America The Beautiful

The vast expanse of land from Yosemite to the Sierra Nevada Mountains is such a welcomed respite from the noise and hubbub of city life. Relatively few cars drive on the smaller state routes, so time spent in quiet solitude is only interrupted by the occasional moo from the cattle grazing the land.  Even in summertime, the air is crisp and clean; the pristine environment a joy to behold. And as I look upon this incredible display of nature, I hear the poem my college classmate (www.chrisgall.com)  Chris Gall’s great-great-grand-aunt Katharine Lee Bates wrote, which we all know, as it became the lyrics for America the Beautiful. America is beautiful! Happy 4th of July.

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, impassioned stress

A thoroughfare for freedom beat

Across the wilderness!

America! America!

God mend thine every 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 every grain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream

That sees beyond the years

Thine alabaster cities gleam

Undimmed by human tears!

America! America!

God shed His grace on thee

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea!

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