(Not quite how Yeats or Eliot spoke it, yet clearly in their awareness.)
This is how freedom ends.
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
We whisper, ‘fraid to shout,
lest our oppressors threaten.
Our dried voices, when
we whisper together,
are quiet and meaningless.
Hollow men we are, when,
faced with clear choice,
right or wrong, we still the voice.
Deferential, glad to be of use.
Fear to eat a peach,
or disturb the universe.
Those who turn back heaven’s clock
to a black time of endless servitude
care not that we agree or disagree.
Only that we obey.