Neutral

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

That pale word ‘Neutral’ sits becomingly
On lips of weaklings. But the men whose brains
Find fuel in their blood, the men whose minds
Hold sympathetic converse with their hearts,
Such men are never neutral. That word stands
Unsexed and impotent in Realms of Speech.
When mighty problems face a startled world
No virile man is neutral. Right or wrong
His thoughts go forth, assertive, unafraid
To stand by his convictions, and to do
Their part in shaping issues to an end.
Silence may guard the door of useless words,
At dictate of Discretion; but to stand
Without opinions in a world which needs
Constructive thinking, is a coward’s part.

 
from Poems of Optimism by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1919)

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