One learns they knew of no other way, As pages of time unfold, Than for kings to rule and others obey And to worship as they were told.
A few by birth took most of the best, Like land and learning for the fullness of life, Leaving the many to vie for the rest, Strive to survive, bear the brunt of any strife.
Now, the people had been loyal To their king across the sea, They paid his taxes royal On their goods and wares and tea.
Yet his troops took any dwelling Where ere they chose to go, With military law compelling And justice atilt and slow.
Some sought a law for redress, That torts be so resolved,But the legislative House of Burgess By the king was then dissolved.
Then leaders of the people had a vision for the land, Untitled but learned, the king they would defy For all to start equal and free to expand And blessings from any would through all multiply.
So their fortunes they gave For principles true and sound, Their honor they would save For the country they would found.
The land was new and the people were too, Come to leave the ways of old; Fighters were few but their numbers grew, The wages were greater than gold.
Near frozen they bled and were scarcely fed, Their fighting done much on the run; But leaders by their side and inspiringly led, Six years, then help, and they had won.
Framing of a paper was the next afoot, Foreseeing the dangers for it to forestall; Eloquently worded but simply put, Freedom, and justice, for all.
Now, the paper still stands with freedom to give To all who take its torch and bear it for, And the wellspring spirit that makes it live Is the steadfast beacon we call America.
Images fading from the classroom wall, Some names from calendars almost cleared, The first to cry Freedom then answer its call, Founding fathers by patriots revered.
If not at times to remember all Let all be seen in one, In he who led and stood so tall, That would be George Washington.
By the late Samuel Lloyd Collins
CAPTAIN, US Navy (Retired)
Copyright 2002 by the late Samuel Lloyd Collins. Publication rights reserved but may be used otherwise, including on web.