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Anthem


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Latin Verse

Anthem, from the Latin - antiphona, sounding against, responsive sound, singing opposite, alternate chant; is a hymn of praise which is also responsive in nature. Liturgically it is synonymous with antiphon. However as a poetic genre it has taken a slightly different path. It is a song of praise which often expresses patriotism or loyalty.  The elements often found in most anthems are:

  1. stanzaic, written in any number of stanzas, each ending in a responsive refrain. The frame of the stanza is at the discretion of the poet.
  2. originally to be sung, therefore although no specific meter is designated, it should carry a lyrical rhythm.
  3. rhymed or unrhymed at the discretion of the poet.

    The Star Spangled Banner by Frances Scott Keyes 1814 (The stanzaic form used for this particular Anthem is the Bar Form written in octaves ending with a refrain ababccdD dfefggdD etc. D being the refrain. )

    O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
    What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
    Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
    O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
    And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
    Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
    O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

    On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep,
    Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
    What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
    As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
    Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
    In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
    'Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

    And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
    That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
    A home and a country should leave us no more?
    Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution.
    No refuge could save the hireling and slave
    From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    O thus be it ever when free-men shall stand
    Between their lov'd home and the war's desolation;
    Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
    Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
    Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
    And this be our motto: "In God is our trust!"
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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