Most don’t bother coming next and get the silver,
Or being the second highest mountain in the world.
But that was not the style of Frederick Engels,
He held Marx’s flag aloft, proud and unfurled.
When the brightest star is shining in the heavens,
You would think a darker piece of sky was worth a try.
But not if you were dear old Frederick Engels,
He stood right next to Marx and held his head up high.
You could never say he lived in Karl Marx’s shadow;
Shadows weren’t the sort of thing to bother Fred.
In honest proletarian cooperation
He helped multiply Marx’s light and shadows fled.
No one knew their dialectics like old Engels
And though his death was the negation of his birth,
A great productive life came in between them
And negating the negation shows its worth.
The negation of the death of Frederick Engels
Doesn’t take us back to little Fred,
But to the birth of a great proletarian movement
With Marx and Engels ever at its head.
[Part of a poem written by Godfrey in November 1999 for a meeting in celebration of Frederick Engels’ birthday, and used to close Godfrey’s funeral service on 5 April 2012.]
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