The Great War

from Great Poems of the World War, an electronic edition

The Service Flag

DEAR little flag in the window there,

Hung with a tear and a woman's prayer;

Child of Old Glory, born with a star--

Oh, what a wonderful flag you are!

Blue is your star in its field of white,

Dipped in the red that was born of fight;

Born of the blood that our forbears shed

To raise your mother, the Flag, o'erhead.

And now you've come, in this frenzied day,

To speak from a window--to speak and say

"I am the voice of a soldier-son

Gone to be gone till the victory's won.

"I am the flag of the Service, sir;

The flag of his mother--I speak for her

Who stands by my window and waits and fears,

But hides from the others her unwept tears.

"I am the flag of the wives who wait

For the safe return of a martial mate,

A mate gone forth where the war god thrives

To save from sacrifice other men's wives.

"I am the flag of the sweethearts true;

The often unthought of--the sisters, too;

I am the flag of a mother's son

And won't come down till the victory's won

Dear little flag in the window there.

Hung with a tear and a woman's prayer;

Child of Old Glory, born with a star--

Oh, what wonderful flag you are!