With the dawn of a new church year, we have launched a new feature on our website, a weekly post of poetry that resonates with the lectionary readings for that week (Revised Common Lectionary).
*** Revised Common Lectionary ***
1 Samuel 8:4-20, 11:14-15
Absolam and Achitophel
[The] people have a right supreme
To make their kings; for kings are made for them.
All empire is no more than pow’r in trust:
Which when resum’d, can be no longer just.
Succession, for the general good design’d,
In its own wrong a nation cannot bind:
If altering that, the people can relieve,
Better one suffer, than a nation grieve.
The Jews well know their pow’r: ere Saul they chose,
God was their king, and God they durst depose.
Urge now your piety, your filial name,
A father’s right, and fear of future fame;
The public good, the universal call,
To which even Heav’n submitted, answers all.
Nor let his love enchant your generous mind;
‘Tis Nature’s trick to propagate her kind.
Our fond begetters, who would never die,
Love but themselves in their posterity.
Or let his kindness by th’effects be tri’d,
Or let him lay his vain pretence aside.
God said he lov’d your father; could he bring
A better proof, than to anoint him king?
*** This poem is in the public domain,
and may be read in a live-streamed worship service.
These Things Do I Remember
Solomon Ephraim Ben Aaron of Lencziz
These things I do remember; O I pour
My soul out for them. All the ages long
Hatred pursueth us; through all the years
Ignorance like a monster hath devoured
Our martyrs as in one long day of blood.
Rulers have rise through the endless years,
Oppressive, savage in their witless power,
Filled with a futile thought: to make an end
Of that which God had cherished. There was once
A tyrant searching in the Book of God
For some word there to serve him as a sword
To slay us; and he found the line which spake:
“He that doth steal a man and selleth him,
He shall be surely put to death.” That king,
That dark-designing servant of false gods,
Summoned to him ten sages of the Law,