I must go down,
Down, down,
Below the crusts of things,
Under the shadows,
Into thought-haunted places 
Where few go;
Where the road is broken 
And travelled by monsters,
Truths with hard sphinx-faces.

I must go down 
Into the caves of life,
Into the darknesses,
Deep, deep,
Below the good of things,
Below the evil of things,
Where the calm roots of wisdom creep.

I must tunnel
Under the bloom of dreams,
Under the frame-work of fancies, 
Tunnel alone.
What if I shatter frail things,
Break delicate flowers of myth 
Timorous dreamers have sown?

I must go down
Below narrow roads men have made, 
Below bridging lies men have built, 
Into the caverns of truth.
I know pain is waiting there 
Eager to break me,
But I am strong.
I have faith in my youth.

Living is crusted with lies.
I want life naked,
Laughing and young.
Not fettered, not tamed,
But life unashamed,
With the cry of Desire on her tongue.

From On a Grey Thread (Will Ransom, 1923) by Elsa Gidlow. This poem is in the public domain.