a city on a hill

by Joseph Fulford Folsom

Newark! to-day begins thy lamp to shine
With power high to flash the distant peaks
With messages of hope.  Thy gladness speaks,
And lo! a nation’s soul is knit with thine:

A city on a hill thou art, a shrine
Of homing pilgrims, who afar the streaks
Of thy new dawn behold—a dawn that breaks
Prophetic of a day without decline:

Ah! may that gleam forever love reveal,
That in the common heart lives warm and pure,
And spends itself for all humanity;
And may the dawning of a nobler weal
Of spirit beauty, and of goodness, lure
Our souls to light and civic sanity.

A writer of historical pieces, a clergyman, and the recording secretary and librarian of the New Jersey Historical Society, Folsom published this sonnet in the March 1916 issue of The Newarker.

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