In the poem "Nation's Strength," Ralph Waldo Emerson reflects on what truly makes a nation great and strong. He asks what makes a nation's pillars high and its foundations strong, allowing it to defy the enemies that surround it. Emerson concludes that it is not gold or wealth that makes a nation strong, as kingdoms that have been grand and wealthy have crumbled in the face of battle and conflict.
Instead, it is the people of a nation who make it great and strong.
Emerson believes that it is men who stand for truth and honor, who are willing to suffer and work hard for their beliefs, that make a nation great. These brave men work while others sleep, who dare while others run away from danger. They are the ones who build a nation's pillars deep and lift them up to the sky.
Emerson implies that pride does not make a nation great, as the bright crown of pride has often led nations astray and ultimately brought their downfall. Instead, the people who work together with a sense of honour, selflessness, and courage make a nation truly strong.
In essence, Emerson's poem is a call to action for individuals to work towards the betterment of their nation, to strive for truth and honour