Rebel Song [poem by E. J. Brady]

[Editor: This poem by E. J. Brady was published in The Earthen Floor (1902).]


Rebel Song.

Thine the hand that halved and fashioned
Into twain all things that be:
Thine the hand that, un-impassioned,
Halved the rebel soul of me.

In thy Court of Sun and Shadow,
Have I labored, Lord how long?
Praying sight of Eldorado,
Where she dwelt, my Half-Soul strong.

Grief mine heart hath made her dwelling,
Grief my guerdon, gray and cold,
But thy stern Voice spake foretelling! —
“Even so my Law shall hold.

Even so, shall Half-souls, trailing,
Draggled wings in slough of sin,
Walk afar, apart, bewailing,
Each its lost, unfound Soul-Twin.

Even so, who seeks shall find her,
He shall find her at the Gate,
With a thousand links to bind her —
His foretold, predestined mate.

And the strong man he shall take her,
Though the ways run red between,
He, the Rebel King, shall make her,
Still for aye his Rebel Queen.

Queen of mine, oh, dost thou listen?
Let the weak ones wail and moan!
Queen of mine, thy fond eyes glisten
With a purpose of mine own.

And thy Rebel King shall wed thee —
Strong and supple, brave and tall —
So on Nature’s couch to bed thee,
With the white Stars over all.

On some couch of fern and clover,
At the birth-time of the Morn,
With the clean skies arching over,
May the Rebel Child be born!

E. J. Brady, The Earthen Floor, Grafton (N.S.W.): Grip Newspaper Co., 1902

Editor’s notes:
aye = always, forever

Eldorado = a variant spelling of “El Dorado”: (Spanish) “the gilded one”; a place of abundant wealth (especially of gold) or great opportunity; as a place, this was originally a reference to a wealthy gold-laden land or city that was believed to be located somewhere in South America, but the term has since been used to refer to any place of real or imagined wealth or opportunity (“the gilded one”, i.e. someone covered in gold, was originally a reference to a South American tribal chief who, as an initiation rite, covered himself with gold dust and dove into a lake)

Lord = in a religious context, and capitalized, a reference to Jesus or God

morn = morning

twain = (archaic) two (from the Old English word “twegen”, meaning “two”); especially known for the phrase “never the twain shall meet” (from the line “Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet”, as used by the poet Rudyard Kipling, at the start of the poem “The Ballad of East and West”, which was included in Barrack-room Ballads and Other Verses, 1892)

Old spelling in the original text:
dost (do)
hath (has)
mine (my)
spake (spoke)
thee (you)
thine (yours)
thou (you)
thy (your)

Speak Your Mind