Tuesday, May 14, 2013


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 Augusta, Me., Nov. I I, 1878. He was a graduate of Bowdoin College, class of 1861.
 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.
                                                               Moses Owen

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