July 4th

FORESEEN in the vision of sages,
Foretold when martyrs bled,
She was born of the longing of ages,
By the truth of the noble dead
And the faith of the living fed!
No blood in her lightest veins
Frets at remembered chains,
Nor shame of bondage has bowed her head.
In her form and features still
The unblenching Puritan will,
Cavalier honor, Huguenot grace,
The Quaker truth and sweetness,
And the strength of the danger-girdled race
Of Holland, blend in a proud completeness.
From the homes of all, where her being began,
She took what she gave to Man;
Justice, that knew no station,
Belief, as soul decreed,
Free air for aspiration,
Free force for independent deed!
She takes, but to give again,
As the sea returns the rivers in rain;
And gathers the chosen of her seed
From the hunted of every crown and creed.
Her Germany dwells by a gentler Rhine;
Her Ireland sees the old sunburst shine;
Her France pursues some dream divine;
Her Norway keeps his mountain pine;
Her Italy waits by the western brine;
And, broad-based under all,
Is planted England’s oaken-hearted mood,
As rich in fortitude
As e’er went worldward from the island-wall!
Fused in her candid light,
To one strong race all races here unite;
Tongues melt in hers, hereditary foemen
Forget their sword and slogan, kith and clan.
‘T was glory, once, to be a Roman:
She makes it glory, now, to be a man!

— Bayard Taylor, “America” (from the National Ode, July 4, 1876)

Recently on Just Well Mixed

Jason recommends: “Our World War” (November 24, 2015)

Our World War is thrilling, engaging and profoundly moving; it brings World War I to life in a way that no other production I’ve seen ever has

Marvel Unlimited: Everything good and bad about comics, for $9.99 (November 20, 2015)

It’s not perfect, but if the idea of binge-reading comics appeals to you, Unlimited is where you want to be

Nine questions for Jack Dorsey (November 13, 2015)

Welcome back to Twitter, Jack! I have some questions about your product

Book review: “Kraken” (October 26, 2015)

I’m a huge fan of China Miéville, so I picked up Kraken with great anticipation. It pains me to report, therefore, that Kraken just isn’t very good

What it is like to live with clinical depression (October 21, 2015)

Depression is a battle you know you can’t win, an enemy you know you can’t defeat. It’s a war that never ends. But you can arm yourself and train so you’re ready whenever it strikes