Figures of immense reputation and popularity they were
Attracting public attention and admiration in the pursuit of their great works
Leaving behind them a legacy of some kind
But going with them their unique characters.
Wasn’t the explosion of Christianity the work of Jesus of Nazareth?
And the burst of Islam not the work of Muhammed of Mecca?
Neither will the admirable leadership of Julius Caesar;
Nor the conquests of the unlearned Charlemane,
And the military successes of Alexander the great,
Be forgotten in History.
If the British can forget Napoleon’s continental system
Jews then, would forget Hitler’s concentration camps
And history would entirely cease recalling his mentor Mussolini.
What if Carl Marx did not propound radical socialism?
Lenin then, would not have smashed the bourgeoisie and ruled Russia
Neither would the principles of Marxism-Leninism be sustained by Stalin
Nor would Churchill seal the border between the East and the West with an iron curtain.
A grave mistake it would be to forget Martin Luther King Jr.
For if he be forgotten, Mahatma Ghandi then would also be
And the entire movement of nonviolence
Will stop covering many pages of modern history books.
Had it not for Kwame Nkruma and Hastings Banda to cut the rope of colonialism
The ambitious Cecil Rhodes then,
Would have drained the whole continent of all its economic wealth.
The ascendancy of Nelson Mandela from the horizon of apartheid
Was not the beginning of Maximillien Robespierre’s reign of terror;
Characterized by avenges and reprisals
But the emergence of Abraham Lincoln’s true democracy.
What if Caesar were not butchered?
William Shakespeare then, would not have been the greatest playwright
Causing Charles Dickens and Chinua Achebe not to appear.
For the existence of a Jewish state, David Ben Gulion fought
But for the reemergence of a Palestinian state, Yasser Arafat strives.