Muddy and Bloody, But Never You Mind

I find myself submitting to this word of late:

You have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what is promised.
Hebrews 10:36

The following poem captures the essence of the good fight quite graphically and honestly:


It’s easy to fight when everything’s right,
And you’re mad with the thrill and the glory;
It’s easy to cheer when victory’s near.
And wallow in fields that are gory.

It’s a different song when everything’s wrong,
When you’re feeling infernally mortal;
When it’s ten against one, and hope there is none,
Buck up, little soldier, and chortle:

Carry on! Carry on!
There isn’t much punch in your blow.
You’re glaring and staring and hitting out blind;
You’re muddy and bloody, but never you mind.

Carry on! Carry on!
You haven’t the ghost of a show.
It’s looking like death, but while you’ve a breath,
Carry on, my son! Carry on!

And so in the strife of the battle of life
It’s easy to fight when you’re winning;
It’s easy to slave, and starve and be brave,
When the dawn of success is beginning.

But the man who can meet despair and defeat
With a cheer, there’s the man of God’s choosing;
The man who can fight to Heaven’s own height
Is the man who can fight when he’s losing.

Carry on! Carry on!
Things never were looming so black.
But show that you haven’t a cowardly streak,
And though you’re unlucky you never are weak.

Carry on! Carry on!
Brace up for another attack.
It’s looking like hell, but—you never can tell:
Carry on, old man! Carry on!

There are some who drift out in the deserts of doubt,
And some who in brutishness wallow;
There are others, I know, who in piety go
Because of a [Kingdom] to follow.

But to labor with zest, and to give of your best,
For the sweetness and joy of the giving;
To help folks along with a hand and a song;
Why, there’s the real sunshine of giving.

Carry on! Carry on!
Fight the good fight and be true;
Believe in your mission, greet life with a cheer;
There’s big work to do, and that’s why you are here.

Carry on! Carry on!
Let the world be better for you;
And at last when you die, let this be your cry:
Carry on, my soul! Carry on!

–Robert William Service

The Book of Virtues, William J. Bennett, ed., 1993, pp. 541-542.


2 thoughts on “Muddy and Bloody, But Never You Mind

  1. Scott, I beg your indulgence as I write a poem in answer to Service.

    Courage leads to Glory

    Christian, We are in a war,
    Not of flesh, but spirit.
    To do and teach the Word of God
    So others might hear it.

    If you are ashamed of Christ
    And do not tell His story,
    At the Judgment you will find
    Where is no guts, no glory.

    There are times the battle lines
    Seem clearly drawn against us,
    And it seems our cunning foe
    Has circled us and fenced us.

    Take courage then, and don’t give up
    The battle will be gory.
    But charge the enemy’s strongholds then;
    And think of future glory.

    The battle will cause much fatigue
    And wounding very painful.
    Satan’s throngs might look at you
    And may be quite disdainful.

    Look them in the eye, be brave,
    The battle is the Lord’s.
    God’s overcoming power then
    Will rout all Satan’s hordes.

    When the Day of Judgment comes,
    Because you weren’t ashamed,
    You will have a rich reward
    When Jesus calls your name.

    You who don’t give up receive
    From Christ crowns of victory
    That moment you will understand
    Courage leads to glory!

    (Copyright 2012, By Walter E. Ferguson III.
    All rights reserved.)


    • pasturescott says:

      Walter, I had a reply to your generous posting here and sent it thinking it was displayed. Alas, and to my utter surprise, I double-checked today and saw it was not there.

      Anyway, I thank you for sharing From Courage To Glory with us all. We feel privileged to have been among your first readers. I love you, my brother. It is “wicked good” (as they say in Boston). Truly. Very inspirational.

      Until our Faith Is Seen As Sight!!!

      (now I hope it got posted this time)


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