Copyright © 2004 Robert G. Ferrell

Patriot's Lament--A Call to Arms

In the name of security, they took away liberty;
Under pretense of safety, they stripped us of pride.
They cornered, corralled, searched, and branded us--
Like cattle to the slaughter, they drove us along.

I can remember a time long before when
The thought of such treatment would make our blood boil!
We were Americans, free and independent;
Back then ‘civil servants' served us, not we them.

But that was before Osama bin Laden,
And the Taliban, when our nation still treasured its past.
Above all in sanctity was the precious Constitution–
Freedom's finest expression, the jewel of the West.

Now liberty's fine wine has soured to vinegar.
Our movements are scrutinized, our dissension cut short.
The veil of suspicion is cast o'er society;
No one is trustworthy, all must be watched.

We must bear with these measures for the good of the nation,
They assure us at gunpoint, our backs to the wall;
They cannot or will not heed the voices inside them--
Strident pleas from the ghosts who've died for the flag.

What good is liberty dictated by governments?
What use is freedom when we're not free to speak?
When everyone's a suspect regardless of background,
We all risk being named terrorists, or worse.

I've long held this nation in the utmost of reverence
For compassion, tolerance, justice, and faith,
But those values have faded like tulips at twilight:
Distrust and hatred have taken their place.

We cannot stand by while America crumbles
Beneath the jagged stones of its paranoid state,
Yet how can we hope to stand up to this juggernaut;
This colossus that threatens to grind us to dust?

We must lift up our voices and stand as one people;
Protest is most powerful when all are involved.
True patriots fight for the rights of all citizens--
Fight now, or forever be one of the herd.