Katharine Lee Bates

(1859-1929 / United States)

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America the Beautiful


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 gain 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!

Submitted: Tuesday, May 08, 2001
Edited: Tuesday, May 08, 2001

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Read poems about / on: america, beautiful, sea, success, purple, freedom, god, dream, hero, city, sky

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Comments about this poem (America the Beautiful by Katharine Lee Bates )

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  • * Sunprincess * (6/1/2014 6:04:00 PM)

    ..........this is one of the best poems ever written....wish I could write as well.....enjoyed this beautiful poem... (Report) Reply

  • * Sunprincess * (11/23/2013 10:11:00 PM)

    the poetess wrote this so beautifully, you can see why it is so popular,
    she had a very nice heart, to show this much love for a country. :) (Report) Reply

  • Erik Christiansen (11/23/2011 11:01:00 AM)

    Now, about this poem,

    It sends shivers down my spine, and my eyes water my pride.

    What a wonderful and grandeurous tribute to the country I love. (Report) Reply

  • Erik Christiansen (11/23/2011 10:57:00 AM)

    Rikki Nandy, I despise you. Talk about reverse racism! Sure at one point blacks were enslaved by whites. At the birth of our country, the pilgrims this very poem speaks of, came to america to escape oppression of the english tyranny and church. They came here to be liberated.

    Today, minorities are afforded the same honor of liberty. America is about personal liberty, where you enjoy the freedom to make your life however you wish to construct it. Yes, being successful is hard work, so I suggest you get started.

    Sure, the remnants of the bigotry defeated by the civil rights movement remain, and effect the lives of non-whites.

    You're welcome to sit in the front of the bus with me, OK?

    Who gives a flying one about social dogma, you're guilty of it as is every other person. All people of ANY color live protected by the same bill of rights. (Report) Reply

  • Rinki Nandy (11/23/2011 10:32:00 AM)

    Its a place of freedom, and joy, and life and all good things life can ever provide, there is only one condition though...it is only for the white. Only the white race can live there, rest are slaves, blacks, pakis, terrorists and foreigners. That's all about America, should be suitably renamed Whitemarica, warn the non whites who enter the danger zone. (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (11/23/2011 2:22:00 AM)

    For freedom, nobleness and dream indeed America is great! It is the land of opportunity for all in the world now! (Report) Reply

  • Michael Pruchnicki (11/23/2009 4:48:00 PM)

    The responses to AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL do not surprise me in the least. These are the comments of the naive and crude, which do not invalidate the sentiments expressed in the poem, one way or the other. (Report) Reply

  • Susan Bossert (11/23/2005 3:06:00 PM)

    So pleased to see these familiar, comforting words today on the day before Thanksgiving. So many people, especially young soldiers, are not able to be stateside this Thanksgiving. This 'Poem du jour' is well chosen. (Report) Reply

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