Badpuppy Gay Today

Monday, 30 June 1997

THE DECLARATION OF THE FREE

Monday, June 30, 1997


 

We have no falsehoods to defend--

We want the facts;

Our force, our thought, we do not spend

In vain attacks.

And we will never meanly try

To save some fair and pleasing lie.

The simple truth is what we ask.

Not the ideal;

We've set ourselves the noble task

To find the real.

If all there is is not but dross,

We want to know and bear our loss.

We will not willingly be fooled,

By fables nursed;

Our hearts, by earnest thought, are schooled

To bear the worst;

And we can stand erect and dare

All things, all facts that really are.

We have no god to serve or fear,

No hell to shun,

No devil with malicious leer.

When life is done

An endless sleep may close our eyes,

A sleep with neither dreams nor sighs.

We have no master on the land--

No king in air--

Without a manacle we stand,

Without a prayer,

Without a fear of coming night,

We seek the truth, we love the light.

We do not bow before a guess,

A vague unknown;

A senseless force we do not bless

In solemn tone.

When evil comes we do not curse,

Or thank because it is no worse.

When cyclones rend--when lightning blights,

'Tis naught but fate;

There is no god of wrath who smites

In heartless hate.

Behind the things that injure man

There is no purpose, thought or plan.

We waste no time in useless dread,

In trembling fear;

The present lives, the past is dead,

And we are here,

All welcome guests at life's great feast--

We need no help from ghost or priest.

Our life is joyous, jocund, free--

Not one a slave

Who bends in fear the trembling knee,

And seeks to save

A coward soul from future pain;

Not one will cringe or crawl for gain.

The jeweled cup of love we drain

And friendship's wine

Now swiftly flows in every vein

With warmth divine.

And so we love and hope and dream

That in death's sky there is a gleam.

We walk according to our light,

Pursue the path

That leads to honor's stainless height,

Careless of wrath

Or curse of god, or priestly spite,

Longing to know and do the right.

We do not pray, or weep, or wail;

We have no dread,

Nor fear to pass beyond the veil

That hides the dead.

And yet we question, dream and guess,

But knowledge we do not possess.

We ask, yet nothing seems to know;

We cry in vain.

There is no "master of the show"

Who will explain,

Or from the future tear the mask;

And yet we dream, and still we ask.

Is there beyond the silent night

An endless day?

Is death a door that leads to light?

We cannot say.

The tongueless secret locked in fate

We do not know--We hope and wait.

Robert G. Ingersoll, 1833-1899

(See GayToday's People Feature)

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