The Old Flag

A poem by Hanford Lennox Gordon

Have ye heard of Fort Donelson's desperate fight,
Where the giant Northwest bared his arm for the right,
Where thousands so bravely went down in the slaughter,
And the blood of the West ran as freely as water;
Where the Rebel Flag fell and our banner arose
O'er an army of captured and suppliant foes?
Lo torn by the shot and begrimed by the powder,
The Old Flag is waving there prouder and prouder.

Heard ye of Shiloh, where fierce Beauregard
O'erwhelmed us with numbers and pressed us so hard,
Till our veteran supporters came up to our aid
And the tide of defeat and disaster was staid
Where like grain-sheaves the slaughtered were piled on the plain
And the brave rebel Johnston went down with the slain?
Lo torn by the shot and begrimed by the powder,
The Old Flag is waving there prouder and prouder.

Heard ye the cannon-roar down by Stone River?
Saw ye the bleeding braves stagger and quiver?
Heard ye the shout and the roar and the rattle?
And saw ye the desperate surging of battle?
Volley on volley and steel upon steel
Breast unto breast how they lunge and they reel!
Lo torn by the shot and begrimed by the powder,
The Old Flag is waving there prouder and prouder.

Heard ye of Vicksburg the Southern Gibraltar,
Where the hands of our foemen built tyranny's altar,
Where their hosts are walled in by a cordon of braves,
And the pits they have dug for defense are their graves,
Where the red bombs are bursting and hissing the shot,
Where the nine thunders death and the charge follows hot?
Lo torn by the shot and begrimed by the powder,
The Old Flag is waving there prouder and prouder.

Heard ye from Gettysburg? Glory to God!
Bare your heads, O ye Freemen, and kneel on the sod!
Praise the Lord! praise the Lord! it is done! it is done!
The battle is fought and the victory won!
They first took the sword, and they fall by the sword;
They are scattered and crushed by the hand of the Lord!
Lo torn by the shot and begrimed by the powder,
The Old Flag is waving there prouder and prouder.

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