googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: The Star Spangled Banner

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Star Spangled Banner

In September, 1814, (during the war of 1812) amateur poet, Francis Scott Key was being held captive aboard the British ship HMS Minden, as she fired upon the US Fort McHenry. Key had watched the shelling from the deck of the ship in the evening hours but late in the night, the shelling had stopped. He spent the night worrying that the fort had fallen. In the early morning, as it began to dawn, he hurried to the deck and was relieved to see the American flag still flying over the fort. He was so inspired that he penned his famous poem, the Star Spangled Banner.

Most people are familiar with the first stanza, but here is the poem in its entirety:

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 perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh 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 home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n 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!

1 comment:

Armed Citizen said...

Love it! I had never seen that in its entirety.