Framed and displayed in the rotunda of the State Capitol at
Augusta, Me. Written by
Moses Owen; born at , Bath, Me.
July 21, 1838, died at
, Nov. I I, 1878. He was a graduate of Augusta, Me. , class of 1861. Bowdoin College
a lawyer and also a soldier in a
Maine regiment during tlte war for
the preservation of the Union.
Nothing but flags, but simple flags,
Tattered and tom and hanging in rags:
And we walk beneath them with careless tread,
Nor think of the hosts of the mighty dead
That have marched beneath them in days gone by,
With a burning cheek and a kindling eye,
And have bathed their folds with their life's young tide,
And, dying, blessed them, and blessing, died.
Nothing but flags: yet methinks, at night
They tell each other their tale of fight:
And dim spectres come, and their thin arms twine
Round each standard tom, as they stand in line,
As the word is given-they charge, they form,
And the dim hall rings with the battle's storm:
And once again. through smoke and strife,
These colors lead to a nation's life.
Nothing but flags: yet they're bathed with tears:
They tell of triumphs, of hopes, of fears,
Of a mother's prayers, of a boy away,
Of a serpent crushed: of the coming day.
Silent they speak, and the tear will start
As we stand beneath them with throbbing heart,
And think of those who are ne'er forgot
Their flags come home, why come they not?
Nothing but flags: yet we hold our breath,
And gaze with awe at those types of death:
Nothing but flags: yet the thought will come,
The heart must pray, though the lips be dumb:
They are sacred, pure, and we see no stain
On those dear loved flags come home again;
Baptized in blood, our purest, best,
Tattered and tom, they're now at rest.