Liberty by Seán O’Riordáin

I will go down amongst the people
on foot
and I will go down tonight

I will go down seeking bondage
from the venom liberty
that howls here:

and I will tie the pack of thoughts
that snarl around me
in the solitude:

And I will seek an ordered temple
where people congregate
at a set time;

And I will seek out people
who never practised liberty
or solitude:

And I will listen to the shilling thoughts
that are exchanged
like money:

And I will give the love of my heart to people
who never imagined
other than second hand.

Oh, I will remain with you day and night,
And I will be lowly
And I will be faithful
to your stub-thoughts.

Because I heard them grow in my mind,
grow without control,
without moderation.

And I gave them my heart’s love fiercely
to the thing that is bridled,
to every copied thing:

To discipline, to law, to the peopled temple,
To the poor and commonplace word,
to the set time:

To the abbott, the bell, the servant,
to the hesitant comparison,
to cowardice:

To the mouse, to measurement, to the tiny flea,
to the chapter and the line
of the alphabet:

To the majesty of going and coming,
to gambling at night,
to salutations:

To the farmer measuring the wind
in the autumn as he thinks
of a field of barley:

To co-understanding, to co-tradition
to co-behaviour of co-people,
to the co-copied thing.

And I bestow my hatred now and forever
on the doings of liberty
on independence

Weary is the mind
that has fallen in the deep trough of liberty,
no hill erected by God exists there,
only abstract hills, the particular hills of the imagination,
and each hill is full of desires
climbing, unfulfilled,
liberty is without limit,
so are the hills of the imagination
the desires are unlimited,
and there exists
no release.

Written by Seán O’Riordáin.