James Ephraim McGirt

(1874-1930 / USA)

The Stars And Stripes Shall Never Trail The Dust


'Tis a colored captain's story
'Twas told to Uncle Sam,
He was mustered out because the war was o'er;
He'd borne his honor bravely,
The victory he had won,
He came to render up the flag he bore.

He was standing at the White House
With th' Stars and Stripes in hand,
His sword and uniform with gore were red;
A shell had pierced his body,
Yet had not caused his death;
He gave to him the flag and slowly said:

'Uncle Sam, here is Old Glory,
That you trusted to my care,
Through th' hottest I have ever held my trust;
Though shells have rent my body,
Yet I can truly say,
The Stars and Stripes have never trailed the dust.

'No, the Stars and Stripes shall never trail the dust while I live,
But shall ever wave untarnished ov'r the free;
Yes, the shells may rend my body,
And may death come if it must,
But the Stars and Stripes shall never trail the dust.'

Uncle Sam then took the flag,
And gazed into his face;
He said: 'My son, you're black, but still you're a man;'
On his breast he placed a medal,
And said, remember me;
Forget you; no, my boy, I never can!

Your Uncle knows no color,
And neither party line;
The call I made was simply for the brave.
You loving soldiers heard me,
And rallied to the call;
My country from destruction you have saved.

I saw you negroes bear the flag
Through shells up San Juan Hill,
I saw the Spaniards from your valor flee;
The Stars and Stripes are waving
O'er Morro Castle bold,
And waving now in Cuba o'er the free.

Now the Stars and Stripes shall never trail the dust while I live;
But shall ever wave untarnished o'er the free;
Yes, the shells may rend my body,
And may death come if it must,
But the Stars and Stripes shall never trail the dust.

Submitted: Tuesday, October 19, 2010

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