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

The University of Kansas.

They have throned her, upon a hill-top, mother and
     queen in one,
Bride of the skies at midnight, sister of the sun;
Crowned with the glory of wisdom, garlanded with
     light,
With the stars in her shadowy tresses when she
     sleeps in the arms of night,
With the stars in her shadowy tresses, and a million
     lamps that gem
The undulant lines of her body to the fringe of her
     garment hem.
 
To her feet from the far-flung prairie, her loving
     subjects press,
Sprung from the sun-browned heroes who peopled
     a wilderness;
Lads on whose hearts are graven epics of toil
     unsung.
Bolder than olden story boasted in golden tongue__
Bolder than knights of Arthur, braver than Charle-
     magne.
The patient unchronicled warriors whose plowshare
     conquered the plain.
 
Beside them kneel their sisters, womanly, strong
     and true,
Their hearts aflame with a courage such as their
     mothers knew
When they watched the hot winds shrivel the corn
     in the swelling ear,
Yet smiled at the men who faltered when every
     smile hid a tear;
Still smiled when the tiny invader set teeth to the
     ripening wheat,
And the face of the sun was darkened, and ruin
     seemed complete.
 
They have throned her upon a hill-top and her
     scepter sways afar;
The ends of the earth acknowledge her wherever
     her children are.
Never in pride of her glory may those she has
     nourished forget
That not on the purple dais is her throne of dominion
     set.
Not on the purple dais__May the sons of those
     pioneers
Stand strong by their father's struggle and clean
     by their mother's tears.
 
__Willard Wattles
 
Sunflowers, A Book of Kansas Poems
Selected by Willard Wattles
pages 156-157
(Chicago: A. C. McClurg. 1916)
 
August 6, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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