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America The Beautiful

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 impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.

America! America!
God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.

O beautiful for heroes prov'd
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 ev'ry 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.

Originally entitled America, the words to America The Beautiful were written by Katherine Lee Bates (1859-1929), an instructor at Wellesley College in Massachusetts and published in the Congregationalist, a weekly church journal on July 4, 1895. Ms. Bates was inspired to write the poem after taking a trip to Pikes Peak, Colorado in 1893.

The original music was composed by Samuel A. Ward, a church organist who had written the music for a song entitled Materna. The music was combined with the words to America and published in 1910 as America The Beautiful.

America The Beautiful epitomizes the true beauty that lies within the borders of the United States, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico. Until you have traveled extensively within the borders of the United States of America, you cannot understand the true meaning of what Ms. Bates was thinking.

There are so many natural and man made wonders to visit and appreciate in America, from small, medium, and mega cities, to rich and beautiful farmlands, open ranges, sandy beaches, mountains and deserts, and never ending coastlines that border three oceans.

To travel across America is to see natural beauty at it's best. People from all over the world come to it's shores to get a glimpse, a taste, and a feel of what the great American story is all about.

As the words to America the Beautiful so eloquently denotes, every vibrant, beautiful inch of America, from the mountains to the prairies and it's far reaching deserts is worth seeing and experiencing, and everyone should enjoy the many wonders that abound and travel it's highways and byways from sea to shining sea.

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