“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.