Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum



Harry Truman's favorite poem

The President carried a copy of the following text with him in his wallet from the time he graduated from high school. He claimed that he had recopied the text thirty or forty times during the course of his life. The President attributed the text to Alfred Tennyson's Locksley Hall.

 

"FOR I DIPT INTO THE FUTURE, FAR AS HUMAN EYE COULD SEE,
"SAW THE VISION OF THE WORLD, AND ALL THE WONDER THAT WOULD BE;
"SAW THE HEAVENS FILL WITH COMMERCE. ARGOSIES OF MAGIC SAILS,
"PILOTS OF THE PURPLE TWILIGHT, DROPPING DOWN WITH COSTLY BALES;
"HEARD THE HEAVENS FILL WITH SHOUTING, AND THERE RAIN'D A GHASTLY DEW
"FROM THE NATIONS' AIRY NAVIES GRAPPLING IN THE CENTRAL BLUE;
"FAR ALONG THE WORLD-WIDE WHISPER OF THE SOUTH-WIND RUSHING WARM,
"WITH THE STANDARDS OF THE PEOPLES PLUNGING THRO' THE THUNDER-STORM;
"TILL THE WAR-DRUM THROBB'D NO LONGER, AND THE BATTLE-FLAGS WERE FURL'D
"IN THE PARLIAMENT OF MAN, THE FEDERATION OF THE WORLD,
"THERE THE COMMON SENSE OF MOST SHALL HOLD A FRETFUL REALM IN AWE,
"AND THE KINDLY EARTH SHALL SLUMBER, LAPT IN UNIVERSAL LAW."