To a Foil’d European Revolutionaire
By Walt Whitman
NOT songs of loyalty alone are these,
But songs of insurrection also.
For I am the sworn poet of every dauntless rebel, the world over,
And he going with me leaves peace and routine behind him,
And stakes his life, to be lost at any moment.…
When liberty goes out of a place, it is not the first to go, nor the second or third to go,
It waits for all the rest to go—it is the last.
When there are no more memories of martyrs and heroes,
And when all life, and all the souls of men and women are discharged from any part of the earth,
Then only shall liberty, or the idea of liberty, be discharged from that part of the earth,
And the infidel come into full possession.