Someone tell me that there is hope
Still left to wake the world,
That in the voices lost to scope
Remains a victor’s chance.
And tell me, have they sounded yet
The woeful call, “Retreat”?
To pull back hands that have been set
Upon the tired task?
I have not heard them cry the call,
Yet look how fast we flee!
And leave the stoic few to fall
Abandoned at our heels.
How can our moral ears abide
A people’s dying gasps,
While we, disgracing all our pride,
Give up before we’ve lost?
Now let us rip the curtain back,
The wizard bear his face!
That we surrender, in our lack,
Before we face the charge.
I cannot bear the hollow chest
That marks a craven soul
Of one who broke the line when pressed
To let conviction die.
– s. Clark