Old Virginia

                                                 Rivers originating as "runs,"
                                        Battlefields with long-silent guns,
                                        Fire-faced preachers denouncing sin,
                                        And mountains eroded from within.
                                        This is old Virginia.

                                        Killdeers swooping over stone-strown hills,
                                        Embankments embellished with daffodils,
                                        Show horses grazing in meadows serene,
                                        And sycamores clustered in every ravine.
                                        This is old Virginia.

                                        Plantations sprawling along the James,
                                        All with elaborate English names,
                                        And out where the the continent meets the day,
                                        Watermen toiling upon the bay,
                                        This is old Virginia.

                                        Where men with the firmness to found a nation
                                        Provide us with permanent inspiration--
                                        But then with a sword and a heavy heart,
                                        They threw in with those who would pull it apart,
                                        And sundered old Virginia.

                                                  David Martin


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