The Red Banner
Fling out the Red Banner! o'er mountain and valley,
Let earth feel the tread of the Free, once again;
Now, Soldiers of Freedom, for love of God, rally—
Old Earth yearns to know that her children are men;
We are nerved by a million wrongs burning and bleeding,
Bold thoughts leap to birth, but, the bold deeds must come, And, wherever humanity's yearning and pleading,
One battle for liberty strike ye heart-home! Fling out the Red Banner! its fiery front under, Come, gather ye, gather ye! Champions of Right! And roll round the world with the voice of God's thunder
The wrongs we've to reckon—oppressors to smite;
They deem that we strike no more like the old hero-band—
Martyrdom's own battle-hearted and brave; Blood of Christ! brothers mine, it were sweet, but to see ye stand Triumph or tomb! welcome! glory or grave!
Fling out the Red Banner! achievements immortal
Have yet to be won by the hands labour-brown, And few, few may enter the proud promise-portal, Yet, wear it in thought, boys! the glorious crown! And, oh! joy of the conflict! sound trumpet! array us! True hearts would leap up, were all hell in oar path, Up! up! from the slave land! who stirreth to stay us Shall fall as of old in the Red Sea of wrath! Fling out the Red Banner! and range ye around, Young spirits, abiding to burst into wings,
We stand, by the coming events, shadow-crowned,
There's a grim hush in heaven! and the Bird of Storm sings:
"All's well!" saith the Sentry on Tyranny's tower, "
Even Hope by their watch-fire is grey and tearblind."
Aye, all's well! Freedom's altar burns hour by hour—
Live brands for the fire-damps with which ye are mined.
Fling out the Red Banner! the patriots perish!
But where their bones moulder the seed taketh root—
Their heart's-life ran red the great harvest to cherish,
Then gather ye Reapers, and garner the fruit.
Victory! victory! Tyrants are quaking,The Titan of foil from the bloody thrall starts, The Slaves are awaking: the dawnlight is breaking! The footfall of Freedom beats quick at our hearts
Gerald Massey -
Red Republican Journal 1850