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"Fighting Mac"

Rating: 3.0

A Life Tragedy

A pistol shot rings round and round the world;
In pitiful defeat a warrior lies.
A last defiance to dark Death is hurled,
A last wild challenge shocks the sunlit skies.
Alone he falls, with wide, wan, woeful eyes:
Eyes that could smile at death -- could not face shame.

Alone, alone he paced his narrow room,

In the bright sunshine of that Paris day;
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COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Michael Pruchnicki 22 January 2010

Please spare us the usual whine full of the current fashionable political correctness and the garbled grammar of twisted logic! First of all, Service makes clear that the poem expresses the tragedy of one man's life! The suicide was committed by a soldier whose king was proud to shake his hand (doubtless after pinning the Victoria Cross on his Highlander's scarlet tunic!) and princes of the realm called him friend. What was the world that Service alludes to but the British Empire before its post-WW2 decline into a welfare state! The ever-present taint of 'racism' (the only sin recognized in the modern welfare state) makes its way into a 'first class poem with great lines' (thank you for the left-handed compliment) ! Why in the world cannot his 'disgrace' be simply his failure to die in battle, as a loyal soldier of his country might well long for?

11 6 Reply
Manonton Dalan 22 January 2012

war is a word invented by man to justify killing now it's self defensemd

5 8 Reply
Sadiqullah Khan 22 January 2010

The poor warrior Hired to protect the booty Of the company of traders From west to east Plunder and plunder And follows the gospel Anointed holy Crown and cross With sacks full The warrior returns To the north land For many an avarice His head without pride So he commits suicide “The echo of his deeds is ringing yet - Will ring for aye. All else... let us forget”

5 7 Reply
Mariam Mababaya 22 January 2005

This was wonderful and the punctuation was great... Keep writing. Mariam

2 7 Reply
Dr Dillip K Swain 24 May 2021

Alone he falls with wide, wan and woeful eyes.. this poignant expression creates impact and influence!

0 0 Reply
Garry Sharp 14 January 2015

Why did William Service come up as non-existent in your search enquiry?

1 0 Reply
ian Sutherland 23 September 2014

This poem is about a brave and dedicated soldier called Hector MacDonald who left his job as an apprentice kiltmaker in Inverness to join the Gordon Highlanders in Aberdeen. He worked his way up the ranks and became a celebrated hero for his bravery in the Soudan and in India. He was eroniously accused of child molesting and homosexuality by his senior in command and advised to do the right thing. Hector shot himself in the head in a small hotel in Paris. The accusations were never endorsed or proven or even effectively looked into. He was a friend of the famous Scott Skinner (celebrated fiddler and composer) of Aberdeenshire who wrote a tune in his memory called Hector The Hero. Sudsieboy.

3 0 Reply
H. Calvert 21 September 2021

Thank you so much. I felt certain this was about a real person. How tragic!

0 0 Reply
ian Sutherland 23 September 2014

This poem is about a brave and dedicated soldier called Hector MacDonald who left his job as an apprentice kiltmaker in Inverness to join the Gordon Highlanders in Aberdeen. He worked his way up the ranks and became a celebrated hero for his bravery in the Soudan and in India. He was eroniously accused of child molesting and homosexuality by his senior in command and advised to do the right thing. Hector shot himself in the head in a small hotel in Paris. The accusations were never endorsed or proven or even effectively looked into. He was a friend of the famous Scott Skinner (celebrated fiddler and composer) of Aberdeenshire who wrote a tune in his memory called Hector The Hero. Sudsieboy.

2 0 Reply
* Sunprincess * 22 January 2014

......even today many of the armed service members commit suicide...even more so than previously I imagine...and they say suicide runs in families...it may not be a sickness of the body, but a sickness of the soul itself...which causes people to give up their life...and go into the mysterious unknown...

5 1 Reply