THE STARS AND BARS Anonymous (1861)

O say, can you see -- though perhaps you're too tight -- What so feebly we hailed at the twilight's last beaming -- Whose broad bars and few stars o'er our scurrilous flight From the rumshops we filched, were so gaudily streaming? When the rockets' red glare and bombs bursting in air, Gave proof, though we ran, that our rag remained there? O, say, does that Bar-Strangled Banner still wave O'er the land of the thief and the home of the slave? On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep, Where the foe's honest host in its glory reposes, What is that which the breeze -- while we fearfully creep To escape deserved blows -- half-conceals, half-discloses? Now it sullies the gleam of the morning's first beam, In dishonor reflected now taints the pure stream -- 'Tis the Bar-Strangled Banner, that foully doth wave O'er the land of the thief and the home of the slave! And where is that band who so truthfully swore That the might of the law, and a stern retribution, A hold for rebellion should leave us no more? Their guns have ploughed up our footsteps' pollution! Their protection we crave, both rebel and slave -- None other we hope for except in the grave, And our Bar-Strangled Banner no longer shall wave O'er the land of the thief and the home of the slave! O,thus is it ever, when traitors may stand Against a loved land and its administration; In rout and destruction, our treacherous band See the error we have made in arousing a nation; Be conquered we must, for our cause is unjust -- They look but to God, while in Mammon we trust; And their -- not our -- Banner in triumph shall wave O'er South as o'er North, o'er the free as the slave!

Songs of the Union