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Margaret Junkin Preston (Маргарет Джанкин Престон)

Hymn to the National Flag

Float aloft, thou stainless banner!
  Azure cross and field of light;
Be thy brilliant stars the symbol
  Of the pure and true and right.
Shelter freedom's holy cause--
Liberty and sacred laws;
Guard the youngest of the nations--
  Keep her virgin honor bright.

From Virginia's storied border,
  Down to Tampa's furthest shore--
From the blue Atlantic's clashings
  To the Rio Grande's roar--
Over many a crimson plain,
Where our martyred ones lie slain--
Fling abroad thy blessed shelter,
  Stream and mount and valley o'er.

In thy cross of heavenly azure
  Has our faith its emblem high;
In thy field of white, the hallow'd
  Truth for which we'll dare and die;
In thy red, the patriot blood--
  Ah! the consecrated flood.
Lift thyself, resistless banner!
  Ever fill our Southern sky!

Flash with living, lightning motion
  In the sight of all the brave!
Tell the price at which we purchased
  Room and right for thee to wave
Freely in our God's free air,
Pure and proud and stainless fair,
Banner of the youngest nation--
  Banner we would die to save!

Strike Thou for us! King of armies!
  Grant us room in Thy broad world!
Loosen all the despot's fetters,
  Back be all his legions hurled!
Give us peace and liberty,
Let the land we love be free--
Then, oh! bright and stainless banner!
  Never shall thy folds be furled!

Margaret Junkin Preston's other poems:
  1. Stonewall Jackson's Grave
  2. Jackson
  3. When the War Is Over
  4. The Bivouac in the Snow
  5. A Grave in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond (J.R.T.)

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