Henry O'Meara Ballads of America

Decoration

WELCOME TO THE WHITE FLEET

WRITTEN FOR RECEPTION TO ADMIRAL WALKER AND OFFICERS
FROM THE SQUADRON OF EVOLUTION
FLOWER of the fleet, of youngest bloom and best-
White group of sisters on our Harbor's breast,
Borne by the land's new wealth of fashioning skill,
By affluent forces of her 'wakening will -
Old Boston bids you welcome where abides
The halo round our home of "Ironsides";
To you her fame-lit years a charge transfers -
A blazoned century's life he yours, as hers.
Turn filial here to find maternal greeting,
As turned our country's chief, his mission meeting -
 
Here first an infant craft essayed to cope
With Britain's bulk, to smite her navy's "Hope";
Twin cruisers through the hull-walls tore a path,
Hurled back their langrage and their tier-shots' wrath;
Here where her fleet was banished from the Bay,
Low'ring like Fiends of War with lust of sway,
Our ocean envoys to an Old World's view,
Take now this parting tribute from the New.
 
Not at imperial beck from peasants wrung,
But out the spirit of a people sprung,
Your dower of strength our liberties attest -
The genius of this Giant in the West.
"Chicago," with the flag assigned to you
Uphold her pride who lights our vast Lake's view;
 
Colleague that bears for us a closer claim,
Set forth our City's honor with her name;
Patrons of both the lesson brave inspire
Fearless, as you, to meet the stress of fire;
Stand, "Yorktown," for our war of birthright past;
"Atlanta," speak for triumph in the last
And join -with these in "marching to the sea,"
While "Boston" links the record of the three.
 
Go forth, bright Argosy, with theme un rolled -
The banner with the stars increased threefold.
At home, from some familiar height,
But out no lofty meaning raised,
Our blaze of stars with streaks of light -
Ignobly placed to lure men's sight,
Hangs oft unheeded and unpraised:
But when serene, alone, it shines,
A joy on far ungenial lands,
Our wanderer - in its flaming lines -
The freeman's oriflamme divines -
The people's might, for which it stands;
 
And there, against a foreign sky,
Exulting scans its form unfurled -
There feels our symbolled Freedom nigh,
Resorbs her breath that bids it fly
Exalts in love her emblem o'er the world!

 
Decoration
THE HERO COAST GUARD CONTENTS THE FLAG ABOVE THE SCHOOL

 

Edited and formatted by Sheldon Brown

updated Wednesday, April 19, 2000
URL: http://sheldonbrown.com/omeara/white.html
Copyright © 2000 Sheldon Brown