Among The Flags

In Doric Hall, Massachussetts State House

Dear witnesses, all-luminous, eloquent,
Stacked thickly on the tessellated floor!
The soldier-blood stirs in me, as of yore
In sire and grandsire who to battle went:
I seem to know the shaded valley tent,
The armed and bearded men, the thrill of war,
Horses that prance to hear the cannon roar,
Shrill bugle-calls, and camp-fire merriment.

And as fair symbols of heroic things,
Not void of tears mine eyes must e'en behold
These banners lovelier as the deeper marred:
A panegyric never writ for kings
On every tarnished staff and tattered fold;
And by them, tranquil spirits standing guard.

by Louise Imogen Guiney

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