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Poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes
PERHAPS too far in these considerate days Has patience carried her submissive ways; Wisdom has taught us to be calm and meek, To take one blow, and turn the other cheek; It is not written what a man shall do, If the rude caitiff smite the other too! Land of our fathers, in thine hour of need God help thee, guarded by the passive creed! As the lone pilgrim trusts to beads and cowl, When through the forest rings the gray wolf's howl; As the deep galleon trusts her gilded prow When the black corsair slants athwart her bow; As the poor pheasant, with his peaceful mien, Trusts to his feathers, shining golden-green, When the dark plumage with the crimson beak Has rustled shadowy from its splintered peak,Ч So trust thy friends, whose babbling tongues would charm The lifted sabre from thy foeman's arm, Thy torches ready for the answering peal From bellowing fort and thunder-freighted keel!
Oliver Wendell Holmes
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