They said, “We’re sure of nothing;”
And you said, “I know everything I know.”
They said, “The mind is feeble,
A thing we cannot trust;”
And you said, “I trust mine completely,
And I can prove and show.”
They said, “Man’s pride is his un-doing,
His death the one thing sure;”
And you said, “Pride is love of purpose;
Achieving it is pure.”
They said, “Great sacrifice is needed,
The gods and fate to please;”
And you said, “Sacrifice is evil,
But you, stay on your knees.
For here, right here before you,
Is one supreme of mind;
More true and honest human
You’ll seek you far to find.
But no, you do not seek it,
You’d rather twist the truth,
So men will stumble blindly
And waste away their youth.
You’d kill the human spirit
And cut man’s soul in two,
Because, deep down, you fear it—
The mind you cast from you.”
They said, “Oh, you are Satan,
And all you say is lies!”
But you said, “You are sure of nothing;
You cannot trust your eyes.
Your minds, they are most feeble,
And only I am wise.”
They said, “We’ll get us weapons
And prove that we are right.”
And you said, “Men have now the best one—
That thought is more than might;
And greater far than this is,
Each man’s an end his own,
His hero to be worshipped,
With reason knit and grown.
Yea, knit in mind and body,
Not cut in half like you,
You teachers shameful, goddy,
Whose reign of terror’s through.
Now men can stand up happy,
And work and earn with pride,
And rest, un-guilty, laughing
At suffering denied.”
They said—no more; were silent,
Although their lips moved fast.
Perhaps a hiss-like sighing
Was all they knew at last.
You said, to men around you,
Who cheered, and stayed to hear,
“Let half-links not confound you;
Just think, ‘The way is clear.'”