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Goretti Publications

The Phoenix

Donald P. Goodman III

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And in the dark was he conceiv'd; he rose, like Phoenix, from the ash; the fire that bore him had repriev'd his forebear, heedless of the lash.
And in the dark did he grow tall; Achilles could not him defeat; the storm of battle was his hall, the fire of pillage was his seat.
But then his mother, kindly, good, from whom Penel'pe runs in shame, reprov'd him, told him that he should turn sword and fire to better aim.
And so he did; for certain time, Prometheus did less for man; but to Olympus would he climb, unknowing voicing his own ban.
He sought to make himself a god, to raise himself to Heaven's height; but then the fires which made his sod rekindl'd, taking him from sight.
And to the dark which him conceiv'd, and to the ashes whence he rose, just as his father fire repriev'd, so also him it gave to woes.
In darkness he his life did gain, like Phoenix, from the fires of Rome; and like the Phoenix, fell to pain, depriving West of hallow'd home.
Will once again the Phoenix rise from ashes, as he had before? Will he emerge, more sage and wise, from what is left by raging war?
O Phoenix! Let all drawing breath weep tears of sorrow at thy death!