Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FLAG, by GEORGE HENRY BOKER



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THE FLAG, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Spirits of patriots, hail in heaven again
Last Line: And make the issue sure!
Subject(s): Flags - United States; American Flag


SPIRITS of patriots, hail in heaven again
The flag for which ye fought and died,
Now that its field, washed clear of every stain,
Floats out in honest pride!

Free blood flows through its scarlet veins once more,
And brighter shine its silver bars;
A deeper blue God's ether never wore
Amongst the golden stars.

See how our earthly constellation gleams;
And backward, flash for flash, returns
Its heavenly sisters their immortal beams
With light that fires and burns, --

That burns because a moving soul is there,
A living force, a shaping will,
Whose law the fate-forecasting powers of air
Acknowledge and fulfill.

At length the day, by prophets seen of old,
Flames on the crimsoned battlefields;
Henceforth, O flag, no mortal bought and sold,
Shall crouch beneath thy shade.

That shame has vanished in the darkened past,
With all the wild chaotic wrongs
That held the struggling centuries shackled fast
With fear's accursed thongs.

Therefore, O patriot fathers, in your eyes
I brandish thus our banner pure;
Watch o'er us, bless us, from your peaceful skies,
and make the issue sure!





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