Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, OUR FLAG AT APIA, by ANNIE BRONSON KING

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OUR FLAG AT APIA, by            
First Line: Across the peach-blow sky of spring
Last Line: For thee and for thy glory.
Subject(s): Apia Bay, Samoan Islands; Flags

ACROSS the peach-blow sky of spring
The storm-dark clouds are looming;
With sullen voice the breakers ring,
The thunder loudly booming.

The huddled war ships ride apace,
Each at her anchor straining;
Black, black is all of heaven's face;
It lightens 'twixt the raining.

Like crumpled rose leaves the mist edge
The hidden reef enwreathing,
But cruel as hell the jagged ledge
Beneath those waters seething.

On, on they come, the poor dumb things,
The storm winds fiercely driving;
At her dread work each breaker sings,
For conquest madly striving.

"If we must die"—the leader's voice
Outswelled the roar of thunder—
"It is our own and solemn choice
To die our dear flag under.

"For as to-day the battle-field
Is where the seas are lying,
We claim a right we cannot yield,
To glory in our dying."

He ceased; upon the topmost mast
The Stars and Stripes were floating.
The sight is like a trumpet blast,
And other ships quick noting,

Up to the sky there sounds a cheer
That starts the echoes flying,
Back comes the answer, loud and clear,
From gallant hearts, though dying.

A moment's space, the waves in brine
Baptize the flag low lying,
And from the breakers comes no sign
Of living or of dying.

Oh flag, dear flag, once more thy name,
As always in thy story,
Has set a thousand hearts aflame
For thee and for thy glory.

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