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America the Beautiful

Katharine Lee Bates 1859 (Falmouth) – 1929 (Wellesley)

O beautiful for spacious skies,
  For amber waves of grain,
  For purple mountain majesties
  Above the fruited plain!
  America! America!
  God shed His grace on thee
  And crown thy good with brotherhood
  From sea to shining sea!

  O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
  Whose stern, impassioned stress
  A thoroughfare for freedom beat
  Across the wilderness!
  America! America!
  God mend thine every flaw,
  Confirm thy soul in self-control,
  Thy liberty in law!

  O beautiful for heroes proved
  In liberating strife,
  Who more than self their country loved,
  And mercy more than life!
  America! America!
  May God thy gold refine,
  Till all success be nobleness,
  And every gain divine!

  O beautiful for patriot dream
  That sees beyond the years
  Thine alabaster cities gleam
  Undimmed by human tears!
  America! America!
  God shed His grace on thee
  And crown thy good with brotherhood
  From sea to shining sea!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

43 sec read
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Katharine Lee Bates

Katharine Lee Bates is remembered as the author of the words to the anthem America the Beautiful Bates was born in Falmouth Massachusetts and lived as an adult on Centre Street in Newton Massachusetts An historic plaque marks the site of her home The daughter of a Congregational pastor she graduated from Wellesley College in 1880 and for many years was a professor of English literature at Wellesley While teaching there she was elected a member of the newly formed Pi Gamma Mu honor society for the social sciences because of her interest in history and politics for which she also studied She lived at Wellesley with Katharine Coman who herself was a history and political economy teacher and founder of the Wellesley College Economics department The pair lived together for twenty-five years until Comans death in 1915 It is debated if this relationship was an intimate lesbian relationship as different sources maintain or a platonic relationship called sometimes Boston marriages as the local historical society of her birthplace maintain more…

All Katharine Lee Bates poems | Katharine Lee Bates Books

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