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her laws and who helps make others obey the laws; who earns his own living and loves his home; who wants his own rights and is always willing to give to others their rights also; who insists on being a free man and demands that others shall be free everywhere; and who is willing to give not only his property, but also his life, if need be, for his country.
Boys and girls, to be good citizens, must be dutiful; they must do their work without shirking; and they must get an education, for unless they do they cannot know what it means to be a good citizen. They must respect the laws of their country. They must love the old flag and all that it stands for, and they must never disgrace the flag by being unmanly or unwomanly.
If they do these things, they are “ Good Americans,” and they have a right to sing “ America."
Dr. Smith wanted to write a poem that would tell how we love our beautiful country, a song that every good American could sing.
Now read the third stanza where he tells that everything, “mortal tongues” (the tongues of living men and women and children), every living, breathing person, should sing it, and then the rocks should echo back “sweet freedom's song." And then he closed with an earnest prayer:
“ Long may our land be bright
With freedom's holy light.” Let us study the great song until we understand what every word of it means. Then let us commit it to memory and sing it in class with all our hearts and voices.
Study carefully the meanings of the following words: rills: small streams.
partake : take part, join in the rapture: the highest form of song. joy.
Let rocks their silence break: mortal tongues : tongues (voices) echo back the song. of human beings.
The sound prolong: continue
the song by echoes.
Our fathers' God, to Thee,
To Thee we sing;
Great God, our King.
QUESTIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION 1. What is the very first word | 6. How can “rocks their
in the song ? What does 1 silence break”?
“my” mean to you? | 7. What earnest prayer closes 2. What is meant by the fourth the song ? line?
8. How can you be a good 3. Who were the Pilgrims and American?
what did they do for 9. Does this country belong America ? (Your teacher to you just as much as it will tell you if you do not does to any one else? know.)
Why? 4. What are " templed hills "? 10. Tell whether freedom means 5. By whom and by what should that you are free to do.
this song be sung? (Stanza things that will harm 3.) Why?
others. Why not?
Samuel Francis Smith, the author of “ America,” was a clergyman. He was born at Boston, Massachusetts, 1808, and died in his native city, in 1895.
One flag, one land, one heart, one hand,
OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES
1. My coun - try, 'tis of thee, Sweet land of
lib - er - ty, no - ble free, all the trees, lib - er - ty,
THE FALL OF THE ALAMO
JOSEPH A. ALTSHELER
This story, “The Fall of the Alamo,” is taken from “The Texan Scouts,” a splendid story of the Texan War for Independence, written by Mr. Joseph A. Altsheler. It is one of a series of three fine stories, – “The Texan Star,” “The Texan Scouts," and “ The Texan Triumph," written by the same author. These three delightful stories cover the entire period of the struggle of Texas to free herself from Mexico. Every American boy and girl should read these three stories of one of the noblest struggles for liberty in all history.
In the 1830's and 1840's, what is now the great state of Texas was owned and held by Mexico, under the bloody and brutal rule of Santa Anna (sän'tä ä'nä), president of Mexico. He was a very able, but cruel and treacherous man. He hated the American colonists in Texas and ruled them like the tyrant that he was.
These Americans were as fine and as brave a people as ever lived, and their fight for liberty forms one of the brightest pages of American history. The Fall of the Alamo, told of in this story, has no parallel in history for sheer heroism.
During the Texan War for Independence, Santa Anna, with a well-trained and well-equipped army of more than 5000 men, surrounded about 140 Texans in an old mission, or church, called “The Alamo,” in San Antonio, Texas.
The defenders of the Alamo (ä'lä-mo) could have escaped, but they chose to stay and fight to the death. The fight that ensued has no equal in history. For days, the brave Texans, who were all dead shots, held off the hordes of Mexicans, but one by one they
From “The Texan Scouts,” by Joseph A. Altsheler; copyright by D. Appleton & Company.