‘That you, in the dim coming times,
May know how my heart went with them
After the red-rose-bordered hem.’
—W.B. Yeats


oh say can you see the pale dawning light
flickering remnants of once starry nights
‘hail all hail!’ the prideful proclaim
patriots kneel, driving zealots insane
the meek are disdained by fools on the right

armed, the militia, and ready to fight
gallantly ignorant, cowards in flight
red glaring demons who must not be named
oh say can you see…

the treason, collusion, hidden from sight
insomniac liars craving limelight
tempest torn islands, coastlands aflame
the star-spangled, brave resistance reclaims
liberty’s honor and freedom’s remains
oh, say can you see…


A Rondeau (aabba aabR aabbaR. Lines 9 and 15 are short – a refrain (R) consisting of a phrase taken from line one. The other lines are longer but all of the same metrical length) for Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats: Day Fourteen. Today’s quote is from ‘To Ireland in the Coming Times’. The photo is Francis Scott Key’s original manuscript copy of his “Star-Spangled Banner” poem. It is now on display at the Maryland Historical Society.

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