We cannot break our chains with weak desire,
With whines and supplicating cries.
'Tis not by crawling meekly to the mire
The free-winged eagle learns to mount the skies.
The gladiator, victor in the fight,
On who the hard-contested laurals fall,
Goes not in the arena pale with fright
But steps forth fearlessly, defying all.
O victory, O victory, dear and fair,
Thou crownest him who does his best,
Who perishing, still unafraid to bear,
Goes down to dust, thy image in his breast.
Farewell O comrades, I scorn life as a slave!
I begged no tyrant for my life, though sweet it was;
Though chained, I go unconquered to my grave,
Dying for my own birth-right-----and the world's.
Ricardo Flores Magon.
* Written just before his death, (1923) while incarcerated in the federal prison, Leavenworth, Kansas. Magon was an active Mexican rebel, and at the behest of the Mexican government, the US government seized him, its agents beat him up fiercely, and afterwards held him for years until his death.www.radicalglasgow.me.uk