(15 September 1889 – 22 May 1948 / Clarendon)

If We Must Die

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 accursèd lot.
If we must die, O 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!
O 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!

User Rating: 4,0 / 5 ( 94 votes ) 35

Comments (35)

Mc kay's poem in Harlem Renaissance tradition is a nostalgic piece of reminiscence of the past and again is a poem of collective unconscious. The language is not filled with much of imagination or tropes but it's passionate and touching. The poem doesn't have a personal tone but encouragingly talking to a group of comrades and wants them to get united and fight against the oppressors.
A poem of fighting spirit, ' Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back'.
Useful to me in my warfaring A. D. 2019, July 26th, ~5:00 A. M. Pacific Daylight time.
my name is bob the fat guy and i love this poem its filled my fat guy needs. :) thank you black guy
is Mc Kay dead? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
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