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

Book review: “The Insurrectionist” (October 24, 2016)

A fictionalized treatment of the life of John Brown that fails to justify its existence

The Dyn attack: what non-nerds need to know (October 21, 2016)

Meet a software Eye of Sauron that could put the whole Internet at risk

Oktoberfest in Winchester (October 16, 2016)

Another random road trip, this time to the Shenandoah Valley

There is no good reason to ever buy an inkjet printer (October 12, 2016)

Despite their enormous popularity, inkjet printers are always a bad deal

It’s raining in Charlottesville (October 11, 2016)

Notes from a random road trip