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Fire Dreams

by Carl Sandburg, 1918

I remember here by the fire,
 In the flickering reds and saffrons,
 They came in a ramshackle tub,
 Pilgrims in tall hats,
 Pilgrims of iron jaws,
 Drifting by weeks on beaten seas,
 And the random chapters say
 They were glad and sang to God.

 And so
 Since the iron-jawed men sat down
 And said, “Thanks, O God,”
 For life and soup and a little less
 Than a hobo handout to-day,
 Since gray winds blew gray patterns of sleet on Plymouth Rock,
 Since the iron-jawed men sang “Thanks, O God,”
 You and I, O Child of the West,
 Remember more than ever
 November and the hunter’s moon,
 November and the yellow-spotted hills.

 And so
 In the name of the iron-jawed men
 I will stand up and say yes till the finish is come and gone.
 God of all broken hearts, empty hands, sleeping soldiers,
 God of all star-flung beaches of night sky,
 I and my love-child stand up together to-day and sing: “Thanks, O God.”

Published in Cornhuskers

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