If I must die, let it be fighting back,
And if my foe is white, let me be black;
If he comes furious, let me meet him calm,
If he spreads rancor, let me offer balm.
If he comes fast, then I will meet him slow,
If with deceit, my honesty will show;
If he comes hot, I will be cold as ice—
In all events, I will not compromise.
Before him lies the open grave as well,
And he, in seeking heaven, may find hell,
But even though his slings and arrows pierce
My hide, my gaze unbroken be, and fierce.
I too have been familiar with this clime,
Born underneath this menace, out of time.