I am currently reading Phantastes by George McDonald. The following is the epigraph at the beginning of chapter seven and is taken from “Ballad of Sir Andrew Barton”:
Fight on, my men, Sir Andrew sayes,
A little Ime hurt, but yett not slaine;
Ile but lye down, and bleede awhile,
And then Ile rise and fight againe.
One is permitted to lay down and bleed awhile as long as he gets back into the fight—a soldiers rule of life.
I like that quote a lot Father. Here is another one that has always inspired me. At the battle of Thermopylae, Xerxes the Persian King had the Spartan Army (300 men) surrounded and vastly outnumbered. He send an emissary to demand the surrender of the Spartans, “Yesterday, we only probed your positions. When we attack today, our arrows will blot out the sun!”
To which Leonidas (The Spartan King) responded, “Good! Then we shall fight in the shade!
That’s my husband’s favorite saying,” when we attack today, our arrows will blot out the sun!” Great Post Father. Great Post!
While of questionable orthodoxy, I find Kazantzakis’ words’ feeling tone have truth:
My prayer is not the whimpering of a beggar nor a confession of love. Nor is it the petty reckoning of a small tradesman: Give me and I shall give you. My prayer is the report of a soldier to his general: This is what I did today, this is how I fought to save the entire battle in my own sector, these are the obstacles I encountered, this is how I plan to fight tomorrow.
My God and I are horsemen galloping in the burning sun or under drizzling rain. Pale, starving, but unsubdued, we ride and converse. ”Leader!” I cry. He turns his face toward me, and I shudder to confront his anguish. Our love for each other is rough and ready, we sit at the same table, we drink the same wine in this low tavern of life.
“What is the function of the Order of Knighthood?” wrote the 12th century English philosopher John of Salisbury. “To protect the Church, to fight against treachery, to reverence the Priesthood, to fend off injustice from the poor, to make peace in your own province, to shed blood for your Brethern, and if needs must, to lay down your life.”