A short and poignant one was written by Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) as his response to the news that the outdated warship Constitution was about to be scrapped in the 1830's. Because of his poem, the public realized that this historically important ship was about to be lost. Holmes makes his point somewhat sardonically, but he makes his point -- the public donated the funds to restore the vessel, which you can still see today in Boston Harbor:
Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
Long has it waved on high,
And many an eye has danced to see
That banner in the sky;
Beneath it rung the battle shout,
And burst the cannon’s roar; —
The meteor of the ocean air
Shall sweep the clouds no more.
Her deck, once red with heroes’ blood,
Where knelt the vanquished foe,
When winds were hurrying o’er the flood,
And waves were white below,
No more shall feel the victor’s tread,
Or know the conquered knee; —
The harpies of the shore shall pluck
The eagle of the sea!
Oh, better that her shattered hulk
Should sink beneath the wave;
Her thunders shook the mighty deep,
And there should be her grave;
Nail to the mast her holy flag,
Set every threadbare sail,
And give her to the god of storms,
The lightning and the gale!