America the Beautiful

Original Text: 
Katharine Lee Bates, America the Beautiful (New York: Thomas Y. Cromwell, 1911): 3-4. PS 1077 B4A5 1911 University of Iowa Libraries.
2    For amber waves of grain,
3For purple mountain majesties
4    Above the fruited plain!
5        America! America!
6    God shed His grace on thee
7And crown thy good with brotherhood
8    From sea to shining sea!
9O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
10    Whose stern, impassioned stress
11A thoroughfare for freedom beat
12    Across the wilderness!
13        America! America!
14    God mend thine every flaw,
15Confirm thy soul in self-control,
16    Thy liberty in law!
17O beautiful for heroes proved
18    In liberating strife,
19Who more than self their country loved,
20    And mercy more than life!
21        America! America!
22    May God thy gold refine,
23Till all success be nobleness,
24    And every gain divine!
25O beautiful for patriot dream
26    That sees beyond the years
27Thine alabaster cities gleam
28    Undimmed by human tears!
29        America! America!
30    God shed His grace on thee
31And crown thy good with brotherhood
32    From sea to shining sea!


1] Bates wrote this anthem after visiting Pike's Peak in a prairie wagon and revised it before its final version came out in 1911. Traditionally the poem is sung to music by Samuel Augustus Ward. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
The Congregationalist (July 4, 1895)
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.