To Flee or Not To Flee – with apologies to William Shakespeare

To flee, or not to flee: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler to stay put and last out
The slings and arrows of crazy government,
Or to take flight against a sea of troubles,
And by retreat deny them? To go: to move;
No more; and by a move, to say we end
The heart-ache and the voluminous earthquakes
That we are heirs to, ’tis a relocation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To flow, to run;
To scram: perchance to hope: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that fleshly fugue, what dreams may come
When we have travelled off this narrow state,
Must let us think: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of such a scene;
For who would bear the harsh misgovernment,
The oppressor’s wrong, the insults of the smug,
The pangs of shock and gloom, the legal wool,
The insolence of ministers, their pride
That serves to downtread all who may dissent,
When they themselves might contemplate escape
O’er land and air? Who would assume the chore,
Of surviving under a weary life,
But that the thought of something after fugue,
The journey’s terminus from where perhaps
Few emigrants return, exerts the mind
And makes us bear political unease
Rather than fly to lands as yet unknown?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
So that the will inborn in us to endure
Is coloured by the urge to run away,
And plans on which we had placed much importance
With this regard suddenly go askew,
As their objectives pale. Let us see you,
Fair Europe, and hear all your entreaties,
Remember us, despite our wrongs.

© Helen Kalliope
March 2017

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Translator, singer, linguist, cat-lover. Greek-Welsh mongrel

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