A Poem For Sunday


“A Free Man” by Rosalie Hickler appeared in The Atlantic in 1928:

Pressed sorely on all sides, but loath to yield,
Sometimes when it has seemed that I must die
I see your banner, sharp against the sky,
And catch the glitter of your battered shield.
Then, spite of weariness, my arm is steeled
To lift my own discouraged banner high
And gather laughter for a battle cry
To fling against the fiercely crowding field.

I know what friendless struggles you incur,
Faring so carelessly in ways apart,
Still smiling to yourself, unconquered still,
Wielding the lightning blade Excalibur,
Your fair white plume unstained, O Gallant Heart,
Armored in triple mail from every ill.

(Photo: Libyans chant slogans against the regime of Col. Moamer Kadhafi after the pre-Kadhafi flag was raised at the ambassador's residence in Washington on February 25, 2011. Ambassador Ali Aujali resigned his post February 22. By Nicholas KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)