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On First Looking into Chapman's Homer
Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold, 
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen; 
Round many western islands have I been 
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold. 
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told 
That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne; 
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene 
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold: 
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies 
When a new planet swims into his ken; 
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes 
He star'd at the Pacific—and all his men 
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise— 
Silent, upon a peak in Darien. 
 
I especially love these lines:  
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies 
When a new planet swims into his ken; 
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I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished.

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. Democratic politician, president. second inaugural addresss, Jan. 20, 1937. Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, vol. 6 (1941).

 

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