Can truth be spoken? Can we be men of honor, of integrity, of forthrightness? Or shall we sneak after our masters, waiting to be told what we are permitted to say?
Then spoke the thunder
Datta: what have we given?
My friend, blood shaking my heart
The awful daring of a moment’s surrender
Which an age of prudence can never retract
By this, and this only, we have existed
Which is not to be found in our obituaries
Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider
Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor
In our empty rooms
Kudos to John Derbyshire for standing his ground:
Would I like to offer some kind of sniveling apology for the piece? In your dreams, pal. I haven’t sniveled since about 1952, and I’m too old to reacquire the habit.