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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX. 1876–79.

Southern States: Richmond, Va.

The Confederate Flag

By Anonymous

TAKE that banner down, ’t is weary;

Round its staff ’t is drooping dreary;

Furl it, fold it, let it rest;

For there ’s not a man to wave it,

For there ’s not a sword to save it,

In the blood that heroes gave it;

And its foes now scorn and brave it:

Furl it, hide it, let it rest.

Take that banner down, ’t is tattered,—

Broken is its staff and shattered;

And the valiant hosts are scattered,

Over whom it floated high.

Oh, ’t is hard for us to fold it!

Hard to think there ’s none to hold it;

Hard, for those who once unrolled it,

Now must furl it with a sigh.

Furl that banner, furl it sadly;

Once six millions hailed it gladly,

And ten thousand wildly, madly

Swore it should forever wave;

Swore that foeman’s sword should never

Hearts like theirs entwined dissever;

And that flag should float forever

O’er their freedom or their grave.

Furl it, for the hands that grasped it,

And the hearts that fondly clasped it,

Cold and dead are lying low;

And that banner, it is trailing,

While around it sounds the wailing

Of its people in their woe.

For, though conquered, they adore it,—

Love the cold, dead hands that bore it;

Weep for those who fell before it;

Pardon those who trail and tore it:

Oh, how wildly they deplore it,

Now to furl and fold it so!

Furl that banner! True, ’t is gory;

But ’t is wreathed around with glory,

And ’t will live in song and story,

Though its folds are in the dust;

For its fame on brightest pages,

Penned by poets and by sages,

Shall go sounding down the ages:

Furl its folds, for now we must.

Furl that banner softly, slowly;

Furl it gently,—it is holy,—

For it droops above the dead:

Touch it not,—unfurl it never,—

Let it droop there, furled forever,

For its people’s hopes are fled.