"JOHN BROWN, OF KANSAS:
- States are not great except as men may make them.
- Men are not great except they do and dare.
- But states, like men, have destinies that take them -
- That bear them on, not knowing why or where.
- The WHY repels the philosophic searcher -
- The WHY and WHERE all questionings defy,
- Until we find, far back in youthful nurture,
- Prophetic facts that constitute the WHY.
- All merit comes in daring the unequal,
- All glory comes from daring to begin.
- Fame loves the State that, reckless of the sequel,
- Fights long and well, though it may lose or win.
- Than in our State, no illustration apter
- Is seen or found of faith and hope and will.
- Take up her story; every leaf and chapter
- Contains a record that conveys a thrill.
- And there is one whose faith, whose fight, whose failing,
- Fame yet shall placard on the walls of time.
- He dared begin - despite the unavailing,
- He dared begin, when failure was a crime.
- When over Africa some future cycle
- Shall sweep the lake-gemmed uplands with its surge;
- When as with trumpet of Archangel Michael
- Culture shall bid a colored race emerge;
- When busy cities there, in constellations,
- Shall gleam with spires and palaces and domes -
- With marts wherein is heard the noise of nations -
- With summer groves surrounding stately homes -
- There future orators to cultured freemen
- Shall tell of valor, and recount with praise
- Stories of Kansas and of Lacedæmon,
- Cradles of freedom, then of ancient days.
- From boulevards o'erlooking both Nyanzas,
- The statued bronze shall glitter in the sun,
- With rugged lettering:
HE DARED BEGIN;
HE LOST - BUT, LOSING, WON."