Patriotic Poems

A sampling of our favorite patriotic poems gathered here for your reading.  American history is full of many wonderful examples of stories and poems expressing the dreams, the horrors and the hopes of those wars and conflicts. 

A Wreath Of Flowers

Written for Decoration Day, May 30, 1918.

I wove me a wreath of flowers

To place in memories hall,

In honor of the brave and fearless men

Who had answered our country's call.

The men who had answered, and fought, and died

For the cause of freedom, our country's pride!


I wove me a wreath of flowers

With many a sigh and tear,

As a tribute to all the good and true

Who were given few honors here.

The man of humble piety

Who lived and died in obscurity.


A wreath of flowers, a little thing

For flowers wither and fade;

But the fragrance they shed is not soon forgot

By me, who the wreath has made.

So the virtues of those who have gone before,

Will always be treasured in memory's store.

Our Soldier Boy

He said, "I'm Daddy's soldier boy,"

When he was five years old;

And then went out and built snow forts,

Although the day was cold.


The snowballs were his hand grenades,

A stick his bayonette;

And with a home-made wooden gun

The foe he bravely met.


In five more years he joined the "scouts"

And hiked across the hills;

He learned to wear a khaki suit,

And do military drills.


And so the years passed swiftly on,

And now he is a man;

He's in the trenches over there,

Fighting for Uncle Sam.


I know he'll make the Huns regret

They started this big fight,

For he knows the cause he's fighting for

Is liberty and right.




  Listen, my children, and you shall hear

  Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,

  On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five:

  Hardly a man is now alive

  Who remembers that famous day and year.


  He said to his friend, "If the British march

  By land or sea from the town to-night,

  Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch

  Of the North Church tower as a signal-light,

  One, if by land, and two, if by sea;

  And I on the opposite shore will be,

  Ready to ride and spread the alarm

  Through every Middlesex village and farm,

  For the country folk to be up and to arm."


  Then he said, Good-night! and with muffled oar

  Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,

  Just as the moon rose over the bay,

  Where swinging wide at her moorings lay

  The Somerset, British man-of-war;

  A phantom ship, with each mast and spar

  Across the moon like a prison-bar,

  And a huge black hulk, that was magnified

  By its own reflection in the tide.


  Meanwhile, his friend, through alley and street

  Wanders and watches with eager ears,

  Till in the silence around him he hears

  The muster of men at the barrack door,

  The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,

  And the measured tread of the grenadiers,

  Marching down to their boats on the shore.


  Then he climbed to the tower of the Old North Church

  By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,

  To the belfry-chamber overhead,

  And startled the pigeons from their perch

  On the sombre rafters, that round him made

  Masses and moving shapes of shade,--

  By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,

  To the highest window in the wall,

  Where he paused to listen and look down

  A moment on the roofs of the town,

  And the moonlight flowing over all.


  Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,

  In their night-encampment on the hill,

  Wrapped in silence so deep and still

  That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread,

  The watchful night-wind, as it went

  Creeping along from tent to tent,

  And seeming to whisper, "All is well!"

  A moment only he feels the spell

  Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread

  Of the lonely belfry and the dead;

  For suddenly all his thoughts are bent

  On a shadowy something far away,

  Where the river widens to meet the bay,--

  A line of black that bends and floats

  On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats.


  Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,

  Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride

  On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.

  Now he patted his horse's side,

  Now gazed at the landscape far and near,

  Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,

  And turned and tightened his saddle-girth;

  But mostly he watched with eager search

  The belfry-tower of the Old North Church,

  As it rose above the graves on the hill,

  Lonely, and spectral, and sombre and still.


  And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height

  A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!

  He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,

  But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight

  A second lamp in the belfry burns!

  A hurry of hoofs in a village street,

  A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,

  And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark

  Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet:

  That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,

  The fate of a nation was riding that night;

  And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,

  Kindled the land into flame with its heat.


  He has left the village and mounted the steep,

  And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,

  Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;

  And under the alders, that skirt its edge,

  Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,

  Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.


  It was twelve by the village clock

  When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.

  He heard the crowing of the cock,

  And the barking of the farmer's dog,

  And felt the damp of the river fog,

  That rises after the sun goes down.


  It was one by the village clock,

  When he rode into Lexington.

  He saw the gilded weathercock

  Swim in the moonlight as he passed,

  And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare,

  Gaze at him with a spectral glare,

  As if they already stood aghast

  At the bloody work they would look upon.


  It was two by the village clock,

  When he came to the bridge in Concord town.

  He heard the bleating of the flock,

  And the twitter of birds among the trees,

  And felt the breath of the morning breeze

  Blowing over the meadows brown.

  And one was safe and asleep in his bed

  Who at the bridge would be first to fall,

  Who that day would be lying dead,

  Pierced by a British musket-ball.


  You know the rest. In the books you have read,

  How the British Regulars fired and fled,--

  How the farmers gave them ball for ball,

  From behind each fence and farm-yard wall,

  Chasing the red-coats down the lane,

  Then crossing the fields to emerge again

  Under the trees at the turn of the road,

  And only pausing to fire and load.


  So through the night rode Paul Revere;

  And so through the night went his cry of alarm

  To every Middlesex village and farm,--

  A cry of defiance and not of fear,

  A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,

  And a word that shall echo forevermore!

  For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,

  Through all our history, to the last,

  In the hour of darkness and peril and need,

  The people will waken and listen to hear

  The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,

  And the midnight message of Paul Revere.



And, finally, a page on patriotic poems would not be complete without -




After the British had burned the Capitol at Washington, in

August, 1813, they retired to their ships, and on September 12th

and 13th, they made an attack on Baltimore. This poem was written

on the morning after the bombardment of Fort McHenry, while the

author was a prisoner on the British fleet.


Oh! say can you see, by the dawn's early light,

What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming;

Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,

O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?

And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;

Oh, 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;

Its full glory reflected now shines on the stream;

'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh! long may it wave

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!


And where is the band who so vauntingly swore,

'Mid the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,

A home and a country they'd leave us no more?

Their blood hath washed 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!


Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand

Between their loved home and the war's desolation;

Blessed with victory and peace, may the Heaven-rescued land

Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.

Then conquer we must, for 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!



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We do hope you've enjoyed this small selection of patriotic poems.  Please copy, print and share as you wish.

Happy Holidays.