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Ballads and Lyrics of Socialism 1883-1908 . Nesbit, E. (Edith), 1858–1924.
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Marching Song

  • ‘O WHEREFORE do ye stand, a stern and steadfast band,
  • With your feet upon the pathway whence fame has turned away?’
  • We hunger not for fame, nor heed world’s praise or blame,
  • Since fame and honour parted this many many a day!
  • ‘What colour do ye wear—what banner do ye bear
  • When you turn your faces fightwards, and make your weapons keen?’
  • Our banner’s folds are red as our blood which we will shed
  • Ere that again be suffered which heretofore has been!
  • ‘Whom, then, do ye befriend, whose cause do ye defend—
  • Are there any need such champions and fighting men as ye?’
  • Our arms and hearts are strong for all who suffer wrong,
  • And a world of woe can witness how many such there be!
  • ‘But the Golden Calf stands high, and all its priests will cry,
  • “Ye are heretics and outcasts if ye worship not as we”!’
  • ’Tis our only boast to‐day that we worship not as they,
  • And to their cursed idol will never bow the knee!
  • ‘What armies fight for you, O ye who are so few,
  • O ye who are so few in a world that is so wide?’
  • The Spirits of the Light shall do battle for the Right—
  • And who shall be against us, if these be on our side?
1887.
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