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Oh! Let The Starry Banner Wave.

May 16, 2010

—William Oland Bourne.

I LOVE the flag whose radiant stars
Within its azure field are set,
Whose crimson-flushed and stainless bars
Are types of peace and glory met.
It floats unfurled in every clime,
And speaks to nations yet asleep,
While million hearts await the time
When Freedom’s vow they too shall keep.
 
Unrivalled, as when freemen trod
Triumphant on the battle-field,
And pledged to Freedom and to God,
Our banner we will never yield—
It floats the standard of the Free!
On Northern peaks and Southern plains,
On hill and vale, from sea to sea,
On mighty streams and mountain chains.
 
Unfurl the Stars and Stripes to-day,
To kindle fire in every breast!
While millions on the altar lay
A passion that no more can rest;
It was not dead! It only slept,
Self-conscious in the strength of truth,
Till traitors witness how it kept
The vigor of its glorious youth.
 
Unfurl the flag! The shadows deep
Have fallen on our brightest noon;
And millions bow, and sadly weep
That brother-love has failed so soon.
But shadows pass, and clouds dissolve
In silvery mists before the sun—
And thus in Freedom’s high resolve
Shall cloudless skies once more be won.
 
Bright emblem of the mighty Past!
Bedewed all through a night of tears!
Whose crimson-price our fathers cast
With faith and prayer adown the years!
Untarnished on the page of time,
And purer in to-morrow’s beam,
Thy stars shall be a speech sublime
Of peace, and love, and joy supreme.
 
Then let the starry banner wave!
Let songs o’er all the nation ring!
To bail the flag that freemen gave—
A costly, bright, and sacred thing!
Till stars shall crowd upon the field,
Undimmed with aught of error’s night;
Whose bliss shall be the truth revealed,
That Freedom is Eternal Right.

 

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