Hold head high within a cage,
Or look down as I soar through the sky,
Be a man or be free?
On the sight of oppression I rage,
Scream and bleed, I’d rather die,
Than to hold head high within a cage.
But I wish I could meet a mage
With his white dazzling magic, clarify,
To be a man or be free?
My responsibilities, I carefully gauge,
To fulfill them, with all might, I try,
To hold head high within a cage.
But it’s not an easy war to wage,
The rusting cage runs my soul dry,
I ponder again, be a man or be free?
I am in need of the skills of an old sage
To let go of the dream right before my eye.
All this to hold head high within a false cage!
Neither being a man nor be free!
Writing a villanelle is like an adventure, you never know what you come up with until you write the last word. Most of my poems are that way, anyway! I changed the restraining lines a bit to fit the specific tercets.
And the link to Wikipedia.