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The Song of the Flag A National Ode   By: (1851-1898)

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A National Ode



Author of "Love Letters of a Violinist," "Vox Amoris," &c.

LONDON Lamley & Co., Exhibition Road, S.W.




Up with the country's flag! And let the winds caress it, fold on fold, A stainless flag, and glorious to behold! It is our honour's pledge; It is the token of a truth sublime, A thing to die for, and to wonder at, When, on the shuddering edge Of some great storm, it waves its woven joy, Which no man shall destroy, In shine or shower, in peace or battle time. Up with the flag! The winds are wild to toss it, and to brag Of England's high renown, And of the throne where Chivalry has sat Acclaimed in bower and town For England's high renown! And of these happy isles where men are free And masters of the sea, The million mouthëd sea, That calls to us from shore to furthest shore That fought for us of yore, The thunder throated, foam frequented sea That sounds the psalm of Victory evermore!


For England's sake to day, And for this flag of ours which, to the blast, Unfurls, in proud array, Its glittering width of splendour unsurpassed, For England's sake, For our dear Sovereign's sake, We cry all shame on traitors, high and low, Whose word let no man take, Whose love let no man seek throughout the land, Traitors who strive, with most degenerate hand, To bring about our country's overthrow!


The sun reels up the sky, the mists are gone, And overhead the lilting bird of dawn Has spread, adoring wise, as for a prayer, Those wondrous wings of his, Which never yet were symbols of despair! It is the feathery foeman of the night Who shakes adown the air Song scented trills and sunlit ecstasies. Aye! 'tis the lark, the chorister in gray, Who sings hosannas to the lord of light, And will not stint the measure of his lay As hour to hour, and joy to joy, succeeds; For he's the morning mirth of English meads, And we who mark the moving of his wings, We know how sweet the soil whereof he sings, How glad the grass, how green the summer's thrall, How like a gracious garden the dear Land That loves the ocean and the tossed up sand Whereof the wind has made a coronal; And how, in spring and summer, at sun rise, The birds fling out their raptures to the skies, And have the grace of God upon them all.


Up with the flag! Up, up, betimes, and proudly speak of it; A lordly thing to see on tower and crag, O'er which, as eagles flit, With eyes a fire, and wings of phantasy, Our memories hang superb! The foes we frown upon shall feel the curb Of our full sway; and they shall shaméd be Who wrong, with sword or pen, The Code that keeps us free. For there's no sight, in summer or in spring, Like our great standard pole, When round about it ring The cheers of Britons, bounden, heart and soul, To deeds of duty, dear to Englishmen; And he who serves it has a name to see On Victory's muster roll; And he who loves it not, how vile is he! For 'tis the Land's delight, Our ocean wonder, blue and red and white; Blue as the skies, and red as roses are, And white as foam that flashed at Trafalgàr; The Land's delight! The badge and test of right, Girt with its glory like a guiding star!


The wind has roared in English many a time, And foes have heard it on the frothy main, In doom and danger and in battle pain; And yet again may hear, In many a sea ward, sun enamoured clime; For all the hearts of traitors ache with fear When our great ships go forth, as heretofore, Full arméd from the shore, And Boreas bounds exultant on the seas, To bid the waves of these, The subject waves of England and the Isles, Out leap for miles and miles, As loud as lions loosed on enemies!

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