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Friday, December 27, 2013

Make Retreat Impossible - Burn Your Ships!


A few years ago, a friend of mine sent this poem to me. I haven't been able to find its source, but its meaning is profound.

The speaker is telling his audience—presumably an army—to burn their ship, giving them no hope of retreat. It's do or die. The only hope of returning home is through victory.

When we have goals, we must, in a sense, "burn our ships" and make our retreat impossible.

Burn the fleet by thrice,
in this dark night we stand or we fall,
we are kings now, or nothing at all.
Check your armour, light up the torch,
touch the flame to the sail before you head to the shore
and we will burn the fleet.
We can never go home, it's on to victory or underground
burn the fleet, we'll be hero's or ghosts,
but we won't be turned around.
The old flag will burn with the sail
and a new one won't fly if we fail.
But the fire continues to rise and it shows
not a hint of any fear in our eyes.