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On the shore, dimly seen thro' the mist of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
Tis the star-spangled banner. Oh! long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
"The towering steep" is again the ramparts. The bombardment has failed, and the British can do nothing but sail away, their mission a failure.
In the third stanza, Key allows himself to gloat over the American triumph, which was understandable after the bombardment he had witnessed.
During World War II, when the British were our allies, this third stanza was not sung.