Oh yes, I know the faults …
The lyncher’s rope, the bought justice, the wasted land,
The scale on the leaf, the borers in the corn,
The finks with their clubs, the grey sky of relief,
All the long shame of our hearts and the long disunion.
I am merely remarking – as a country, we try.
As a country, I think we try.

There are certain words,
Our own and others’ …
Liberty, equality, fraternity.

We hold these truths to be self-evident.
I am merely saying – what if these words pass?

They tried in Spain but the tanks and the planes won out.
They fought very well and long.
They fought to be free but it seems that was not enough.
They did not have the equipment …

There are certain words,
Our own and others’ …

Liberty, equality, fraternity.
To none will we sell, refuse or deny, right or justice.
We hold these truths to be self-evident.

I am merely saying – what if these words pass?
What if they pass and are gone and are no more,
Eviscerated, blotted out of the world? …

It took long to buy these words.
It took a long time to buy them and much pain.

Thenceforth and forever free.
Thenceforth and forever free.
No man may be bound or fined or slain till he has been judged by his peers.
To form a more perfect Union.

Go tell fire it only burns in another country,
Go tell the bombers this is the wrong address …

The others have their words too, and strong words,
Strong as the tanks, explosive as the bombs.

The State is all, worship the State!
The Leader is all, worship the Leader!
Strength is all, worship strength!
Worship, bow down or die! …

Go tell fire it only burns in another country,
Go tell the bombers this is the wrong address …

An excerpt from Stephen Vincent Benet – a man who saw, who felt, who cared much about America, and who could write it down. This is from “Nightmare at Noon.” Selected Works: Vol I: Poetry, p464. (USA, NYC, 1940)