The Gates of Time and Other Poems

by Frederick George Scott


 

THE COLOURS OF THE FLAG


 

What is the blue on our flag, boys?
    The waves of the boundless sea,
Where our vessels ride in their tameless pride
    And the feet of the winds are free;
From the sun and smiles of the coral isles
5
    To the ice of the South and North,
With dauntless tread through tempests dread
    The guardian ships go forth.

What is the white on our flag, boys?
    The honour of our land,

10
Which burns in our sight like a beacon light
    And stands while the hills shall stand;
Yea, dearer than fame is our land’s great name,
    And we fight, wherever we be,
For the mothers and wives that pray for the lives
15
    Of the brave hearts over the sea.

What is the red on our flag, boys?
    The blood of our heroes slain
On the burning sands in the wild waste lands
    And the froth of the purple main.

20
And it cries to God from the crimsoned sod
    And the crest of the waves outrolled
That He sends us men to fight again
    As our fathers fought of old.

We’ll stand by the dear old flag, boys,

25
    Whatever be said or done,
Though the shots come fast, as we face the blast,
    And the foe be ten to one;—
Though our only reward be the thrust of a sword
    And a bullet in heart or brain,
30
What matters one gone, if the flag float on
    And Britain be lord of the main.