Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, IF WE MUST DIE, by CLAUDE MCKAY



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IF WE MUST DIE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Last Line: Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!
Alternate Author Name(s): Edwards, Eli
Subject(s): African Americans; Courage; Death; Honor; Social Protest; World War I; Negroes; American Blacks; Valor; Bravery; Dead, The; First World War


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 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 though dead!
O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumebered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow!
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!




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