America the Beautiful

March 9, 2005

We got back from the Flower show not long ago. It was a gorgeous experience as always. This is our third one, and each year we go we spend more time there. I think it’s because we know what to look for. For example, Mom enjoys the pressed flower displays. I like the garden party and terrarium exhibits.

(I vaguely recall getting a tiny terrarium kit in a cereal box years ago. The terrarium itself was no larger than one of those plastic containers that hold the prizes in Grocery Store prize vending machines. It died.)

This year’s theme was “America the Beautiful” so exhibits had something to do with America. Surprisingly, there was little over the top patriotism. Instead, the displays highlighed slices of Americana, like churches and front stoops and shade-covered rivers.

In one of the pressed flower competitions, the artists had to illustrate a verse from the song “America the Beautiful.” I was so moved by some of the verses – like most “patriotic” songs, I only knew the first verse.

So, go here to see my Ofoto album of the show. I think I set it up so you don’t have to sign in.

Otherwise, here’s the entire song of America the Beautiful. I should read this every time I feel our country is too divided and hateful toward each other. (Reprinted without permission, but I believe the composer is long dead. I will take this down if his ghost comes to me and tells me to. Emphasis mine. Member FDIC.)

America the Beautiful / William Arms Fisher

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America ! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern, impassion’d stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!

America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimm’d by human tears!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

You Might Also Like