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On that pleasant morn of the early fall When Lee marched over the mountain wall,
Over the mountains winding down,
Forty flags with their silver stars,
Flapped in the morning wind : the sun
Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then,
Bravest of all in Frederick town,
In her attic-window the staff she set,
Up the street came the rebel tread,
Under his slouched hat left and right
“ Halt!” — the dust-brown ranks stood fast. “ Fire ! ” — out blazed the rifle-blast.
It shivered the window, pane and sash;
Quick, as it fell, from the broken staff
She leaned far out on the window-sill,
“Shoot, if you must, this old gray head, But spare your country's flag,” she said.
A shade of sadness, a blush of shame, Over the face of the leader came;
The nobler nature within him stirred
“Who touches a hair of yon gray head Dies like a dog! March on!” he said.
All day long through Frederick street
All day long that free flag tost
Ever its torn folds rose and fell
And through the hill-gaps sunset light Shone over it with a warm good-night.
Barbara Frietchie's work is o'er,
Honor to her! and let a tear
Over Barbara Frietchie’s grave
Peace and order and beauty draw
And ever the stars above look down