Bright blooms of flame spattered shadows on that tide
Whose strangling fingers clawed into our land,
And scraped out slots like graves upon our sand.
A far-off signal flared and sputtering fell,
Its bloom of sparks splashed deep in slate,
But, like our last edition, this signal came too late.
The drumming bursts of broken cannons
Stomped along the edges of our gilded cage,
And faded like the lies we smeared on our front page,
Faded until all we heard of want or wish or war
Were the screams of our grandchildren slain
Beyond our gilded sand, upon our once fruited plain.