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70. our National flag.

by Emeline S. Smith.
Who said that the stars on our banner were dim--
     That their glory had faded away?
Look up, and behold! how bright, through each fold,
     They are flashing and smiling to-day.
A few wand'ring meteors only have paled--
     They shot from their places on high;
But the fixed and the true still illumine the blue,
     And will, while old Ages go by!

Who said the fair temple, so patiently reared
     By heroes, at Liberty's call,
Was built insecure — that it could not endure--
     And was tottering e'en now to its fall? [52]
False, false, every word; for that fame is upheld
     By the stoutest of hearts and of hands;
Some columns unsound may have gone to the ground,
     But proudly the temple yet stands.

Who said there were murmurs of grief in our midst,
     When loved ones departed to-day?1
Ah, no!--'twas not so — every heart hushed its woe,
     And gave them “God speed” on their way.
With their banner above, loving glances around,
     And blessings and prayers as a shield,
We trusted this band, the fair flower of the land,
     To the perilous risks of the field.

Who said the good name of our country was gone--
     That her flag would be honored no more?
Over valley and plain, over mountain and main,
     Rolls an answer like Thunder's deep roar;
A million brave spirits all shout with one voice,
     “We will die for the rights we demand!
Let traitors beware! By their dark plots we swear,
     That no shadow shall rest on our land!”

Who questions the promise? Not we who behold
     This love and this national pride
Sweeping on through the clime, in a torrent sublime,
     And bearing all hearts on its tide.
Who fears for the issue? Ah, that must be left
     To the Mightiest Leader of all;
While He holds the scale, Truth and Right will prevail,
     And Error and Treason will fall.

A stain on our banner? Oh! shame to the heart
     Or the lip that could breathe such a thought!
Every hue is as clear, every fold is as dear,
     As when first the bright symbol was bought.
With the blood of brave men it was purchased, and we
     Pledge our own lives to keep it unstained;
On the land or the sea, where'er it may be,
     Its honor shall still be maintained.

Heaven's blessings upon it! Its stars never shone
     With a lustre so pure and so warm;
Like a beacon's calm ray, pointing out the safe way,
     They gleam through this gathering storm.
Their heart-cheering light led our fathers aright,
     Through all the dark perils they knew;
The same magic glow shall lead us to the foe,
     And guide us to victory too!

--N. Y. Times, April 29.

1 Alluding to the departure of the Seventh Regiment.

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