The National Anthem of the United States
It was the valiant defense ofFort McHenryby American
forces during the British attackon September 13, 1814
that inspired 35-year old,poet-lawyer Francis Scott Key
to write the poemwhich was to become our national anthem,
"The Star-Spangled Banner." The poem was writtento match
the meter of the English song, "To Anacreon in Heaven." In 1931
the Congress of The United States of America
enacted legislation that made "The Star-Spangled Banner"
the officialnational anthem. for which it stands,
Oh, say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched,were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangledbanner yet wave
O'er the land of the freeand the home of the brave?
On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty hostin dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows,half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflectednow shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! O long may it wave
O'er the land of the freeand 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 wiped out their foul footstep's pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled bannerin triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Oh! thus be it ever, when free men shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace,may the heaven-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."
And the star-spangled bannerin triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!