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The USA



 

This poem might be read by the Cubmaster as the closing for a program or banquet, in which there have been characterizations of various famous Americans.

So we march into the present

And it's always rather pleasant

To speculate on what the years ahead of us will see,

For our words and thoughts and attitudes,

All our novelties and platitudes,

Will be Rather Ancient History in the 21st century

Will they find us wise - or silly?

Looking backwards, willy-nilly,

At our queer old-fashioned costumes and our quaint old-fashioned ways?

When our doings face the ages,

Printed down on textbook pages,

Will they cry, "That savage Era"? Will they sigh "Those were the days!"?

I don't know - you may be wiser.

Time's a curious capsizer

Of a lot of reputations that seemed certain to endure,

While he'll sometimes make his heroes

Out of people, once thought zeros,

For the most well-grounded reasons, by the solemnly cocksure.

So instead of prophesying

(Which is fun, but rather trying)

Who they'll pick to be our great ones when the books are on the shelves,

Here's the marching panorama

Of out past and present drama

- And we shan't know all the answers till we're history, ourselves.

- Rosemay & Stephen Vincent Benet

 


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Nature Closing
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