Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

(25 November 1875 – 15 August 1928 / Canada)

The Forlorn Hope - Poem by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

One saw the coming doom and was afraid,
And said, 'My friends, the cause for which you dare
Is just and worthy, and it has my prayer—
My time and money are engaged elsewhere.'

Another said, ' 'Twas a good cause and true,
Not until men condemned it did I doubt, '
Vox populi, vox Dei' and all that—
I think 'twere wise and prudent to step out!'

And still another mused, 'All hope is lost,
It was a righteous cause, but then, you see
I'm older than I was, in fact I feel
Too much excitement is not good for me.'

Another saw the cloud against the sky,
Gave health and wealth and all his manhood's might
To fight for the lost cause and prove it true,
His battle-cry ' Let God defend the right!'

Alone, against a serried world he stood,
His few companions melted from his side,
Yet all his life he ceased not in the strife—
Nor had he won the battle when he died.

When he was dead some said, 'Was not this man
A little higher than the common run ?
This cause he fought for, surely it was good!'
And so, above his grave, the fight was won.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 6, 2010

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