Hold The Line

Hold the line.

The enemy comes over the hill, few yet fierce, and me alone to hold the line.

The day is silent, the night a grave, no wind, nor rain, no time for pain, but only the order to hold the line.

I cannot last.  They come, again and again, upon the wall.  We both are spent; neither they nor I wish to be here on the accursed ground any more.  But their orders were to take the wall, and mine to hold the line.

My allies are gone.  One by one, they fell from the wall, or behind it, or fled when the foe seemed insurmountable.  And we who believed in the order stayed, and fought, and beat them back, and back again, until the invincible became the unassailable, became the dominant, became the advantageous, because the equal.  And with every battle fought, we vowed to hold the line.

My enemies are disheartened.  They may be perhaps a dozen or less, now after their siege proper has failed and their numbers broke upon the wall tenfold.  They camp over the hill, bound to take the wall until they do or die.  I have a choice; they have none.  Their lord accepts neither defeat, nor retreat.  I could leave, if I chose.  My friends already have.  They urged me to before the end.  They said but a fool would die here to hold the line.

But I will hold.  Not because I must, but because it is right.  Because if this line is broken, another may be one day, and another, and another.  No man can say what defeat will turn the tide of war, and a good man will fight believing that any defeat may be that turn.  This line, this wall, is laughable, is small.  It means nothing to everyone.  But I am no one.  And to me it means everything.

To hold the line.

{Short poem-like thing.  Just popped into my head, I suppose.}


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