"their bravest and their best"

A song written by our friend Sara Harding (inspired by the story and lyrics of "The Star-Spangled Banner"):

I was a prisoner on the ship
And forced to stay below
While through the night the battle raged
With bursting rockets' glow

And when the morning came at last
I rose and went to see
Who had won and who had lost
And who was made more free

Across the bay I strained to view
The land where I'd been born
And from the fort the banner waved
Though blackened, shredded, torn

Yet turning round I saw again
From each embattled mast
Those colors same in different form
Proud to the very last

Then suddenly the deck did heave
There rose a sickening swell
Lifting the bodies of all the slain
The bitter truth to tell

Red was the blood upon their hands
And white the pallor of death
Blue the depths that swallowed whole
Their bravest and their best,
Their bravest and their best.

The wave washed by, and in its place
I saw a mountain there
Upon it was a table laid
With earth's abundant fare

And seated round from every race
Were those who had withstood
And bowed no knee nor gave salute
To king or national god

And to their host their voices raised
Their anthem ceasing never
"Power and justice and freedom alone
Belong to our Savior forever"

Red is the blood he shed for them
And white each righteous deed
Blue the heavens from which they shine
The truly brave and freed.