Our Father Land! and wouldst thou know
Why we should call it Father Land?
It is that Adam here below
Was made of earth by Nature’s hand;
And he our father, made of earth,
Hath peopled earth on every hand;
And we, in memory of his birth,
Do call our country Father Land.

At first, in Eden’s bowers, they say,
No sound of speech had Adam caught,
But whistled like a bird all day,—
And maybe ’twas for want of thought:
But Nature, with resistless laws,
Made Adam soon surpass the birds;
She gave him lovely Eve because
If he’d a wife they must have words.

And so the native land, I hold,
By male descent is proudly mine;
The language, as the tale hath told,
Was given in the female line.
And thus we see on either hand
We name our blessings whence they’ve sprung;
We call our country Father Land,
We call our language Mother Tongue.

— Samuel Lover


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