by Max Ehrmann
Alternately I bow my head in shame
And burn with accusations on my tongue.
Is this the land whose praises we have sung,
That all the world know her unsullied name!
Here sit the nation’s councilors without aim,
Like lizards sunning on a heap of dung.
Here crawls the grubworm with his paunch low swung;
The sewer-rat swells out his oily frame
O millions at your daily task, awake!
It’s not enough to labor and to sleep.
Let pens run hot, and righteous voices shake
The land, until the evil fear and weep,
Our happiness, our firesides are at stake,
When in our nation’s house the vermin creep.