The future imperative is a tense
in Latin of classical times, denoting
an order, ‘You shall obey’, whose true sense
these days is lost, democracy connoting
authority by the power of voting,
where choice is the true will of obedience.
Latin still has its Roman tones, the future
imperative, the voice of canon law
so beloved of churchmen, who cannot figure
why it falls flat, that its days are done for,
the law of the heart guides each follower,
where rightness is plain, and maps out the future.
The future imperative’s tyranny
lingers in despotic regimes, ‘you shall
‘obey’, stirring up men in mutiny
who will obey as citizens of equal
rights and opportunity, as makes all
of one voice, one life, and one destiny.