February 13, 2009
On Chicago: I Will
ERECT, commanding, like a goddess born,
With strength and beauty glowing in her face
And all her stately form attired in grace,
She stands beside her lake to greet the morn.
Behind her, rustling leaves of yellow corn
That whisper richest comfort to the race;
And 'neath her gaze, the waters' purple space
A thousand flashing sails with light adorn.
Still in her sight shine visions of the fair—
Immortal Art illuming human ill,
And far-eyed Science blessing with her care;
While through her soul, in purpose to fulfill
And reach her highest hope beyond compare,
Throbs deep and strong the strenuous cry: "I will."
From: Chicago in Picture and Poetry With One Hundred Illustrations By Horace Spencer Fiske (1903)
Note: If you are unfamiliar with Horace Fiske (1882-1940), you might want to take a little time to read some of his other poems. Fiske was an editor, poet and lecturer at the University of Chicago. His poetry appeared in many magazines of the period including Century and Harper's Weekly.