The Space Between: Literature and Culture 1914-1945

Claude McKay’s Workers’ Dreadnought Poetry (1919-1920) | Battle

Battle (October 9, 1920. Signed as Hugh Hope)

Last night I dreamed that in the deadly strife,
Where privileged power rules with ruthless might,
I saw my body, a corpse still breathing life,
Trampled and mangled, a bloody, blackened sight.
If such should be my fate, I pray it will
Come to me sudden-swift, a keen sword-dart,
Sent deeply through my burning breast to still
The rhythmic beat of my rebellious heart.
So, I should have the grand end come to me,
While following the only way of duty
And questing for the soul of truth and beauty!
I’d go convinced that there could never be
A fairer life for truth or beauty’s flower,
While earth is ruled by man's imperial power.

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