The Last Verse

[274 words]

In 1814 Francis Scott Key had been negotiating the release of an American from the British Fleet. Key was successful and was only allowed to return to his ship, yet not allowed to leave the fleet because he had become familiar with the strength and position of the British units and their intention to launch an attack upon Baltimore. That night he was unable to do anything but watch the bombardment of Fort McHenry. He would write a poem about his experiences that night. These lyrics were printed in local newspapers and set to the tune of an existing song called Anacreon in Heaven. From that would come our national anthem.

Because of this, we are very familiar with the first stanza of the song but it actually has three verses. Let me share with you the last verse:

“O thus be it ever when freemen 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 power 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.”

For Francis Scott Key the victory wasn’t about the nation, but the God that saw them through. 

As we spend time in celebration and remembrance of our nation let us never forget the words of Psalm 33:12, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.”

Barry Haynes
Hope church of Christ
Hope, AR

Bookmark for Later (0)
ClosePlease login

Discover more from Bulletin Digest

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

1 thought on “The Last Verse”

  1. The article mentions that there are three verses to the Star Spangled Banner. In fact, there are three MORE verses, making four verses for the song.

    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 through the perilous fight
    O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
    And the rocket’s red glare, the bomb bursting in air,
    Gave proof through 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 through 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 in 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 footstep’s 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 freemen 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 power 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.

Leave a Comment