Sir Isaac Brock to his Soldiers

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Sir Isaac Brock to his Soldiers  (1893) 
by Charles Mair
c. 1893

Ye men of Canada !
Subjects with me of that Imperial Power
Whose liberties are are marching round the earth :
I need not urge you now to follow me,
Though what befalls will try your stubborn faith
In the fierce fire and crucible of war.
I need not urge you, you have heard the voice
Of loyalty, and answered to its call.
Who has not read the insults of the foe —
The manifesto of his purposed crimes I
That foe, whose poison-paint, false liberty,
Runs o'er his body politic and kills
Whilst seeming to adorn it, fronts us now !
Threats our poor Province to annihilate,
And should we find the red men by our side —
Poor injured souls, who but defend their own —
Calls back Extermination from its hell,
To stalk abroad, and stench your land with slaughter.
These are our weighty arguments of war,
Wherein armed Justice will enclasp its sword,
And sheath it in its bitter adversary ;
Wherein we'll turn our bayonet-points to pens, .
And write in blood : — Here lies the poor invader ;
Or be ourselves struck down by hailing death :
Made stepping stones for foes to walk upon —
The lifeless gangways to our country's ruin.
For now we look not with the eye of fear ;
We reck not if this strange mechanic frame —
Stop in an instant in the shock of war.
Our death may build into our country's life,
And failing this, 'twere better still to die
Than live the breathing spoils of infamy.
Then forward for our cause and Canada !
Forward for Britain's Empire — peerless arch
Of Freedom's raising, whose majestic span
Is axis to the world ! On, on, my friends '
The task our country sets must we perform —
Wring peace from war, or perish in its storm!

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