Old Glory! I would that I might tell you
What is in my heart today;
Of the enraptured thrill that grips me
Where ever I see you sway.
Bard's have sung of your majesty,
Your colors of red, white and blue,
And many have written your history
The meaning of every hue.
We have wept for the drops of blood that flowed
To keep you flying high.
But mothers have wept in bitterest grief
As they watch you passing by.
To them you are a symbol of sacrifice,
The tomb of one whom they gave,
To make this a nation of liberty
The home of the free and the brave.
For those oppressed in foreign lands
When your bright color they see
You beacon them on to follow to you,
To come to the land to be free;
Free to live, to love, to labor;
To build your own homes well;
To partake of your wealth and your bounty
To forget all wars and their hell.
So you grew, a great nation
That ever westward bore.
A nation made up from all nations
And stretching from shore to shore.
For fifty states, fifty stars
Now fill your square of blue.
With no land left to settle,
Your pioneer days are through.
For thirteen colonies, your thirteen bars
Tell of their early strife
Of those long hard years of struggling
For liberty and an independent life.
Time was when your bars were broken,
Your fair stars scattered wide,
When marched brothers in blue
Against brothers in grey
And laid down their lives with pride
That you might fly from your mast on high
In the light of the morning sun,
O'er a slave set free and a divided nation
United again as one.
Twice to the call of the helpless
You sailed the turbulent sea,
You poured forth of your riches
You proved a big brother to be.
Then to make a world safe to live in,
For a war to end all wars.
Hordes of our boys went marching,
Sailing away to foreign shores.
Yes,"Over There" our boys are sleeping
'Neath crosses, row on row
And over their graves you flutter
And red, red poppies grow.
Today we stand on the brinks of war
A chasm deep and wide
We are pryaing and hoping together
That democracy may here abide.
God grant that we may again never,
Never be called to give
The pride and cream of our manhood
That greed of man might live.
But rather to give you gladly
Our daily token of love,
To help this nation grow stronger
A tribute to Him above
To use for his honor and glory,
That all nations live peacefully together
May that be the end of your story.
Alice M. Balesky