13. our Star-Gemmed Banner. A gathering song for the North.God bless our star-gemmed banner, shake its folds out to the breeze,
From church, from fort, from house-top, o'er the city, on the seas;
The die is cast, the storm at last has broken in its might;
Unfurl the starry banner, and may God defend the right.
Too long our flag has sheltered rebel heart, and stormy will;
Too long has nursed the traitor who has worked to do it ill;
That time is past — the thrilling blast of war is heard at length,
And the North pours forth her legions that have slumbered in their strength.
They have roused them to the danger, armed and ready forth they stand,
A hundred thousand volunteers, each with weapon in his hand;
They rally round that banner, they obey their country's call,
The spirit of the North is up, and thrilling one and all.
'Tis the flag our sires and grandsires honored to their latest breath,
To us 'tis given to hold unstained, to guard in life and death;
Time-honored, from its stately folds who has dared to strike a star
That glittered on its field of blue?--who but traitors as they are?
Would to God it waved above us with a foreign foe to quell,
Not o'er brother faced to brother, urging steel, and shot and shell!
But no more the choice is left us, for our friendly hand they spurn,
We can only meet as foemen — sad, but resolute and stern.
Father — dash aside the tear-drop, let thy proud boy go his way--
Mother — twine thine arms about him, and bless thy son this day--
Sister — weep, but yet look proudly, 'tis a time to do or die--
Maiden — clasp thy lover tenderly, as he whispers thee good-bye!
Onward, onward to the battle! who can doubt which side shall win?
Right and might both guide our squadrons, and the steadfast hearts within!
Shall the men who never quailed before, now falter in the field;
Or the men who fought at Bunker Hill be ever made to yield?
Then bless our banner, God of hosts! watch o'er each starry fold;
'Tis Freedom's standard, tried and proved on many a field of old;
And Thou, who long hast blessed us, now bless us yet again,
And crown our cause with Victory, and keep our flag from stain!