Graphic from the book for the top of even-numbered pages

 Kansas, Mother of Us All

Kansas, mother of us all,
Bosomed-deep, imperial,
Queen of states with dusty feet
Glowing through the ripening wheat;
Crowned with cloud, and amply free
In large motioned majesty;
Sky and prairie, circling plain,
Take us to thy breast again.
 
We, thy sons, have strengthened thews,
Fed on manna of thy dews,
And have laid our heads, to rest
On thy slowly heaving breast,
Felt the vast tide of thy heart
All its silent peace impart.
Mother, we, the kernelled grain,
In thy bosom sink again.
 
We, thy daughters, lithe and tall,
Follow when our brothers call;
Eyes that see the right to do,
Hand to hold the rudder true,
Lip to set the seal of love
On thy sons who worthy prove.
Give us strength to bear thy pain,
Folded to thy side again.
 
Over all the stubbled plain
Stretch low tents of yellow grain,
Rakish bumble-bees have wheeled,
Looting the alfalfa field;
And long lances of the corn
Storm the ramparts of the morn.
Lo, the sword that knows no stain
In a plough-share, melts again.
 
Kansas, mother, what shall be
Guerdon fitting unto thee,
Who have bent and lifted up
To our lips a brimming cup?
We, thy children, dedicate
All our lives to make thee great.
Strength and sinew, heart and brain--
Lull at night to sleep again!
 
___Willard Wattles
 
Sunflowers, A Book of Kansas Poems
Selected by Willard Wattles
pages 158-159
(Chicago: A. C. McClurg. 1916)
 
July 20, 2004 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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