The people's flag is deepest red,
It shrouded oft our martyred dead,
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold,
Their hearts' blood dyed its every fold.(Chorus)Look round, the Frenchman loves its blaze,
Then raise the scarlet standard high.
Within its shade we live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We'll keep the red flag flying here.
The sturdy German chants its praise,
In Moscow's vaults its hymns were sung
Chicago swells the surging throng.
It waved above our infant might,
When all ahead seemed dark as night;
It witnessed many a deed and vow,
We must not change its colour now.
It well recalls the triumphs past,
It gives the hope of peace at last;
The banner bright, the symbol plain,
Of human right and human gain.
It suits today the weak and base,
Whose minds are fixed on pelf and place
To cringe before the rich man's frown,
And haul the sacred emblem down.
With head uncovered swear we all
To bear it onward till we fall;
Come dungeons dark or gallows grim,
This song shall be our parting hymn.
02 April 2011
Poetry of the week
Yesterday evening, I had occasion (don't ask!) to look up the lyrics of The Red Flag. We all know the last two lines of the chorus but forget (or never know) the rest. So here it is and what a splendid, stirring piece of poetry it is.