Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER, by FRANCIS SCOTT KEY



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THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light
Last Line: Brave.
Variant Title(s): Final Curtain;defence Of Fort Mchenry
Subject(s): Flags - United States; Fort Mchenry, Battle Of (1814); Fourth Of July; Freedom; Napoleon I (1769-1821); National Song - United States; Patriotism; United States; War Of 1812; American Flag; Independence Day; Liberty; American National Anthem; America


O, SAY, can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last
gleaming? --
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the
clouds of the fight
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly
streaming!
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in
air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was
still there;
O! say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the
brave?

On that shore, dimly seen through the mists of the
deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence re-
poses,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering
steep,
As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first
beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream;
'T is the star-spangled banner! O, long may it
wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the
brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps'
pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the
grave;
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth
wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the
brave!

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's deso-
lation!
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heaven-
rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved
us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto. "In God is our trust:"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall
wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the
brave.




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