Elegy For The Seven


(with apologies to A.E. Houseman)

These in the day when heaven was falling,
  The hour when honest men had fled,
Followed then the outlaw calling,
  Took the risks and now are dead.
Their shoulders held the sky suspended,
  They held off evil for a day,
Whom fate abandoned, these defended;
  Survival was their only pay.
Time will seek to judge as heroes,
  Those who heard no clarion call,
Fear and vengeance gave them foes,
  Who else might not have fought at all.
History will ascribe them virtue,
  Claim them for a nobler cause,
Every deed with good imbue,
  And say they fought to end all wars.
If you recall with strong affection.
  Those who lived and laughed and cried,
Do not call them good or evil,
  Simply call them those who tried.
        – Judith Proctor