand,
Who, with the pencil of the Northern star,
Wrote freedom on his land.
And he whose grave is holy by our calm
And prairied Sangamon,
From his gaunt hand shall drop the martyr’s palm
To greet thee with “Well done!”
And thou, O Earth, with smiles thy face make sweet,
And let thy wail be stilled,
To hear the Muse of prophecy repeat
Her promise half fulfilled.
The Voice that spake at Nazareth speaks still,
No sound thereof hath died;
Alike thy hope and Heaven’s eternal will
Shall yet be satisfied.
The years are slow, the vision tarrieth long,
And far the end may be;
But, one by one, the fiends of ancient wrong
Go out and leave thee free.