Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Rebel (Author: Pádraic H. Pearse)
- 1] I am come of the seed of the people, the people that sorrow,
2] That have no treasure but hope,
3] No riches laid up but a memory
4] Of an Ancient glory.
5] My mother bore me in bondage, in bondage my mother was born,
6] I am of the blood of serfs;
7] The children with whom I have played, the men and women with whom I have eaten,
8] Have had masters over them, have been under the lash of masters,
9] And, though gentle, have served churls;
10] The hands that have touched mine, the dear hands whose touch is familiar to me,
11] Have worn shameful manacles, have been bitten at the wrist by manacles,
12] Have grown hard with the manacles and the task-work of strangers,
13] I am flesh of the flesh of these lowly, I am bone of their bone,
14] I that have never submitted;
15] I that have a soul greater than the souls of my people's masters,
16] I that have vision and prophecy and the gift of fiery speech,
17] I that have spoken with God on the top of His holy hill.
- 18] And because I am of the people, I understand the people,
19] I am sorrowful with their sorrow, I am hungry with their desire:
20] My heart has been heavy with the grief of mothers,
21] My eyes have been wet with the tears of children,
22] I have yearned with old wistful men,
23] And laughed or cursed with young men;
24] Their shame is my shame, and I have reddened for it,
25] Reddened for that they have served, they who should be free,
26] Reddened for that they have gone in want, while others have been full,
27] Reddened for that they have walked in fear of lawyers and of their jailors
28] With their writs of summons and their handcuffs,
29] Men mean and cruel!
30] I could have borne stripes on my body rather than this shame of my people.
- 31] And now I speak, being full of vision;
32] I speak to my people, and I speak in my people's name to the masters of my people.
33] I say to my people that they are holy, that they are august, despite their chains,
34] That they are greater than those that hold them, and stronger and purer,
35] That they have but need of courage, and to call on the name of their God,
36] God the unforgetting, the dear God that loves the peoples
37] For whom He died naked, suffering shame.
38] And I say to my people's masters: Beware,
39] Beware of the thing that is coming, beware of the risen people,
40] Who shall take what ye would not give.
41] Did ye think to conquer the people,
42] Or that Law is stronger than life and than men's desire to be free?
43] We will try it out with you, ye that have harried and held,
44] Ye that have bullied and bribed, tyrants, hypocrites, liars!