Respectfully inscribed to Cassius M. Clay.
By George W. Bungay
Unroll the flag of stripes and stars,
Light bonfires on the mountain's height,
Harness the men whose battle - scars,
Proclaim their courage in the fight.
Ring the bronze bells in all the spires,
Toss the flame rockets heaven high!
Let black - lipped cannon belch in fires,
And shouts of freedom rend the sky!
Our father's blood cries from the dust:
Their hearts beat in these hearts of ours;
Their God is the great God we trust,
Their crown of thorns our wreath of flowers.
Above their hallowed graves we tread;
Upon their sacred ashes kneel,
And, in the presence of the dead,
Unsheath their battered blades of steel!
So help us God, come weal or woe,
We pledge our honor and our lives
To fight for freedom, while a foe
To man within our reach survives.
Lo, serried ranks of heroes brave
March to the music of the free,
Across the prairies, like a wave
Swept by the strong wind from the sea.
They rally from the sunny lands --
Over the border line which parts
The states, but not the clasping hands
In whose hot palms beat kindred hearts.
From the green mountain's lofty towers,
Where freedom sits upon her throne,
Crowned with a wreath of wild - wood flowers,
They come like guests to feasts at noon.
Like Saul, among the Hebrews, stands,
Our chief, a head and shoulders higher
Than other chiefs, and in his hands,
Our stripes grow dim, our stars seems nigher.
Upon his brow the signet seal
Of honor shines, and we will crown
The "honest man," whose heart can feel,
Whose arms can strike oppression down.