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Young America's Manual


THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER. O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light, What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last

gleaming Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the

clouds of the fight* O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly

streaming ? And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in

air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was

still there; 0

say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the


On that shore dimly seen through the mists of the

deep, Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence

reposes, What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering

steep, As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first

beam, * The original text gave "perilous fight” as the ending of the third line. Key revised his text in 1840, and “clouds of the fight," a stronger expression in every way, was substituted. Stedman, in the Library of American Literature, like ourselves, follows the last-mentioned.

In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream; 'Tis the star-spangled banner! O long may it wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the


And where is that band who so vauntingly swore

That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion A home and a country should leave us no more? Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps'

pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave; And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth

wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the


O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand Between their loved home and the war's deso

lation ! Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n

rescued land Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d

us a nation. Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto — In God is our trust," And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall

wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Francis Scott Key. 1779-1843.

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