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Next to of course god America

E. E. Cummings


Next to of course god America

E. E. Cummings


Poem introduction

III

Next to of course god America

"next to of course god america i
love you land of the pilgrims' and so forth oh
say can you see by the dawn's early my
country 'tis of centuries come and go
and are no more what of it we should worry
in every language even deafanddumb
thy sons acclaim your glorious name by gorry
by jingo by gee by gosh by gum
why talk of beauty what could be more beaut-
iful than these heroic happy dead
who rushed like lions to the roaring slaughter
they did not stop to think they died instead
then shall the voice of liberty be mute?"

He spoke. And drank rapidly a glass of water


'Next to of course god America', copyright 1926, 1954, © 1991 by the Trustees for the E E Cummings Trust, copyright © 1985 by George J Firmage, from Complete Poems: 1904-1962 edited by George J Firmage (W W Norton, 1991), by permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation. Recording used by permission of the BBC. This selection may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher.

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