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Letter: Sail on, O Ship of State

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

As July the 4th approaches, patriotic themes appear and patriotic ideas are, for some, revived.

One of the most beautiful and stirring poems in American literature is Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, most commonly known as “O Ship of State,” written in 1849.

The Republic from 

“The Building of the Ship”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State! Sail on, O Union, strong and great! Humanity with all its fears, With all the hopes of future years, Is hanging breathless on the fate! We know what Master laid the keel, What Workmen wrought thy ribs of steel, Who made each mast, and sail, and rope, What anvils rang, what hammers beat, In what forge and what a heat Were shaped the anchors of thy hope! Fear not each sudden sound and shock, ’Tis of the wave and not the rock; ’Tis but the flapping of the sail, And not a rent made by the gale! In spite of rock and tempest’s roar, In spite of ...

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