Oliver Wendell Holmes

(1809-1894 / United States)

The Flower of Liberty


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:
Oh 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!

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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Comments about this poem (The Flower of Liberty by Oliver Wendell Holmes )

  • Rookie - 396 Points Pamela Leschevin D'ere (1/28/2015 1:31:00 PM)

    Overtones of Holmes by Panmelys:

    He spoke of banners of the free
    Starry flowers of liberty,
    As fresh today as yesterday
    Where hearts of heroes blown away
    Shedding their blood-stained grass in France
    Land of Democracy and chance.

    O evil thugs of savagery
    Cain's resurrected jealousy
    Spreading racial hatred as way
    Of gaining power which will sway
    Life's fragile flowers to become
    Brain-washed scum of ideas undone.

    Homage to 7th Jan.2015 victims: We shall remember their sacrifice. Panmelys 2015 (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 37,362 Points Aftab Alam Khursheed (1/28/2015 8:36:00 AM)

    Very abrupt yet soft lines are killing - WHAT flower is this that greets the morn, Its hues from Heaven so freshly born? long live the flower of liberty (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 10,117 Points Kim Barney (1/28/2015 8:05:00 AM)

    Nice rhythm to it. Would make a good song. (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »

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