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The land was ours before we were the lands.
She was our land more than a hundred years
Before we were her people. She was ours
In Massachusetts, in Virginia,
But we were Englands, still colonials,
Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,
Possessed by what we now no more possessed. Something we were withholding made us weak
Until we found out that it was ourselves
We were withholding from our land of living,
And forthwith found salvation in surrender.
Such as we were we gave ourselves outright
To the land vaguely realizing westward,
But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced,
Such as she was, such as she would become.