Robert Browning: Poems

Why I Am A Liberal

"Why?" Because all I haply can and do,

All that I am now, all I hope to be,--

Whence comes it save from fortune setting free

Body and soul the purpose to pursue,

God traced for both? If fetters, not a few,

Of prejudice, convention, fall from me,

These shall I bid men--each in his degree

Also God-guided--bear, and gayly too?

But little do or can the best of us:

That little is achieved thro' Liberty. 10

Who then dares hold, emancipated thus,

His fellow shall continue bound? not I,

Who live, love, labour freely, nor discuss

A brother's right to freedom. That is "Why."