The Hermetic Library 2016 Funding Campaign

STEPNEY

"(Audi alteram partem)"

LEONIDAS had hundreds to hold Thermopylae; So had good Sir Richard Grenville, the tiger of the sea Horatius had two comrades, and Rome and all its gods. We are worth the three together, if you come to talk of odds! For a day we held up London, and the cursed robber crew, Though they were fifteen hundred, and we were only two. All day we fought the cowards, that dared not break the door. They had soldiers and policemen, all the tools of modern war, With their field-gun and their Maxim and the rifle and the shell; But they skulked with Winston Churchill, or we'd sent a few to hell! They hid themselves and volleyed, did the braves of Waterloo, They were only fifteen hundred, and Fritz and I were two. All day we fought the cowards, the Saxon and the Scot; We gave them Hell and Tommy, as we answered shot for shot, Till a bullet found its billet, and poor Fritz lay dead at last. Then I lit the pile of shavings, nailed our colours to the mast. Ay! we left the red flag flying, the red flag of fire that flew, Though they were fifteen hundred, and we were only two. {129} And beneath that glorious banner, in its folds of gold and red, I fought on (the lonely battle!) by the body of my dead. And the cowards still hung trembling, and the smoke poured hot and high, The brave black flag of Anarchy, a portent in the sky! Ay! we left the black flag flying, as behoves a man to do, For they were fifteen hundred, and we were only two. And the banner of destruction wraps me round with glory and awe --- Here's a last clip of brave bullets for the bastard hounds of law! And here's a health to Freedom, and may man defend the right! And the red flag golds me closer --- I have fought the last good fight. We died, we died unconquered --- 'tis the triumph of the true: Though they were fifteen hundred, and we were only two. {130}