Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Only American Who Could Ever Have Been King

"Soldier and statesman, rarest unison
High-poised example of great duties done
Simply as breathing, a world's honors worn
As life's indifferent gifts to all men born
Dumb for himself, unless it were to God
But for his barefoot soldiers eloquent
Tramping the snow to coral where they trod
Held by his awe in hollow-eyed content
Modest, yet firm as nature's self...
Not honored then or now because he wooed
The popular voice, but that he still withstood
Broad-minded, higher-souled, there is but one
Who was all this, and ours, and all men's, -Washington"  -James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)

This poem was read at Cambridge on July 3, 1875 on the Hundredth Anniversary of Washington taking Command of the American Army.  At the end of the Revolutionary War, there were many who wanted Washington to be the first American King.  If he had been any lesser of man... a Napoleon? A Caesar?  A Lenin?  The course of our entire country would have been changed.  George Washington still remains, the only American who could have been our first, or ever, king.  

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