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Proudly, steadily up it flew,
Gorgeous with crimson and white and blue I
His withered hand, as he shook it freer,
May have trembled, but not with fear,
While, shouting, the rebels drew more near
“Halt!” --They had seen the hated sign
Floating free from old Ishmael's line-
“Lower that rag!” was their wrathful cry.
“Never!” rung Ishmael Day's reply;
“Fire, if it please you — I can but die!”
One, with a loud, defiant laugh,
Left his comrades and neared the staff.
“Down!” --came the fearless patriot's cry-
“Dare to lower that flag, and die!
One must bleed for it-you or I!”
But caring not for the stern command,
He drew the halliards with daring hand;
Ping! went the rifle-ball-down he came
Under the flag he had tried to shame-
Old Ishmael Day took careful aim!
Seventy winters and three had shed
Their snowy glories on Ishmael's head;
But though cheeks may wither and locks grow gray
His fame shall be fresh and young alway-
Honor be to old Ishmael Day!
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