William Butler Yeats
Parnell came down the road, he said to a cheering man:
'Ireland shall get her freedom and you still break stone.'
Long I fought the driving lists,
Plume a-stream and armor clanging;
Link on link, between my wrists,
Now my heavy freedom's hanging.
THE SOLEMN League and Covenant
Now brings a smile, now brings a tear;
But sacred Freedom, too, was theirs:
If thou’rt a slave, indulge thy sneer
GRANT me, indulgent Heaven, that I may live,
To see the miscreants feel the pains they give;
Deal Freedom’s sacred treasures free as air,
Till Slave and Despot be but things that were.
In alien lands I keep the body
Of ancient native rites and things:
I gladly free a little birdie
At celebration of the spring.
I'm now free for consolation,
And thankful to almighty Lord:
At least, to one of his creations
I've given freedom in this world!
Everything except language
knows the meaning of existence.
Trees, planets, rivers, time
know nothing else. They express it
moment by moment as the universe.
Even this fool of a body
lives it in part, and would
have full dignity within it
but for the ignorant freedom
of my talking mind.
HERE, take this gift!
I was reserving it for some hero, speaker, or General,
One who should serve the good old cause, the great Idea, the progress and freedom of the
Some brave confronter of despots—some daring rebel;
—But I see that what I was reserving, belongs to you just as much as to any.
A NEWER garden of creation, no primal solitude,
Dense, joyous, modern, populous millions, cities and farms,
With iron interlaced, composite, tied, many in one,
By all the world contributed—freedom’s and law’s and thrift’s society,
The crown and teeming paradise, so far, of time’s accumulations,
To justify the past.
As the years go by, give me but peace,
Freedom from ten thousand matters.
I ask myself and always answer:
What can be better than coming home?
A wind from the pine-trees blows my sash,
And my lute is bright with the mountain moon.
You ask me about good and evil fortune?....
Hark, on the lake there's a fisherman singing!
My soul would one day go and seek
For roses, and in Julia's cheek
A richess of those sweets she found,
As in another Rosamond;
But gathering roses as she was,
Not knowing what would come to pass,
it chanced a ringlet of her hair
Caught my poor soul, as in a snare;
Which ever since has been in thrall;
--Yet freedom she enjoys withal.
William Henry Davies
To think my thoughts are hers,
Not one of hers is mine;
She laughs -- while I must sigh;
She sighs -- while I must whine.
She eats -- while I must fast;
She reads -- while I am blind;
She sleeps -- while I must wake;
Free -- I no freedom find.
To think the world for me
Contains but her alone,
And that her eyes prefer
Some ribbon, scarf, or stone.
Helen Hunt Jackson
I WILL not follow you, my bird,
I will not follow you.
I would not breathe a word, my bird,
To bring thee here anew.
I love the free in thee, my bird,
The lure of freedom drew;
The light you fly toward, my bird,
I fly with thee unto.
And there we yet will meet, my bird,
Though far I go from you
Where in the light outpoured, my bird,
Are love and freedom too.
I prefer the gorgeous freedom,
And I fly to lands of grace,
Where in wide and clear meadows
All is good, as dreams, and blest.
Here they rice: the clover clear,
And corn-flower's gentle lace,
And the rustle is always here:
"Ears are leaning... Take your ways!"
In this immense sea of fair,
Only one of blades reclines.
You don't see in misty air,
I'd seen it!It will be mine!
Yeats died Saturday in France.
Freedom from his animal
Has come at last in alien Nice,
His heart beat separate from his will:
He knows at last the old abyss
Which always faced his staring face.
No ability, no dignity
Can fail him now who trained so long
For the outrage of eternity,
Teaching his heart to beat a song
In which man's strict humanity,
Erect as a soldier, became a tongue.
We have truly been set free
For Christ has redeemed us,
We can walk in His holy power
And know His saving love
May we stand fast in this freedom
Not to be again ensnared
By the heavy yoke we once had borne
When spiritually we were dead
But thanks be to God,
Who has given us the liberty,
Who has resurrected us
To walk in His victory.
Scripture Poem © Copyright Of M.S.Lowndes
Robert Louis Stevenson
COME to me, all ye that labour; I will give your spirits rest;
Here apart in starry quiet I will give you rest.
Come to me, ye heavy laden, sin defiled and care opprest,
In your father's quiet mansions, soon to prove a welcome guest.
But an hour you bear your trial, sin and suffer, bleed and die;
But an hour you toil and combat here in day's inspiring eye.
See the feet of your deliverer; lo, the hour of freedom nigh.
Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields; on--on--and out of sight.
Everyone's voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun:
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
Drifted away ... O, but Everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.
No bitterness: our ancestors did it.
They were only ignorant and hopeful, they wanted freedom but wealth too.
Their children will learn to hope for a Caesar.
Or rather--for we are not aquiline Romans but soft mixed colonists--
Some kindly Sicilian tyrant who'll keep
Poverty and Carthage off until the Romans arrive,
We are easy to manage, a gregarious people,
Full of sentiment, clever at mechanics, and we love our luxuries.
Democracy will not come
Today, this year
Through compromise and fear.
I have as much right
As the other fellow has
On my two feet
And own the land.
I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I'm dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow's bread.
Is a strong seed
In a great need.
I live here, too.
I want freedom
Just as you.
Edgar Lee Masters
You observe the carven hand
With the index finger pointing heavenward.
That is the direction, no doubt.
But how shall one follow it?
It is well to abstain from murder and lust,
To forgive, do good to others, worship God
Without graven images.
But these are external means after all
By which you chiefly do good to yourself.
The inner kernel is freedom,
It is light, purity --
I can no more,
Find the goal or lose it, according to your vision.
Now I knew I lost her --
Not that she was gone --
But Remoteness travelled
On her Face and Tongue.
Alien, though adjoining
As a Foreign Race --
Traversed she though pausing
Elements Unaltered --
Universe the same
But Love's transmigration --
Somehow this had come --
Henceforth to remember
Nature took the Day
I had paid so much for --
His is Penury
Not who toils for Freedom
Or for Family
But the Restitution
Today is Sunday.
For the first time they took me out into the sun today.
And for the first time in my life I was aghast
that the sky is so far away
and so blue
and so vast
I stood there without a motion.
Then I sat on the ground with respectful devotion
leaning against the white wall.
Who cares about the waves with which I yearn to roll
Or about strife or freedom or my wife right now.
The soil, the sun and me...
I feel joyful and how.
Edgar Lee Masters
Oh many times did Ernest Hyde and I
Argue about the freedom of the will.
My favorite metaphor was Prickett's cow
Roped out to grass, and free you know as far
As the length of the rope.
One day while arguing so, watching the cow
Pull at the rope to get beyond the circle
Which she had eaten bare,
Out came the stake, and tossing up her head,
She ran for us.
"What's that, free-will or what?" said Ernest, running.
I fell just as she gored me to my death.
Freedom, as every schoolboy knows,
Once shrieked as Kosciusko fell;
On every wind, indeed, that blows
I hear her yell.
She screams whenever monarchs meet,
And parliaments as well,
To bind the chains about her feet
And toll her knell.
And when the sovereign people cast
The votes they cannot spell,
Upon the pestilential blast
Her clamors swell.
For all to whom the power's given
To sway or to compel,
Among themselves apportion Heaven
And give her Hell.
George William Russell
IMAGE of beauty, when I gaze on thee,
Trembling I waken to a mystery,
How through one door we go to life or death
By spirit kindled or the sensual breath.
Image of beauty, when my way I go;
No single joy or sorrow do I know:
Elate for freedom leaps the starry power,
The life which passes mourns its wasted hour.
And, ah, to think how thin the veil that lies
Between the pain of hell and paradise!
Where the cool grass my aching head embowers
God sings the lovely carol of the flowers.