States are not great|
Except as men may make them.
Men are not great except they do and dare.
But states, like men,
Have destinies that take them ---
That bear them on, not knowing why or where.
What do they hold -- these walls of corn,|
Whose banners toss on the breeze of morn?
He who questions may soon be told:
A great state's wealth these walls enfold.
Open the atlas, conned by rule,
In the olden days of the district school;
Point to the rich and bounteous land,
That yields such fruits to the toiler's hand.
"Treeless desert," they called it then,
Haunted by beasts, and forsook by men.
Little they knew what wealth untold
Lay hid where the desolate prairies rolled.
Who would have dared, with brush or pen,
As this land is now, to paint it then?