I Am I (1985)

They say there will be light
If I give up my self;
I’ll set the world right
If I only do not think of me.

My life is not my own, they say,
I’m only here to give;
Let others have control of me
And then I’ll surely live, I’ll see.

Just bow down humbly;
Just grovel on the earth;
I’m lesser than a common tree,
My thoughts are but a curse.

Just bow down humbly;
Don’t stand and I’ll be fine;
Have faith in what they’re telling me
And sacrifice my mind. I’ll see.

Just bow down humbly;
Don’t walk alone and sing;
Don’t hold my head up in the sky
Or reach for anything.

My life is not my own, they say;
I’m only here to please.
Let others have the soul of me;
I’m better on my knees, I’ll see.

But I have never let me go,
And no, I never will.

I touch all things around me;
I hear all winds roar by;
I see the sunlight clasp the earth
And sweep through all the sky.

I know I am at peace here,
With none but me to steer.
Reality is outside me
And I know I am here. I know! I know!

They say that I am foolish now,
So childish am I;
To go alone was in the past,
Self-trust is but a lie, I’ll see.

I have a great beginning,
My mind is very strong;
I set the mark to reason hard
And lead myself along.

All ways are now wide open,
Waiting high for me—-
My trusty sight, my vision, light,
My gladness soaring free.

I say, “Work is work,
And man is man,
And I am I.’

They say there will be light
If I seek not to be;
That motion is a sign of blight
And stillness is for free.

My life is not my own, they say,
All others, they come first.
If I will only be like them
I’ll die without a curse, I’ll see.

I load my gold around me;
I hear my trucks roar by;
I see my spotlights catch my planes
And sweep through all the sky.

The world will see light, they say,
If I will pray for me.
Cold logic is no longer right,
But tends to misery.

My life is not my own, they say;
I’m only here to give.
Let pity fill the soul of me
So “die” will equal “live”. I see.

I see my bridges gleaming
From bank to greeting plain;
And all around I hear the sound
Of trains that roll for gain.

Yes,
There’s lightning and there’s thunder,
There’s flood and torn up tree;
But what I am is working, too,
And I am victory. I see, I see!

My city lights are shining;
They beckon just above.
There are no selfless men up there,
But only men I love.

The gate is now wide open,
There’s one last hill to climb;
And climb I do with all that’s true,
Until I pass “On time!”

And now,
I shall not bow forever.
Forever, bow to me!
And Fate, you’re late! Get out and wait!
I open not for ye!

For man is man,
And pride is pride,
And “Stand!” is “Stand!”
And I am I.

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