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Oliver Wendell Holmes - Old Ironsides

Ay, tear her tattered ensign down! 
Long has it waved on high, 
And many an eye has danced to see 
That banner in the sky; 
Beneath it rung the battle shout, 
And burst the cannon's roar; -- 
The meteor of the ocean air 
Shall sweep the clouds no more. 
Her deck, once red with heroes' blood, 
Where knelt the vanquished foe, 
When winds were hurrying o'er the flood, 
And waves were white below, 
No more shall feel the victor's tread, 
Or know the conquered knee; -- 
The harpies of the shore shall pluck 
The eagle of the sea! 

Oh, better that her shattered hulk 
Should sink beneath the wave; 
Her thunders shook the mighty deep, 
And there should be her grave; 
Nail to the mast her holy flag, 
Set every threadbare sail, 
And give her to the god of storms, 
The lightning and the gale! 

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Added: Apr 5 2005 | Viewed: 459 times | Comments and analysis of Old Ironsides by Oliver Wendell Holmes Comments (6)

Old Ironsides - Comments and Information

Poet: Oliver Wendell Holmes
Poem: Old Ironsides
Poem of the Day: Jul 30 2009

Comment 6 of 6, added on August 9th, 2012 at 7:41 PM.

Thank you, Julie, for your kind comments. My grtmdnoaher is the matriarch of our family and has touched the lives of 4 generations. This feels like the end of an era. Still waiting for the call from my parents.best,lisa

Okba from Chile
Comment 5 of 6, added on April 18th, 2012 at 8:12 PM.

hi yall are gay

ya mom from United States
Comment 4 of 6, added on October 27th, 2009 at 8:55 PM.

This poem is as inspiring now as it was when Oliver Whendell wrote it. It saved the Uss constitution from being destroyd and showed Americans the pride the boat posses. It should help us remeber the pride which soldires fought with to defend what has come to be the great nation of th US

Student from United States

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