Song for Fledgling Eagles

(To Our Missionary Youth)

O youth, you stand star-tall upon your dreams,

The destiny of nations in your hands.

Go, plant your lilies in cool crystal streams;

Erase the crimson stains from ravished lands.

Be now the weavers of the tapestry

Of freedom, making warp and woof skeins strong,

Its pattern flawless with democracy--

The strength of fledgling eagles is your song!

Your wings untried, speak from your hearts, though young,

Your voices tuned to live and love and laughter

Ring with a clearer and a truer tongue

A freedom lyric touching Heaven's rafter.

Chaste-strong, O youth, clasp hands with every race--

The vineyard also lies across the sea--

No matter what their creed or tint of face,

For God, through you, will build an empery

Of peace. His ensign to a troubled world,

Seek out the hungering ... the old ... the child ...

Till all humanity will see uncurled

His Royal Banner, and the atom mild

And gentle with its Atlas-strength, will bless

All men and earth will feel a miracle

Swelling its barren womb with tenderness

And one again become peace-beautiful.

O reverent youth, yours is the task to still

The tempest and awake the Lazarus-heart.

Before the high, white thunders of your will

The death-cowled years forever shall depart.

Clasp hands with God and every race and see

A peaceful world emerge from agony.