America the Beautiful

Representative Text

1 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.

2 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.

3 O beautiful for patriot dream
that sees beyond the years
thine alabaster cities gleam,
undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God mend thine every flaw,
confirm thy soul in self-control,
thy liberty in law.

United Methodist Hymnal, 1989

Author: Katharine Lee Bates

Katharine Lee Bates was born in Falmouth, Mass., August 12, 1859. Her father was a pastor in the Congregational Church; he died when she was an infant. Her mother moved the family to Wellesley. She received a B.A. (1880) and M.A. (1891) from Wellesley College. She taught high school from 1880-1885 and then was a professor of English literature at Wellesley. She wrote poetry, children's stories, textbooks and travel books. In the summer if 1893 when she was lecturing at Colorado College she went to the top of Pike's Peak. Inspired by the beauty of the view she wrote all four verses of "America the Beautiful" which was an instant hit when it was published. She had an intimate relationship with Katharine Coman, dean of Wellesley, who she live… Go to person page >

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Instances

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