‘Who are these cohorts from the wood?’
“They are the vanguard files of fate,
Proud men of red, imperial blood,
High, regal souls, and great,
The children of a haughty name,
The sires of states and sons of fame.”
“And here to-day breaks on this height
The sun-burst of a nation's morn,
That unknown banner greets the light
That sees an empire born,
And these wide ranks that round us stand
Are fathers of a mighty land.”
They flung their banner to the wind,
They flung it in the face of foes,—
And thus they published to mankind
That human nature grows,
And that a youngling state had grown
Too big for insults from a throne.
That flag now floats from many a height,
And waves its word from crag to crag,
Beyond the day, across the night,—
The sunrise and the sunset flag;
That flag is blown by every breeze,
Across the world and all its seas.
And as it waves from slope to slope
From sea to sea, or far or near,
Ah, may it never shame the hope
Of those strong men who placed it here,
But be, on sea or shore unfurled,
The banner of the hope of the world.
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