My feelings exactly

Your precious independence! Your white plume!

What would you have me do?

Sleep for the patronage of some great man,

And, like a creeping vine on a pole tree,

Crawl up where I cannot stand-alone?

No, Thank You!

Be a buffoon,

With the vile hope of teasing out a smile on some cold face?

No, Thank You!

Eat a toad for breakfast every morning; make my knees callous;

Cultivate a supple spine?

Wear out my belly groveling in the dust?

No, Thank You!

With my left hand, scratch the back of any swine that roots up gold for me,

While my right, too proud to know my partner’s business, takes in the fee?

No, Thank You!

Shall I use the “fire” God gave me to burn incense all day long?

No, Thank You!

Struggle to insinuate my name into the columns of the gazette?

Calculate, scheme, be afraid?

Love more to make a visit than a poem?

Seek introductions, favors, influences?

No, Thank You!

No, I Thank You, and again, I Thank You, No!

But, to sing! To laugh! To dream!

To walk in my own way, with an eye, to see things as they are,

A voice that means manhood,

To cut my heft where I choose!

Not a word, a “Yes” or a “No”!

To fight or right!

But never to make a line, I have never heard in my own heart.

To travel any road under the sun, under the stars,

Nor care if fame or fortune lie beyond the dawn,

Yet, with all modesty, to say,

My soul, be satisfied with flowers, with weeds! With thorns even!

But, go then in the one garden you call your own,

In a word, “I’m Too Proud To Be a Parasite”!

In my needs to light the germ, that grows towering to heaven like the mountain

pine,

I stand not high, but alone!

Why go about making enemies?

Watching other people making friends, everywhere, as a dog makes friends,

I mark the manner of these canine courtesies, and think,

Here comes, thank heaven, another enemy!— Cyrano de Bergerac

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