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de CLEYRE, Voltairine “Written in Red”
(To Our Living Dead in Mexico’s Struggle)
Article published on 17 September 2009
last modification on 25 April 2015

by ps

Voltairine de Cleyre’s last poem. It was published in a collection of poems with the same title: Written in Red. Selected Poems of Voltairine de Cleyre->art5552]

You may listen to this poem on the LibriVox website

Written in red their protest stands,
For the gods of the World to see;
On the dooming wall their bodiless hands
have blazoned "Upharsin," and flaring brands
Illumine the message: "Seize the lands!
Open the prisons and make men free!"
Flame out the living words of the dead
Gods of the World! Their mouths are dumb!
Your guns have spoken and they are dust.
But the shrouded Living, whose hearts were numb,
have felt the beat of a wakening drum
Within them sounding-the Dead men’s tongue—
Calling: "Smite off the ancient rust!"
Have beheld "Resurrexit," the word of the Dead,
Bear it aloft, O roaring, flame!
Skyward aloft, where all may see.
Slaves of the World! Our cause is the same;
One is the immemorial shame;
One is the struggle, and in One name—
MANHOOD— we battle to set men free.
"Uncurse us the Land!" burn the words of the Dead,