A Poetry Writing Attorney
Fortunately over my life I’ve only had to make the acquaintance of less than a handful of attorneys and I assure you none of them had the reputation of being a poet. There is one lawyer though who lived before my time that actually fancied himself a poet, and found himself stuck on somebody else’s boat all night long one misty September evening due to the inability of the ship to come into port right away.
However, the situation in port had changed by sunrise – and as the sun rose that morning on September 14th he was so moved by what he saw on the shoreline he jotted down these few lines:
“O say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright
Stars through the perilous fight
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bomb bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that
Our flag was still there,
O say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”
Francis Scott Key was describing the aftermath of the all-night shelling of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 (Andrew Jackson and the Battle of New Orleans was a part of that) by the British and to attorney Key the fact that the American soldiers inside Fort McHenry had held off the British all night long and prevailed in the battle, moved him to bring pencil to paper that glorious morning. There are three other verses, but these are the ones we know best.
And the rest, is History.