Whitman unchained

Whitman unchained

Liberty relies upon itself
         invites no one
promises nothing
         sits in calmness and light
is positive and composed
         and knows no discouragement
It is as the fox
         as the nightingale
natural and honest
         acute and mellifluous
a law unto itself
         the beauty of candour
innocence with a backbone
         inviolate in the passage of time
it goes under no disguise
          A rose among thorns
its openness wins
         the inner and outer world :
deceit and subterfuge
         and prevarication
are its enemies
          It is the voice and expression
of the poet
         stung with compassion
It keeps faith with all
         who are enslaved
a taunt to the tyrant
         a scourge on the swarms
of cringers and suckers
         and the sly lice of politics

John Lyons

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