Battle-Flags Of Illinois

Through the red dusk of war they flew
From Shiloh to the sea.
Black fumes from shattered bolts that blew
Withered the colors three,
And crimson rains made sombre stains.

For every flag a grave—yes, more—
For each a score of graves.
Crossed are the heroes' hands that bore,
No wind the furled folds waves.
Sweet be their rest, by soft peace blest.

Is there no end? What mighty host
Of spirits ranged for war
The signal of the Holy Ghost
Shall summon hence afar!
Vast armies wait in solemn state.

Where valor fights for freedom—there,
Till the last slave is free,
These ragged flags will float in air,
There will our heroes be.
And shall we dare fight with them there?

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Harriet Monroe

Harriet Monroe was an American editor, scholar, literary critic, poet and patron of the arts. more…

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"Battle-Flags Of Illinois" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 25 Feb. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/16885/battle-flags-of-illinois>.

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