ethel’s words

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AMERICA THE SORROWFUL

Oh, sorrowful for grimy skies,
For lakes that lifeless lie;
For automobiles’ poison gas
That makes our old folks die.

America, America, man put his curse on thee.
And there is death in every breath
From sea to murky sea.

O, miserable desert lands
Where once the eagle flew;
Now dangerous with nuclear death,
Disease and poison, too.

America, America, you’ve drained your treasury;
To have a gun, for every one,
From sea to murky sea.

America, your factories
Have fulfilled all your dreams,
And killed the frogs and all the fish
Polluting all your streams.

America, America, thy name is misery.
For every gain is bought with pain
From sea to murky sea.

Oh, genius, America,
Your goal is just to kill;
No longer seeking liberty
Nor dreams we can fulfill.

America, America, these wars are wounding thee
And there’s a flood of young men’s blood
From sea to murky sea.

O, merciless America,
Your garbage reeks of death.
Your infants wither in their cribs
With pain in every breath.

America, America, man put his curse on thee
And though we weep, slow death will creep
From sea to murky sea.

The Seventies

Ethel C. Hale