by Paul Laurence Dunbar
TO THE WESTERN ASSOCIATION OF WRITERS.
"Westward the course of empire takes its way,"--
So Berkeley said, and so to-day
The men who know the world still say.
The glowing West, with bounteous hand,
Bestows her gifts throughout the land,
And smiles to see at her command
Art, science, and the industries,
New fruits of new Hesperides.
So, proud are you who claim the West
As home land; doubly are you blest
To live where liberty and health
Go hand in hand with brains and wealth.
So here's a welcome to you all,
Whate'er the work your hands let fall,
To you who trace on history's page
The footprints of each passing age;
To you who tune the laureled Iyre
To songs of love or deeds of fire;
To you before whose well-wrought tale
The cheek doth flush or brow grow pale;
To you who bow the ready knee
And worship cold philosophy,
A welcome warm as Western wine,
And free as Western hearts, be thine.
Do what the greatest joy insures,
The city has no will but yours!