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Contributed by Elizabeth_Dandy on Friday, 26th May 2006 @ 06:58:34 PM AEST
Topic: americantragedy

II Samuel
21. 9-10.

This narrative is so unpopular;-

The famine raged, King David asked the Lord:
“When will you lift the drought?” - while waging war,
And many fell by hanging or by sword.

No other mother’s sorrow was so great
As Rizpah’s, former concubine of Saul,
Whose sons swung from a tree, a sight of dread,
Increased yet by the hooting of an owl.

For a massacre of the Gibeonites,
Revenge and just deserts their clansmen cried-
To expiate the crimes upon their sites
Now seven pawns were picked and hanged aright.

Five of Saul's grandsons too at Gibeah
Were hanged in retribution of Saul's sin,-
Plus Rizpah's sons,- but great Rizpah
Fought for the hanged as mother heroine.

Poor Rizpah‘s mission now became to watch
The hanging bodies of her sons upon
The gallows on a rock, so none would touch
To desecrate the bodies of her sons.

The lack of burial is punishment
So terrible, that Rizpah did decide
The bodies of her loved ones to defend,
From vultures, and from dogs by day and night

Thus day and night with sackcloth she chased off
The nearing dogs and many another beast,
In boundless and incomparable love
That dared war's callous grimness to resist.

Others forsook their loved ones,- let them stay,
But Rizpah tended to them lovingly,
Chased greedy hungry birds of prey away
With a devoted mother‘s piety.

Once she was clad in silken robes at court
And jingled for King Saul the tambourine,
And danced for him, her master, king and lord,
With pride and grace as favorite concubine

Ah! - royal garments Rizpah once had worn,
Bejeweled with so many an ornament,
But now her garb was sackcloth, coarse and torn,
The garment like her mother heart was rent.

So well she'd danced before her Lord the King,
In golden robes and gems and jewels bright,
But now her teeth were chattering
In desolation, sorrow and grim plight.

Beneath the scudding clouds now Rizpah stood
In daytime's heat, in hunger and in thirst
And during night times listened to the hoot
Of owls behind the hanging trees accursed.

Torn dirty rags hang round her whithered frame,
And utter desolation filled her heart.
The king’s and her own sons now hang in shame,
From honors of a burial debarred.

She could not hinder seizure of her sons,
But stood in death by them as once in life,
She would protect their hanging flesh and bone,
Shield it from vultures with her club and knife.

Ah Rizpah was so weak and powerless,
Yet broke the cycle of great violence,
And David, shamed by her, could naught but bless
And bow to her great charity from thence.

Oh what she did, was a heroic deed,
From the beginning of the crop, till rain
Began to fall at last - not small a feat,
To watch hanged sons in boundless brief and pain. .

Ah Rizpah! - what a mother’s love can do!
Behold! a woman, beat and powerless,
Stopped winds of violence that raged and blew
With sackcloth,- and a mother’s steadfastness.

Shielded from desecration those held dear,-
Chased prowling animals, dread birds and hound,
And braved attacking lions without fear,
With perseverance on accursed a ground.

She waved a lighted torch to frighten off
Wild animals and lions drawing near,
And beat at them with club and fisticuffs,
And chased the vultures circling in the air.

No woman showed endurance such as this,
And stoicism ‘midst such tragedy,
And resoluteness in calamity,
At loss and deprivation’s apogee!.

Lo! without sleep nor drink or nourishment
This mother stood five months in vigil watch,
Till buriel took place in sacred land,
She watched “accursed” her sons, so none dared touch.

Lo! Scripture gives this mother heroine
Too short a space, - some scanty paragraph,
Ah!- pages of devotion should have been
Allowed for such tremendous mother love.

The awful famine stopped soon afterwards,
Rain came,- lo! - Yahweh did send rain,
And comforted a desperate mother’s heart,
Whose sons were buried on a hallowed plane

© Elizabeth Dandy

Copyright © Elizabeth_Dandy ... [2006-05-2606:58:34]
(Date/Time posted on site)

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Re: R I Z P A H - kING SAUL'S CONCUBINE (User Rating: 1)
by ButchHoward on Sunday, 28th May 2006 @ 10:13:52 AM AEST
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Such tragic circumstances illustrate the fact that there is nothing in the world quite like a mother's love for her children. This is one of the most extreme examples of maternal perseverance I know of. Well written, as usual!

Re: R I Z P A H - kING SAUL'S CONCUBINE (User Rating: 1)
by bronzen on Saturday, 3rd June 2006 @ 01:16:38 AM AEST
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Re: R I Z P A H - kING SAUL'S CONCUBINE (User Rating: 1)
by sararose1950 on Wednesday, 7th June 2006 @ 02:20:31 PM AEST
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oh Elizabeth-I never heard this story- amazing indeed!!! Thank you for this. A mother,just one, had such an impact. The power of just "one" (as in each of us being that) should be told more often.
Peace and Light and hugs, Sara

Re: R I Z P A H - kING SAUL'S CONCUBINE (User Rating: 1)
by Jacktripper on Thursday, 3rd August 2006 @ 01:40:38 PM AEST
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Very interesting write you depict the story so close to authenticity it's like you were there. The words carefull choosen and the description so vivid and powerful. Great read poetic and story telling....

Re: R I Z P A H - kING SAUL'S CONCUBINE (User Rating: 1)
by Lionel on Sunday, 3rd September 2006 @ 08:11:45 PM AEST
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Great Poem. Liz, you're magnificent.

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