“And He Said, Fight On”


Time and its ally, Dark Disarmament,
           Have compassed me about,
Have massed their armies, and on battle bent
           My forces put to rout ;
But though I fight alone, and fall, and die,
           Talk terms of Peace?   Not I.

They war upon my fortress, and their guns
           Are shattering its walls ;
My army plays the cowards’ part, and runs,
           Pierced by a thousand balls ;
They call for my surrender. I reply,
           “Give quarter now?   Not I.”

They’ve shot my flag to ribbons, but in rents
           It floats above the height ;
Their ensign shall not crown my battlements
           While I can stand and fight.
I fling defiance at them as I cry,
           “Capitulate?   Not I.”

From Flint and Feather: The Complete Poems of E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake) (The Musson Book Co., Limited, 1917) by Emily Pauline Johnson. This poem is in the public domain.