More on poetry from The Atlantic Monthly.

See an index of This Month in The Atlantic's History.



From the archives:

"What Makes an American" (March 1939)
"To become an American is a process which resembles a conversion. It is not so much a new country that one adopts as a new creed." By Raoul de Roussy de Sales

From Atlantic Unbound:

Flashbacks: "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" (September 18, 2001)
Americans today are finding new inspiration in Julia Ward Howe's anthem—originally published in The Atlantic in 1862 to rally Union troops.

The Atlantic Monthly | November 1861
 
The Flower of Liberty

by Oliver Wendell Holmes
 
.....
 
WHAT flower is this that greets the morn,
Its hues from heaven so freshly born?
With burning star and flaming band
It kindles all the sunset land;—
O, tell us what its name may be!
Is this the Flower of Liberty?
        It is the banner of the free,
        The starry Flower of Liberty!

In savage Nature's far abode
Its tender seed our fathers sowed;
The storm-winds rocked its swelling bud,
Its opening leaves were streaked with blood,
Till, lo! earth's tyrants shook to see
The full-blown Flower of Liberty!
        Then hail the banner of the free,
        The starry Flower of Liberty!

Behold its streaming rays unite
One mingling flood of braided light,—
The red that fires the Southern rose,
With spotless white from Northern snows,
And, spangled o'er its azure, see
The sister Stars of Liberty!
        Then hail the banner of the free,
        The starry Flower of Liberty!

The blades of heroes fence it round;
Where'er it springs is holy ground;
From tower and dome its glories spread;
It waves where lonely sentries tread;
It makes the land as ocean free,
And plants an empire on the sea!
        Then hail the banner of the free,
        The starry Flower of Liberty!

Thy sacred leaves, fair Freedom's flower,
Shall ever float on dome and tower,
To all their heavenly colors true,
In blackening frost or crimson dew,—
And GOD love us as we love thee,
Thrice holy Flower of Liberty!
        Then hail the banner of the free,
        The starry FLOWER OF LIBERTY!



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Copyright © 2001 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; November 1861; The Flower of Liberty; Volume 8, No. 4; page 550.