Union And Liberty

By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Flag of the heroes who left as their glory
Borne through our battlefields’ thunder and flame,
Blazoned in song and illumined in story,
Wave o’er us all who inherit their fame.

Up with our banner bright,
Sprinkled with starry light,
Spread its fair emblems from mountain shore;
While through the sounding sky,
Loud rings the Nation’s cry –
Union and Liberty! – one evermore!

Light of our firmament, guide of our Nation,
Pride of her children, and honored afar,
Let the wide beams of thy full constellation
Scatter each cloud that would darken a star!

Empire unsceptered! what foe shall assail thee,
Bearing the standard of Liberty’s van?
Think not the God of thy fathers shall fail thee,
Striving with men for the birthright of man!

Yet, if by madness and treachery blighted,
Dawns the dark hour when the sword thou must draw,
Then, with the arms of thy millions united,
Smite the bold traitors to Freedom and Law.

Lord of the Universe! Shield us and guide us,
Trusting Thee always, through shadow and sun!
Thou hast united us, who shall divide us?
Keep us, O keep us, the Many in One!

Up with our banner bright,
Sprinkled with starry light,
Spread its fair emblems from mountain to shore;
While through the sounding sky,
Loud rings the Nations cry –
Union and Liberty! – one evermore!

Poem requested by C. I. R., Bryantville, Mass

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