Dare to fight life’s battles bravely,
Gird thee manfully to fight;
Though no laurel wreaths await thee,
Struggle nobly for the right.
Though thou fall amidst the conflict,
Truth is great and never dies;
E’en from out the mouldering ashes,
Victory! – Phoenix like, will rise.
Oft the world’s true benefactors
Have been martyrs, bled, and died,
Fought to hand from sire to offspring,
Freedom, great and glorified.
Rouse thee, strong in moral greatness,
“Ere thy raven locks turn gray;"
Trust not till to-morrow dawneth,
It may never; - then work to day.
Every soul, however humble,
Hath a mission to fulfil;
And our effort, in the present,
Pregnant are with good or ill.
If a thought turn in thy bosom
That will glad the face of earth,
Send it forth upon its mission,
It is heavenly – give it birth.
It may cheer a downtrod brother,
To arise and strike a blow
That will break the chains that bind him, ---
Lay some haughty tyrant low.
Like the eagle soaring sunward,
Let thine aspirations be,
To attain the goal and glory
Of a bright futurity.

Title:Dare to Fight Life's Battles Bravely

Author:David Little

Publication:The Blackburn Times

Published in:Blackburn

Date:November 14, 1863

Keywords:freedom, gender, religion, war


This poem is a characteristically Victorian moralising piece encouraging bravery in the face of adversity. Though it does not reference the Cotton Famine or its social effects directly it interestingly suggests that its message the individual will have positive social consequences if broadcast. Beneath the relentless cheeriness of poems such as this one can read the fear of moral degeneration, or even perhaps social unrest. – SR