(ONN) As the outnumbered, outgunned and all but crippled American army withstood hell on Earth the fateful night our National Anthem was written, Francis Scott Key merely wrote what he watched and felt. Most Americans don’t know that there is more than one verse to the Star Spangled Banner. Here, we present you with all four verses of our nation’s National Anthem. Welcome to the Whiteout Press poetry section.
America’s citizen soldiers were fighting for their lives against the most powerful and battle-hardened army in the world. With Washington DC in ruins, the White House in flames and America’s President on the run, the only thing that stood between our young, unprepared country and its end was a small army of boys, huddled in a fort just outside Baltimore. There, they held the last passage into America’s heart, defending it to the last. For 25 hours, they endured constant bombardment. All the while, thousands of terrified American citizens watched through the night’s darkness in horror. Their lives, and America’s existence, were being gallantly defended unto death by those nameless, faceless American boys.
The Star Spangled Banner, originally written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key and titled, ‘Defense of Fort McHenry’. It was later put to the music of John Stafford Smith’s song, ‘The Anacreonic Song’, modified somewhat, and retitled The Star Spangled Banner. Congress proclaimed it the nation’s National Anthem in 1931.
he Star Spangled Banner, aka Defense of Fort McHenry
By Francis Scott Key (1814, USA.
Oh, 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, thro’ the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watch’d, were so galantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore dimly seen thro’ 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,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
‘Tis the star’spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O’ver the land of the free and the home of the brave!
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confustion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out there 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 brave.
O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov’d homes and the war’s desolation;
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause 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!