Archive for December 10th, 2020

Thursday, 10 December 2020

To the Fighting Weak by Margaret Steele Anderson

Stand up, you Strong! Touch glasses! To the Weak!
The Weak who fight: or habit or disease,
Birth, chance, or ignorance—or awful wreak
Of some lost forbear, who has drained the cup
Of passion and wild pleasure! So! To these.
You strong, you proud, you conquerors—stand up!

Touch glasses! You shall never drink a glass
So salt of tears, so bitter through and through,
As they must drink, who cannot hope to pass
Beyond their place of trial and of pain,
Who cannot match their trifling strength with you;
To these, touch glasses—and the glasses drain!

They cannot build, they never break the trail.
No city rises out of their desires;
They do the little task, and dare not fail
For fear of little losses—or they keep
The humble path and sit by humble fires;
They know their places—all these fighting Weak!

Yet what have you to show of tears and blood,
That mates their blood and tears? What shaft have you,
To mark the dreadful spots where you have stood.
That rises to the height of one poor stone
Proclaiming one poor triumph to the blue?
Ah, you have nothing! Then stand up and own!

And yet you shall not pity them! They bear
The stripe of some far courage that to you
Is all unknown—and you shall never wear
Such splendor as they bring to some last cup;
You do not fight the desperate fight they do;
Then—to the Weak! Touch glasses! standing up!

From: Anderson, Margaret Steele, The Flame in the Wind, 1914, John P. Morton & Company Incorporated: Louisville, Kentucky, p. 38.

Date: 1913

By: Margaret Steele Anderson (1867-1921)