To the Knights of Liberty

by F.L. Lanford


This verse appeared on the front page of the Tulsa Daily World on November 15, 1917.

EDITOR’S NOTE: “The tarring and feathering of 17 I.W.W.’s in Tulsa last week by a Modern Ku Klux band has attracted editorial comment the nation over. A Kansas City man, however, has put his sentiments down in verse and they are published herewith.”

“In the name of the children of Belgium,
In the name of the mothers who died
At the hands of the Huns and the vandals
This cat-o-nine tails is applied.”
“Tis applied to the back of the heartless”
Who heed not the heart-rending call
In downtrodden Belgium and Gaul.
Down with the infamous German spy.
Hasten the heart-cheering hour,
When foes of our country for mercy shall cry
Unfurl the breeze our Star-Spangled Flag
Let it’s radiance brighten the earth,
That battles and bloodshed forever shall cease
And liberty have a new birth.
We want no possessions, nor strive we for gold.
But for down-trodden people we fight;
Our brave boys go forth like heroes of old
To battle for God and the right
Till the last of our men “goes over the top”
Til’ the beating of pulses shall cease
We will fight for a cause—nor ever shall stop—
That shall give us a permanent peace.
All hail, all hail! to the Liberty Knights
More strength and more brave to their arm
Give them a strong thrust to humble in dust
The foes that would bring us to harm
May they be ready and willing to fight
On land, air or sea billows foam.
Standing together for manhood and right
For Flag and for country and home.