Publication information

Source type: newspaper
Document type: poem
Document title: “The Flag’s Grief”
Author(s): Carter, Ophelia
City of publication: Baltimore, Maryland
Date of publication: 5 October 1901
Volume number: 10
Issue number: 9
Pagination: [4]

Carter, Ophelia. “The Flag’s Grief.” Afro-American-Ledger 5 Oct. 1901 v10n9: p. [4].
full text
William McKinley (mourning: poetry); William McKinley (death: poetry).
Named persons
End-of-line punctuation for lines 14, 17, 20, and 24 is unclear in the original source due to poor printing and/or faulty typesetting.

The Flag’s Grief

WIND.—“Gay stars and stripes why are you draped
     In mourning deep and dread?
Why cease to dally with the breeze
     That’s sporting o’er your head?
Do you no longer wave to tell
     That emblematic peace
Which bids a prosperous nation’s work
     Go on and never cease?—
We cannot rightly guess the cause;
     Tell us, oh weeping flag.”

FLAG.—“Ah! gentle breeze, you cannot guess;
     ’Tis sore and hard to bear,
The grief you see depicted in,
     The somber black we wear.
We had a high and noble chief,
     Our pride and our delight,
He was the sunshine of our life,
     And all our days were bright.
But fate is oft a cruel foe.
     Our noble chief is dead.

“There lurked a dark and fiendish foe
     Who hated freedom’s laws,
He aimed at freedom’s chief and he
     Fell martyr to her cause.
So farewell sporting breeze to you,
     We cannot play today;
(Is there on earth no healing balm
     To take our grief away)
For sick and sad at heart are we—
     We mourn our martyred chief.