Libertatis Sacra Fames

Albeit nurtured in democracy,
    And liking best that state republican
Where every man is Kinglike and no man
   Is crowned above his fellows, yet I see,
Spite of this modern fret for Liberty,
    Better the rule of One, whom all obey,
Than to let clamorous demagogues betray
   Our freedom with the kiss of anarchy.
Wherefore I love them not whose hands profane
    Plant the red flag upon the piled-up street
For no right cause, beneath whose ignorant reign
   Arts, Culture, Reverence, Honour, all things fade,
Save Treason and the dagger of her trade,
    Or Murder with his silent bloody feet.

-Oscar Wilde, (1854-1900)
Poem from Eleutheria, 1881

from Project Gutenberg (public domain)

Other poems from Oscar Wilde's Eleutheria:

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