Claude McKay ,a Jamaican born poet and self-educated man-of-letters who lived and wrote in the early part of the twentieth-century, is seldom read today, but like all inspired poets who tell it like it is, his words never grow stale, remaining timeless for other men who have ears to hear.
IF WE MUST DIE” (Claude McKay / 1889-1948)
“If we must die—let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursed lot.
If we must die—oh , let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
Oh, Kinsmen! We must meet the common foe;
Though far outnumbered, let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one death blow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!”
Sure, it’s a bit somber perhaps, but the words ring true … Towards the latter part of his life, and while living in Harlem, he converted to Catholicism, although it’s hard to see him as a man likely to turn the other cheek; nor can I see him lining up and getting fat at the public$ trough like so many of today’s hypocritical men of the cloth. No. He sounds like a MAN to me.
Courage on and All Best,