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We know that poets down the ages,
Famed or humble, fools or sages,
By their works their message send
And some they please and some offend.
For some find that their verse is rude;
It’s true at times they can be crude.
For those in power, they’ve scant respect,
Politically, they’re incorrect.
They question what they’re told is right
And with sharp words they’re prone to fight.
They’re put in jails and flogged or worse
When tyrants reign and fear their verse
Or when in power the ideologues
Feel that they don’t mesh with their cogs
They try to stop their fiendish rhymes;
Accuse them of dissenting crimes.
But when the press have all been tamed
And all the media are lamed;
When they all whimper with one tongue;
When from their throats the last truth rung;
When all official poetry
Must with the ruling powers agree;
When freedom’s time is near its end;
When poets to the fight must lend
The honest words – to fear, not bend,
Then –
On these rebel bards – depend.

Copyright © Dennis N. O’Brien, 2012