“Sail on, O Ship of State! Sail on, O Union, strong and great! Humanity with all its fears, With all the hopes of future years, Is hanging breathless on thy fate!”


A poem comes to a poet, and he sends it orphaned out into the world, to take its chances. It never knows who or what it might inspire or how it might become part of the world it has stepped into. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “The Building of the Ship” made its way from schoolboys to Lincoln to Roosevelt to Churchill and the world. It continues to inspire lovers of liberty everywhere.