Monday, February 8, 2016

#Rachel #Wept

Rachel Wept

by Seahgreenhorn
(Poem with copyright)

As sheep slaughtered for famished, fare
His rage ravaged,
our beloved heirs.

We wailed; we wailed
our shoulders hung.

No songs of mirth as mourning came.
And it still comes; yes, still it comes.

Though left, it never.

Our shoulders hung.

At night their cries we hear; we heard.
Whispering shadows.

Yet, in the morning... no. Not a word

Not a cry, beloved, did we hear.
never more heard.
Not a tender single giggle
or a cooing word.

We saw them suffer.
We felt their fear.

Our babies slain by swords;
silently bled, while we screamed
and wailed. Our hearts collectively rupturing. Our voices violenting thundering.
Our eyes raining our pains like oceans deranged.

Then we laid down like pierced wineskins.
Tossed aside waste. Wailing like wolves. Crazed. Inhumane.

We wailed; we wailed to no avail. No nectar sweet would us prevail.

Yes, 'King Death' won. Took our baby sons; jailed in the 'Land of the enemy.' Our loneliness had just begun. Though,
we were not the only ones.

In time we birthed sons; born anew
the hopes we held;
though temporarily forgotten
in King Herod's vengeful ... slew.

Refreshing words lifted our contorted spines. Unveiled our mournful faces
and massaged into beating our mangled hearts. Shined illuminating lights into our
bedarkened minds.

“‘Hold back your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears

For there is a reward for your activity,’"

"‘They will return from the land of the enemy.’" says He--Our Creator, His Sovereignty.

Thankful we were reminded to be:
as we yearn for the return
of our beloved progeny.

Based on contest: "The Eyes That Weep" 
When mine eyes had wept for some while, until they were so weary with weeping that I could no longer through them give ease to my sorrow, I bethought me that a few mournful words might stand me instead of tears. And therefore I proposed to make a poem, that weeping I might speak therein of her for whom so much sorrow had destroyed my spirit; and I then began “The eyes that weep.” 

The eyes that weep for pity of the heart

Have wept so long that their grief languisheth,

And they have no more tears to weep withal:

And now, if I would ease me of a part

Of what, little by little, leads to death,

It must be done by speech, or not at all.

And because often, thinking, I recall

How it was pleasant, ere she went afar,

To talk of her with you, kind damozels,

I talk with no one else,

But only with such hearts as women’s are.

And I will say,—still sobbing as speech fails,—

That she hath gone to Heaven suddenly,

And hath left Love below, to mourn with me.

Beatrice is gone up into high Heaven,

The kingdom where the angels are at peace;

And lives with them; and to her friends is dead.

Not by the frost of winter was she driven

Away, like others; nor by summer-heats;

But through a perfect gentleness, instead.

For from the lamp of her meek lowlihead

Such an exceeding glory went up hence

That it woke wonder in the Eternal Sire,

Until a sweet desire

Entered Him for that lovely excellence,

So that He bade her to Himself aspire;

Counting this weary and most evil place

Unworthy of a thing so full of grace.

Wonderfully out of the beautiful form

Soared her clear spirit, waxing glad the while;

And is in its first home, there where it is.

Who speaks thereof, and feels not the tears warm

Upon his face, must have become so vile

As to be dead to all sweet sympathies.

Out upon him! an abject wretch like this

May not imagine anything of her,—

He needs no bitter tears for his relief.

But sighing comes, and grief,

And the desire to find no comforter,

(Save only Death, who makes all sorrow brief),

To him who for a while turns in his thought

How she hath been among us, and is not.

With sighs my bosom always laboureth

In thinking, as I do continually,

Of her for whom my heart now breaks apace;

And very often when I think of death,

Such a great inward longing comes to me

That it will change the colour of my face;

And, if the idea settles in its place,

All my limbs shake as with an ague-fit:

Till, starting up in wild bewilderment,

I do become so shent

That I go forth, lest folk misdoubt of it.

Afterward, calling with a sore lament

On Beatrice, I ask, “Canst thou be dead?”

And calling on her, I am comforted.

Grief with its tears, and anguish with its sighs,

Come to me now whene’er I am alone;

So that I think the sight of me gives pain.

And what my life hath been, that living dies,

Since for my lady the New Birth’s begun,

I have not any language to explain.

And so, dear ladies, though my heart were fain,

I scarce could tell indeed how I am thus.

All joy is with my bitter life at war;

Yea, I am fallen so far

That all men seem to say, “Go out from us,”

Eyeing my cold white lips, how dead they are.

But she, though I be bowed unto the dust,

Watches me; and will guerdon me, I trust.

Weep, pitiful Song of mine, upon thy way,

To the dames going and the damozels

For whom and for none else

Thy sisters have made music many a day.

Thou, that art very sad and not as they,

Go dwell thou with them as a mourner dwells.

"“This is what Jehovah says:
‘A voice is heard in Raʹmah, lamentation and bitter weeping: Rachel is weeping over her sons. She has refused to be comforted over her sons, Because they are no more.’”" Jer. 31:15 ... prophecy

"“A voice was heard in Raʹmah, weeping and much wailing. It was Rachel weeping for her children, and she was unwilling to take comfort, because they are no more.”" Matt. 2:18 ... fulfillment.

At Jeremiah 31:15 Rachel is depicted as weeping over her sons who have been carried into the land of the enemy, her lamentation being heard in Ramah (N of Jerusalem in the territory of Benjamin). (See RAMAH No. 1.) Since Ephraim, whose tribal descendants are often used collectively to stand for the northern kingdom of Israel, is mentioned several times in the context (Jer 31:6, 9, 18, 20), some scholars believe this prophecy relates to the exiling of the people of the northern kingdom by the Assyrians. (2Ki 17:1-6; 18:9-11) On the other hand, it might relate to the eventual exiling of both those of Israel and of Judah (the latter by Babylon). In the first case, the figure of Rachel would be very appropriate since she was the maternal ancestor of Ephraim (through Joseph), the most prominent tribe of the northern kingdom. In the second case, Rachel’s being the mother not only of Joseph but also of Benjamin, whose tribe formed part of the southern kingdom of Judah, would make her a fitting symbol of the mothers of all Israel, their bringing forth sons now seeming to have been in vain. Jehovah’s comforting promise, however, was that the exiles would “certainly return from the land of the enemy.”—Jer 31:16.

This text was quoted by Matthew in connection with the slaughter of infants in Bethlehem at Herod’s order. (Mt 2:16-18) Since Rachel’s grave was at least relatively near Bethlehem (though apparently not at the traditional site), this figure of Rachel weeping was appropriate to express the grief of the mothers of the slain children. But even more so was this quotation of Jeremiah’s prophecy appropriate in view of the similarity of the situation. The Israelites were subject to a foreign power. Their sons had again been taken away. This time, however, “the land of the enemy” into which they had gone was obviously not a political region as in the earlier case. It was the grave, the region ruled over by ‘King Death’ (compare Ps 49:14; Re 6:8), death being called “the last enemy” to be destroyed. (Ro 5:14, 21; 1Co 15:26) Any return from such “exile” would, of course, be by means of a resurrection from the dead. © Lucretia Mccloud 2016