Kansas Day 2017

“We cross the prairie as of old / The pilgrims crossed the sea, / To make the West, as they the East, / The homestead of the free!”

Photo: “Kansas Morning” by Garet Gabriel

It’s Kansas Day, which normally means that I post William Allen White’s “A Song for Kansas Day” for all of my fellow wandering children of Kansas.

This year, though, “The Kansas Emigrants” by John Greenleaf Whittier feels more appropriate:

We cross the prairie as of old
The pilgrims crossed the sea,
To make the West, as they the East,
The homestead of the free!
We go to rear a wall of men
On Freedom’s southern line,
And plant beside the cotton-tree
The rugged Northern pine!

We’re flowing from our native hills
As our free rivers flow;
The blessing of our Mother-land
Is on us as we go.

We go to plant her common schools
On distant prairie swells,
And give the Sabbaths of the wild
The music of her bells.

Upbearing, like the Ark of old,
The Bible in our van,
We go to test the truth of God
Against the fraud of man.

No pause, nor rest, save where the streams
That feed the Kansas run,
Save where our Pilgrim gonfalon
Shall flout the setting sun!

We’ll tread the prairie as of old
Our fathers sailed the sea,
And make the West, as they the East,
The homestead of the free!

A Song for Kansas Day

Wandering children of Kansas away… Come home tonight.

"peacock storm reflection" by David DeHetre on Flickr (CC BY-NC)
peacock storm reflection” by David DeHetre on Flickr (CC BY-NC)

Wandering children of Kansas away,
 By mountain, by desert, or sea,
Feasting or fasting, at prayer or at play,
 Whatever your fortunes may be,
Open the doors of your hearts to the breeze,
 Prairie wind never are still,
Hark to the surf in the cottonwood trees,
 The breakers that boom on the hill.
Open your soul’s windows–let in the sun–
 The prairie sun gay with delight.
Where’er your wandering pathways have run,
 Come home tonight.

Come home where Kansas lies under the stars
 Twinkling back beauty and joy;
Come and let homely love poultice your scars,
 Leave off your restless employ.
Come home where summer winds billow the wheat,
 Where golden tides cover the sands;
Come–let your heart’s longings hasten your feet
 And home love unfetter your hands.
Come where the tawny sunflower eagerly bends
 A tawny frank face to the light,
So do our hearts seek the joy of old friends–
 Come home tonight.

— William Allen White, “A Song for Kansas Day” (1915)

A Song for Kansas Day

Wandering children of Kansas away,
 By mountain, by desert, or sea,
Feasting or fasting, at prayer or at play,
 Whatever your fortunes may be,
Open the doors of your hearts to the breeze,
 Prairie wind never are still,
Hark to the surf in the cottonwood trees,
 The breakers that boom on the hill.
Open your soul’s windows–let in the sun–
 The prairie sun gay with delight.
Where’er your wandering pathways have run,
 Come home tonight.

Come home where Kansas lies under the stars
 Twinkling back beauty and joy;
Come and let homely love poultice your scars,
 Leave off your restless employ.
Come home where summer winds billow the wheat,
 Where golden tides cover the sands;
Come–let your heart’s longings hasten your feet
 And home love unfetter your hands.
Come where the tawny sunflower eagerly bends
 A tawny frank face to the light,
So do our hearts seek the joy of old friends–
 Come home tonight.

— William Allen White, “A Song for Kansas Day”

A Song for Kansas Day

Wandering children of Kansas away,
By mountain, by desert, or sea,
Feasting or fasting, at prayer or at play,
Whatever your fortunes may be,
Open the doors of your hearts to the breeze,
Prairie wind never are still,
Hark to the surf in the cottonwood trees,
The breakers that boom on the hill.
Open your soul’s windows–let in the sun–
The prairie sun gay with delight.
Where’er your wandering pathways have run,
Come home tonight.
 
Come home where Kansas lies under the stars
Twinkling back beauty and joy;
Come and let homely love poultice your scars,
Leave off your restless employ.
Come home where summer winds billow the wheat,
Where golden tides cover the sands;
Come–let your heart’s longings hasten your feet
And home love unfetter your hands.
Come where the tawny sunflower eagerly bends
A tawny frank face to the light,
So do our hearts seek the joy of old friends–
Come home tonight.

— William Allen White, “A Song for Kansas Day”

A Song for Kansas Day

Happy Kansas Day, everyone!

Wandering children of Kansas away,
By mountain, by desert, or sea,
Feasting or fasting, at prayer or at play,
Whatever your fortunes may be,
Open the doors of your hearts to the breeze,
Prairie wind never are still,
Hark to the surf in the cottonwood trees,
The breakers that boom on the hill.
Open your soul’s windows–let in the sun–
The prairie sun gay with delight.
Where’er your wandering pathways have run,
Come home tonight.

Come home where Kansas lies under the stars
Twinkling back beauty and joy;
Come and let homely love poultice your scars,
Leave off your restless employ.
Come home where summer winds billow the wheat,
Where golden tides cover the sands;
Come–let your heart’s longings hasten your feet
And home love unfetter your hands.
Come where the tawny sunflower eagerly bends
A tawny frank face to the light,
So do our hearts seek the joy of old friends–
Come home tonight.
— William Allen White, “A Song for Kansas Day”