Mothers of Men by Joaquin Miller

The bravest battle that ever was fought!
Shall I tell you where and when?
On the map of the world you will find it not,
'Twas fought by the mothers of men.
Nay, not with cannon or battle shot,
With sword or nobler pen,
Nay, not with eloquent words or thought
From mouths of wonderful men;
But deep in the walled-up woman's heart—
Of woman that would not yield,
But bravely, silently, bore her part—
Lo, there is that battle field!
No marshaling troup, no bivouac song,
No banner to gleam or wave,
But oh! these battles, they last so long—
From babyhood to the grave.
Yet, faithful as a bridge of stars,
She fights in her walled-up town—
Fights on and on in the endless wars,
Then, silent, unseen, goes down.
Oh, ye with banner and battle shot,
And soldiers to shout and praise,
I tell you the kingliest victories fought
Were fought in those silent ways.
Oh, spotless in a world of shame,
With splendid and silent scorn,
Go back to God as white as you came—
The kingliest warrior born!