The Price of Civilization

A Cynic's View

A man unfettered is a man in chains,
And more so when the nation reigns,
For life that's lived by you and me
Is but a brief captivity.

From the moment of your birth
The world weighs you for your worth,
And when you see your childhood's dead
They make you toil for your bread.

When you're getting old and grey
They wait until retirement day,
And when that day is come and gone
They wash their hands and then move on
To take your daughter or your son
So their machine can still be run.

And when you're lying in your grave
Your children do the world enslave
To give their lives as you once gave,
To crave those things that once you craved:
A bit of power, a bit of fame.
Most or all go up in flame,
And every man is dead the same
Whilst the world just plays its game.

An Optimist's View

A man unfettered is a man that's free
To be as he desires to be.
And though the world may be bound,
Happiness can still be found.

From the moment of your birth
You strive to show the world your worth,
And when you see your childhood's through,
You fight to make your dreams come true.

If you're never led astray
You will surely find a way
To labor that gives more than pay
But stimulation to your day.

Never let another man
Place your life in his command,
And never let the lords of shame
Badger you to play their game.
Within the limits set by nature
One may still gain lofty stature,
And though the dead shall rest the same
The world may still recall your name.
Perhaps your greatest legacies,
Will grace the world for centuries.

George Chadderdon © 1990