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If we must die, let it not belike hogs hunted and penned in an inglorious spot, while round us bark the mad and hungry dogs, making their mock at our accursed 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 through 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?
Your door is shut against my tightened face,
And I am sharp as steel with discontent;
But I possess the courage and the grace
To bear my anger proudly and unbent.
The pavement slabs burn loose beneath my feet,
A chafing savage, down the decent street;
And passion rends my vitals as I pass,
Where boldly shines your shuttered door of glass.
Oh, I must search for wisdom every hour,
Deep in my wrathful bosom sore and raw,
And find in it the superhuman power
To hold me to the letter of your law!
Oh, I must keep my heart inviolate
Against the potent poison of your hate.
Applauding youths laughed with young prostitutes
And watched her perfect, half-clothed body sway;
Her voice was like the sound of blended flutes
Blown by black players on a picnic day.
She sang and danced on gracefully and calm,
The light gauze hanging loose about her form;
To me she seemed a proudly-swaying palm
Grown lovelier for passing through the storm.
Upon her swarthy neck black shiny curls
Luxuriant fell; and tossing coins in praise,
The wine-flushed, bold-eyed boys, and even the girls,
Devoured her shape with eager passionate gaze;
But looking at her falsely-smiling face,