- Let not our town be large—remembering
- That little Athens was the Muses’ home;
- That Oxford rules the heart of London still,
- That Florence gave the Renaissance to Rome.
- Record it for the grandson of your son—
- A city is not builded in a day:
- Our little town cannot complete her soul
- Till countless generations pass away.
- Now let each child be joined as to a church
- To her perpetual hopes, each man ordained:
- Let every street be made a reverent aisle
- Where music grows and beauty is unchained.
- Let Science and Machinery and Trade
- Be slaves of her, and make her all in
- Building against our blatant, restless time
- An unseen, skillful, medieval wall.
- Let every citizen be rich toward God.
- Let Christ the beggar, teach divinity—
- Let no man rule who holds his money dear.
- Let this, our city, be our luxury.
- We should build parks that students from afar
- Would choose to starve in, rather than go
- Fair little squares, with Phidian ornament—
- Food for the spirit, milk and honeycomb.
- Songs shall be sung by us in that good
- Songs we have written—blood within the
- Beating, as when old England still was glad,
- The purple, rich, Elizabethan time.
- Say, is my prophecy too fair and far?
- I only know, unless her faith be high,
- The soul of this our Nineveh is doomed,
- Our little Babylon will surely die.
- Some city on the breast of Illinois
- No wiser and no better at the start,
- By faith shall rise redeemed—by faith shall rise
- Bearing the western glory in her heart—
- The genius of the Maple, Elm and Oak,
- The secret hidden in each grain of corn—
- The glory that the prairie angels sing
- At night when sons of Life and Love are
- Born but to struggle, squalid and alone,
- Broken and wandering in their early years.
- When will they make our dusty streets their goal,
- Within our attics hide their sacred tears?
- When will they start our vulgar blood athrill
- With living language—words that set us
- When will they make a path of beauty clear
- Between our riches and our liberty?
- We must have many Lincoln-hearted men—
- A city is not builded in a day—
- And they must do their work, and come and go
- While countless generations pass away.