_A plea against the vindictive cry raised by civilians
shortly after the surrender at Appomattox_
The color-bearers facing death
White in the whirling sulphurous wreath,
Stand boldly out before the line;
Right and left their glances go,
Proud of each other, glorying in their show;
Their battle-flags about them blow,
And fold them as in flame divine:
Such living robes are only seen
Round martyrs burning on the green-
And martyrs for the Wrong have been.
Perish their Cause! but mark the men-
Mark the planted statues, then
Draw trigger on them if you can.
The leader of a patriot-band
Even so could view rebels who so could stand;
And this when peril pressed him sore,
Left aidless in the shivered front of war-
Skulkers behind, defiant foes before,
And fighting with a broken brand.
The challenge in that courage rare-
Courage defenseless, proudly bare-
Never could tempt him; he could dare
Strike up the leveled rifle there.
Sunday at Shiloh, and the day
When Stonewall charged- McClellan’s
And Chickamauga’s wave of death,
And of the Wilderness the cypress wreath-
All these have passed away.
The life in the veins of Treason lags,
Her daring color-bearers drop their flags,
And yield. _Now_ shall we fire?
Can poor spite be?
Shall nobleness in victory less aspire
Than in reverse? Spare Spleen her ire,
And think how Grant met Lee.
© Mir Taqi Mir
SOME OTHER WORKS OF THIS POET:
- Dam-e-subah bazm-e-khush jahan
- Dil Se Shauq E Rukh E Niko Na Gaya
- Barang E Bu E Gul, Is Bagh K Ham Ashna Hote
- Jo Tu Hi Sanam Ham Se Bezar Hoga
- The Mound by the Lake
- ausam-e-abr ho subuu bhii ho
- Jo Is Shor Se ‘Mir’ Rota Rahega
- The Martyr
- The Stone Fleet
- Patta patta, boota boota, haal hamaaraa jaane hai