W. H. Rhodes: The Golden Gate

OLD Thebes could boast of her gates of brass,
  As they grated on hinges hoary,
And loosened their bolts for a monarch to pass,
  On his errands of guilt and glory.
But their portals were closed on a nation of slaves,        5
  Kneeling low at the foot of a Pharaoh,
And the Nile now waters an Egypt of graves,
  From sepulchral Philæ, to Cairo.
Remorseless Time, in his journeying’s on,
  Like Samson, at Gaza, of old,        10
On his shoulders her hundred gates have bore,
  And covered their sheen with mold.
But further than Ind, in the western world,
  Unknown to the sages olden,
Young Freedom, at length, has her banner unfurled,        15
  In a city whose Gate is Golden.
Its glittering bars are the breakers high,
  Its hinges are hills of granite,
Its bolts are the winds, its arch is the sky,
  Its corner-stone a planet!        20
Inside of its portals no slave bows his head,
  To priestess of On or of Isis,
Or covers the ground a monarch may tread,
  With the slime of a minion’s kisses.
But proud of his home in a city so fair,        25
  Enthroned on her hillocks seven,
He stands like a Roman, and breathes the free air,
  And kneels to no God, but in heaven.
No giant can tear from their pillars away,
  The Golden Gate of his glory,        30
For as long as the winds and the waters play,
  It shall swing on its hinges hoary.

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