Maryland, My Maryland

Day 231

231a_365 Guitars

231_365 Guitars

The last day of August.  The sun coming up, it promises to be warm but not overly so.  The boaters on the Chesapeake should be delighted – there is a light breeze.  The perfect kick-off to the holiday weekend.  Whatever else the weather does, at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, it is perfect.

On the edge of the uncut field, there is a bouquet of flowers in bloom.  Clover, chicory and Maryland’s state flower, the Black Eyed Susan.

I have to say, contemplating the fact that Maryland (and all other states) has a “State Flower” makes me miss Mayberry.  With all that is going on in the world these days, it is hard to imagine a time when the heated debate in houses of government was over such things as state flower, state bird, or if the state sport should be jousting or duck pin bowling.

Turns out, I’m not as far out of Mayberry as I thought.  As much as I might like to think that these debates (as the one about Rudbeckia hirta) happened in some distant past, (that debate in 1918) in 2008 the legislature was coming up with the state cake (Smith Island layer cake) and the state exercise (apparently we get walking – I don’t know what they do in other states.)

Now, here I go, thinking again.  In 1918, seems like between WWI and the influenza epidemic that politicians had other things to do too.  I’m so confused.  Now I get to contemplate the next big thing – how did the music from O Tannenbaum seem like the right thing for James Ryder Randal when he wrote the following lyrics to our state song?

 Maryland, My Maryland

The despot’s heel is on thy shore,

Maryland!

His torch is at thy temple door,
Maryland!
Avenge the patriotic gore
That flecked the streets of Baltimore,
And be the battle queen of yore,
Maryland! My Maryland!

                                                                    Hark to an exiled son’s appeal,
Maryland!
My mother State! to thee I kneel,
Maryland!
For life and death, for woe and weal,
Thy peerless chivalry reveal,
And gird they beauteous limbs with steel,
Maryland! My Maryland!

Thou wilt not cower in the dust,

        Maryland!
Thy beaming sword shall never rust,
Maryland!
Remember Carroll’s sacred trust,
Remember Howard’s warlike thrust,
And all thy slumberers with the just,
Maryland! My Maryland!

Come! ’tis the red dawn of the day,
Maryland!
Come with thy panoplied array,
Maryland!
With Ringgold’s spirit for the fray,
With Watson’s blood at Monterey,
With fearless Lowe and dashing May,
Maryland! My Maryland!

Come! for thy shield is bright and strong,
Maryland!
Come! for thy dalliance does thee wrong,
Maryland!
Come to thine own anointed throng,
Stalking with Liberty along,
And chaunt thy dauntless slogan song,
Maryland! My Maryland!

Dear Mother! burst the tyrant’s chain,
Maryland!
Virginia should not call in vain,
Maryland!
She meets her sisters on the plain
“Sic semper!” ’tis the proud refrain
That baffles minions back again,
Maryland!
Arise in majesty again,
Maryland! My Maryland!

I see the blush upon thy cheek,
Maryland!
For thou wast ever bravely meek,
Maryland!
But lo! there surges forth a shriek,
From hill to hill, from creek to creek-
Potomac calls to Chesapeake,
Maryland! My Maryland!

Thou wilt not yield the Vandal toll,
Maryland!
Thou wilt not crook to his control,
Maryland!
Better the fire upon thee roll, Better the blade, the shot, the bowl,
Than crucifixion of the soul,
Maryland! My Maryland!

I hear the distant thunder-hum,
Maryland!
The Old Line’s bugle, fife, and drum
Maryland!
She is not dead, nor deaf, nor dumb-
Huzza! she spurns the Northern scum!
She breathes! she burns! she’ll come! she’ll come!
Maryland! My Maryland!


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