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Home / Literature / A Poem by Francis Scott Key : The Star-Spangled Banner

A Poem by Francis Scott Key : The Star-Spangled Banner

FSK

The Star-Spangled Banner

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 rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O! say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?
On that 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, now conceals, now discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream;
’Tis the star-spangled banner; O 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 homes 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, for 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.

Francis Scott Key

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