The phantoms flit before our dazzled eyes,
Glory and honour, wrath and righteousness,
The agèd phantoms in their bloodstained dress,
Vultures that fill the world with ravenous cries,
Swarming about the rock where, chained apart,
In age-long pain Prometheus finds no rest
From the divine flame burning in his breast,
And vultures tearing at a human heart.
Not yet the blessed hours on golden wings
Bring to the crucified their sure relief,
Deeper and deeper grows the ancient grief,
Blackest of all intolerable things.
Eternal Rebel, sad, and old, and blind,
Bound with a chain enslaved by every one
Of the dark gods who hide the summer sun,
Yet art thou still the saviour of mankind.
Free soul of fire, break down their chains and bars,
Drive out those unclean phantoms of the brain,
Till every living thing be friends again,
And our lost earth true comrade to the stars.
Eva Gore-Booth, “The Eternal Rebel” from Poems of Eva Gore-Booth (London: Longmans, Green, 1929). Reprinted with the permission of Sir Josslyn GoreBooth, Bt.
Source: Poems of Eva Gore-Booth (1929)