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Nay; tell it as you may
It never can be told,
And sing it as you will,
It never can be sung--
The story of the glory of our Bonnie, Bonnie Flag,
When its battle-wings were waving in the valley — on the crag,--
On the billows of the ocean,--by the river's winding shore.
The years have passed away,
But, ah! 'tis flinging still
Around our hearts to-day
The self-same spell it flung
O'er our soldiers in their gray.
Back of lines that never quailed--
Far from battle-banners' flash--
There were lips that moaned and wailed,
And how many eyes that wept;
Thoa they heard no cannon crash
Nor the terror-storms of lead,
And they sighed the while they slept
When they dreamed their own were dead.
Mothers, wives and children fair,
Back of all the ranks that fought,
Knelt adown in holy prayer,
And in heaven only sought,
In their infinite despair,
Gleams of hope to light the Night
Darkly gathering o'er the Right.
Can a singer gather up,
In the chalices of song,
Half the tears that filled the cup
Of the griefs of such a throng?
Crimson drops on battle-plain,
Throa four sorrow-laden years,--
Were they richer than the rain,
That baptized our homes with tears?
Nay; no singer yet has sung
Song to tell how hearts had bled,
Where, our soldiers' homes among,
Wept eyes waiting for the dead.
And one-statuesque and still--
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