Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1788–1820
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vol. IV: Literature of the Republic, Part I., Constitutional period, 1788–1820
 
The Star-Spangled Banner
By Francis Scott Key (1779–1843)
 
[Born in Frederick Co., Md., 1779. Died in Washington, D.C., 1843. Written after the bombardment of Fort McHenry, 1814.—Text slightly revised by comparison with the Fac-simile of a copy made by the Author in 1840.]

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,        5
Gave proof through 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 that shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
  Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,        10
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
  As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now 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        15
O’er 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 confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
  Their blood has wash’d out their foul footsteps’ pollution.        20
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        25
  Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
  Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto—“In God is our trust:”        30
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.
 
 
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