Lien on the Land
By Margery S. Stewart
We have not paid enough for this land
And we have forgotten the price our fathers
Gave. We are renters of their holdings,
Disdaining the soil that holds their sweat
And dreams and their blood. A man cannot buy
A country with silver, nor can he keep it
With grudging gold. The hills, from sea to sea,
Stripped of their tall trees, the plains
Robbed to their dust, they hold the imprint
Still of men who loved them. The winds
From Valley Forge blow on the self-seekers
Who would betray us, the careless who have lost
Their shields, on the rusted swords of the
Fearful. High above the nations we stand,
Garlanded with plenty. Beautiful earth!
Fairest under heaven, let us be aware
Of your richness, of your free skies,
And your rivers belonging to us all, of
Your wild lost places, your turbulent streets.
We have not paid enough in love, nor vision,
We have forgotten our children’s children.