A while ago, Neighbors ran a piece about America that someone had found. But the paper on which the piece was published was torn, so some of the lyrics were missing.
The person who found it sent it to Neighbors, hoping someone could provide all the words, plus give the author’s name.
Again, readers of this column came through.
Thanks to Greg Falde, West Fargo, who is retired from the military and now coaches cross country and track at Shanley High School, Fargo; Jan Kuehl, of Savage, Minn.; Darlajean Harlow, Sandy Lake, Manitoba, Canada; Shannon Leonetti, Portland, Ore., who was in Fargo for this year’s marathon when she saw the column mentioned above; and Mike “Dino” Peterson, Las Vegas, Neighbors now knows the poem was written in 1926 by Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver (residence unknown), and was titled,”They Called It America.”
Here it is, in full:
America is more than millions of people.
America is all that the races of the world have wished to be.
America is the realization of what the ages have hoped and labored for.
God built Him a continent of glory and filled it with treasures untold;
He carpeted it with soft rolling prairies and columned it with thundering mountains;
He studded it with sweet flowing fountains and traced it with long winding streams.
He planted it with deep shadowed forests and filled them with song.
Then He called unto a thousand peoples and summoned the bravest among them.
They came from the ends of the earth, each bearing a gift and a hope.
The glow of adventure was in their eyes and in their hearts, the glory of hope.
And out of the bounty of the earth and the labor men,
Out of the longing of hearts and the prayer of souls,
Out of the memory of ages and the hopes of the world
God fashioned a nation in love,
Blessed it with a purpose sublime
And called it America.
Dino says this poem is on a plaque at the city hall in Cohoes, N.Y., north of Albany, N.Y.
The previous column about that poem inspired Fuller Sheldon, Mapleton, N.D., to compose a poem while he was driving a truck. So his poem is, naturally, about trucking:
It’s a beautiful morning and you’ve had a good rest.
All you drivers, be ready now to be at your best.
So hop in your wagons and go down the road,
Safely proceeding to pick up your load.
The season’s near ending; we’re counting the days
‘Til I stay home with Gramma, hoe’n the garden or play.
But the tax man is greedy; he’s after my dime!
So I’ve gotta keep working, near all of the time!
If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 701-241-5487 or email email@example.com.