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The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918

The Soul of The Flag

The Soul of The Flag.

In Its spar-gaunt droop at midnight;
In Its swing in the breath of dawn,
In Its sun-kissed play in the broad noonday,
In Its rustle through shades-re-drawn;
Stands It holding a voiceless vigil,
Keen-orbed of the centuries,
And Its challenge mute thrills the souls of men,
World-wide o'er the lands and seas.

And It flings, whether castle-flaunted
Or atop of a sinking ship,
Or abreast of a death-rife onset,
Or a-sprawl in a dead man's grip;
In the tongue of a thousand races,
Through the snow or theTropic's glare,
To the mast, to the field, the homestead,
Unfalt'ring, Its "Who goes there"?

And the serf, and the sage, the toiler,
The Many, if not the Few,
As they seek in their souls an answer,
For themselves, for Its soul, speak true;
And the mother 'reft, and the widow,
And the maimed, and the fallen brave,
In Its blood-bright folds wrap conquest
Round their tears, their pangs, their grave.

For the soul of the Flag is taintless,
And the Many believe the Right,
Though the Cause of the Flag be tainted,
For the Few who would prosper Might;
And the Soul of the Flag is deathless,
For the heights that the
Flag has trod—
In the Patriot-trust of heroes,
The Soul of the Flag is God.