Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVIII / What Constitutes a State? >> Page 443

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 443

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE IDEAL STATE. 443
has endeavored to express something of this idea of ' the state' as it appears to my own mind. Like all others, who have spoken and written on the point, the subtilty still eludes him ; but enough is said to give the clues into the hands of the metaphysician ; and no other person, by the way, has any right to pass upon it."
Let's have the passage."
The Alabamian delivered it, from memory, to the following effect :
" THE STATE.

The moral of the race is in the State,
The secret germ for great development,
Through countless generations:� all the hopes, The aims, the great ambition, the proud works, Virtues, performance, high desires and deeds, With countless pure and precious sentiments, Nursed in some few brave souls, that, still apart From the rude hunger of the multitude,
Light fires, built altars, image out the God
That makes the grand ideal:�which, unknown, Unconsciously, the thoughtless tribes conceive In a blind worship ; which is still content To follow Duty through the bonds of terror, And learn its best obedience through its fears.
. . . A state's the growth
Of the great family of a thousand years, With all its grand community of thoughts, Affections, faith, and sentiments, as well
As its material treasures. These are naught, If that the faith, the virtues, and the will, Be lacking to the race. The guardian state Keeps these immaculate. They are not yours, Or mine ; nor do they rest within the charge Of the mere feeders at the common crib, Of all the myriads, keeping pace with us,
Some seventy years of march. We are but links, In a long-banded, many-fibred stock,
Branching and spreading out on every side, With every day some change of hope and aim, Rule, province and division of our tribes, Each with a moment purpose, to pursue Some passion or mere fancy�some caprice�Which, as even evil works out ways for good, Must, in its turn, contribute to the truths,
<