Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Rebel (Author: Pádraic H. Pearse)


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!