Famous Inspirational Poems for Freedom Fighters

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Fighting for freedom is definitely invigorating. We learn about our country, the world and especially ourselves — what we thought we knew, what we nothing about and what we can learn to help our varied and passionate journeys. Throughout the time we’ve been active we have likely seen people arrested or been the person arrested for nothing more than growing or having a beautiful, practical and healing plant; been court support for families fighting for their lives and the custody of their children. We’ve maybe lost our homes to asset forfeiture, been fined, beaten, cuffed or served time. We fight valiantly for the soul of our country or our world, and we go forth just the same but at times, our reserves of confidence or energy become drained. Every so often, we need inspiration and so, Ladybud Magazine readers, here are some of our staff favorites that are time-tested by frontline soldiers of drug policy reform.

How Did You Die?

Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
With a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a trouble’s a ton, or a trouble’s an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it,
And it isn’t the fact that you’re hurt that counts,
But only how did you take it?

You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what’s that?
Come up with a smiling face.
It’s nothing against you to fall down flat,
But to lie there — that’s disgrace.
The harder you’re thrown, why the higher you bounce;
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn’t the fact that you’re licked that counts,
It’s how did you fight — and why?

And though you be done to the death, what then?
If you battled the best you could,
If you played your part in the world of men,
Why, the Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
And whether he’s slow or spry,
It isn’t the fact that you’re dead that counts,
But only how did you die?


Author: Edmund Vance Cooke (1886-1932)

Keep A-Goin’!

If you strike a thorn or rose,
Keep a-goin’!
If it hails, or if it snows,
Keep a-goin!
‘Taint no use to sit an’ whine,
When the fish ain’t on yer line;
Bait yer hook an’ keep a-tryin’—
Keep a-goin’!

When the weather kills yer crop,
Keep a-goin’!
When you tumble from the top,
Keep a-goin’!
S’pose you’re out of every dime,
Bein’ so ain’t any crime;
Tell the world you’re feelin’ prime—
Keep a-goin’!

When it looks like all is up,
Keep a-goin’!
Drain the sweetness from the cup,
Keep a-goin’!
See the wild birds on the wing,
Hear the bells that sweetly ring,
When you feel like sighin’ sing—
Keep a-goin’!

Author: Frank L. Stanton (1857-1927)


Democracy will not come
Today, this year
Nor ever
Through compromise and fear.

I have as much right
As the other fellow has
To stand
On my two feet
And own the land.

I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I’m dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread.

Is a strong seed
In a great need.

I live here, too.
I want freedom
Just as you.

Author: Langston Hughes (1902-1967)