Defence of Fort McHenry
DEFENCE OF FORT McHENRY.
The annexed song was composed under the following circumstances—A gentleman had left Baltimore, in a flag of truce for the purpose of getting released from the British fleet, a friend of his who had been captured at Marlborough.—He went as far as the mouth of the Patuxent, and was not permitted to return lest the intended attack on Baltimore should be disclosed. He was therefore brought up the Bay to the mouth of the Patapsco, where the flag vessel was kept under the guns of a frigate, and he was compelled to witness the bombardment of Fort McHenry, which the Admiral had boasted that he would carry in a few hours, and that the city must fall. He watched the flag at the Fort through the whole day with an anxiety that can be better felt than described, until the night prevented him from seeing it. In the night he watched the Bomb Shells, and at early dawn his eye was again greeted by the proudly waving flag of his country.
Tune—Anacreon in Heaven.
O! say can you see by the dawn's early light,
O! say does that star-spangled Banner yet wave,
'Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
And the star-spangled Banner in triumph shall wave,