Francis Scott Key Poems

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Francis Scott Key
Francis Scott Key (August 1, 1779 January 11, 1843) was an American lawyer, author, and amateur poet who wrote the words to the United States national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner". He was born to Ann Louis Penn Dagworthy (Charlton) and Captain John Ross Key at the family plantation Terra Rubra in what was Frederick County and is now Carroll County, Maryland. His father John Ross Key was a lawyer, a judge and an officer in the Continental Army. He was an alumnus of St. John's College, Annapolis, Maryland. During the War of 1812, Key, accompanied by the American Prisoner Exchange Agent Colonel John Stuart Skinner, dined aboard the British ship HMS Tonnant, as the guests of three British officers: Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane, Rear Admiral Sir George Cockburn, and Major General Robert Ross. Skinner and Key were there to negotiate the release of a prisoner, Dr. William Beanes. Beanes was a resident of Upper Marlboro, Maryland and had been captured by the British after he placed rowdy stragglers under citizen's arrest with a group of men. Skinner, Key, and Beanes were allowed to return to their own sloop, but were not allowed to return to Baltimore because they had become familiar with the strength and position of the British units and of the British intention to attack Baltimore. As a result of this, Key was unable to do anything but watch the bombarding of the American forces at Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore. Key was inspired to write a poem describing his experience. Entitled "The Defense of Fort McHenry", intended to fit the rhythms of composer John Stafford Smith's "To Anacreon in Heaven", it has become better known as "The Star Spangled Banner". Under this name, the song was adopted as the American national anthem, first by an Executive Order from President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 (which had little effect beyond requiring military bands to play it,) and then by a Congressional resolution in 1931, signed by President Herbert Hoover. In 1832, Key served as the attorney for Sam Houston during his trial in the U.S. House of Representatives for assaulting another Congressman. In 1835, Key prosecuted Richard Lawrence for his unsuccessful attempt to assassinate President of the United States Andrew Jackson. In 1843, Key died at the home of his daughter Elizabeth Howard in Baltimore from pleurisy and was initially interred in Old Saint Paul's Cemetery in the vault of John Eager Howard. In 1866, his body was moved to his family plot in Frederick at Mount Olivet Cemetery. The Key Monument Association erected a memorial in 1898 and the remains of both Francis Scott Key and his wife were placed in a crypt in the base of the monument.

i've got a little list

As some day it may happen that a victim must be found,... [read poem]
the star-spangled banner
Oh, say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's las... [read poem]
the miseries of man
In that so temperate Soil Arcadia nam'd,
For fertile Pasturage by Poets fam'd;
Stan... [read poem]
the discontent
Here take no Care, take here no Care, my Muse,
Nor ought of Art or Labour use:
... [read poem]
to sit in solemn silence...
To sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock,
In a pestilential prison, with a life-long lock,... [read poem]
The Ballyshannon foundered off the the coast of Cariboo,
And down in fathoms many went the capt... [read poem]
the yarn of the "nancy bell"
'TWAS on the shores that round our coast
From Deal to Ramsgate span,
That I found alone on... [read poem]
defence of fort m'henry

O! say can yo... [read poem]
first epigram: upon being contented with a little
We deem them moderate, but Enough implore,
What barely will suffice, and ask no more:... [read poem]
ballad: the sorcerer's song
Oh! My name is John Wellington Wells -
I'm a dealer in magic and spells,
In blessings and ... [read poem]
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