Just as we wish to preserve the civic virtues of our nation, so too we should never forget our cultural heritage. To be an American means not only to hold to certain political principles, but to love and embrace and truly know a place – the soul of North America. The below is a short piece from one of our first great poets, whose many works dwelt on the natural beauties of our homeland.
Soon as the glazed and gleaming snow
Reflects the day-dawn cold and clear,
The hunter of the west must go
In depth of woods to seek the deer.
His rifle on his shoulder placed,
His stores of death arranged with skill,
His moccasins and snow-shoes laced,–
Why lingers he beside the hill?
Far, in the dim and doubtful light,
Where woody slopes a valley leave,
He sees what none but lover might,
The dwelling of his Genevieve.
And oft he turns his truant eye,
And pauses oft, and lingers near;
But when he marks the reddening sky,
He bounds away to hunt the deer.
– William Cullen Bryant