Poems: Old and New

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
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   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,

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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
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    Of the brave hearts over the sea. [Page 129]

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.

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

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

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   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,
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What matters one gone, if the flag float on
   And Britain be lord of the main. [Page 130]